Finishing out textiles week, I give to you what has been my labor of love this week. We sell a necklace similar to this one at Regalo, and I really, really wanted it, I just didn’t want to buy it (sorry, ya’ll!). I decided to embark on making the same necklace --or one that looks a little something like it-- and it definitely took a minute (or 6 hours), but I love it so much that I think it might be worth it. And now that I have some practice making it, I think it will be easier the next time around. My thinking is that a fabric besides knit (which I used) may be easier to work with. Go on, give it a try! It’ll give you something to work on while you're watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, so you aren't just wasting an hour of your life…or maybe that’s just me.
Ok, let's hope these directions make sense....
Fabric 'n Chain Necklace
by colleen reilly
What you need:
- Fabric scraps (I used knit, but use whatever kind of scraps you have. This is a great way to make something out of your old t-shirts)
- Beaded chain in a couple of different thicknesses (found at hardware store in the lamp section)
- Thread (I used fuschia)
- Fabric scissors
What to do:
Cut out five strips ½”-3/4” thick and in varying lengths out of a few different colors of fabrics (I used three). The longest strand I used was just under 2’. Fold one strip in half and then fold in half again, so that you have a firmer, thinner strip of fabric. Safety pin down the length of the strip to hold in place. Cut a piece of chain slightly shorter than the fabric strip. About ½” in from the top of the strip, sew on the first ball of the chain so that it covers the fold in the fabric (make sure your needle goes through all the layers of the fabric). Continuing sewing the chain onto the fabric (make sure that the thread goes around each ball, and only once) until you get about ½” away from the other end of the strip. I hung my strip on the wall (or the couch) while I worked, so that I had both of my hands for sewing. Repeat with at least three of the strips (two of my strips are just fabric).Cut any extra ball chain with scissors.
Try to keep the width of the strip and the placement of the chain consistent as you move down the strip, but don’t worry about total perfection because once you assemble the necklace, there are several layers, and it won’t be noticed. Use a different thickness of chain on at least one of the strips if you want.
Once the chain has been sewed to all the strips desired, lay out all five strips on a flat surface and arrange them with the longest strip on the bottom. Line up the ends on one side of the necklace, so that all the ball chains start in the same place. Repeat on other side of the necklace. Trim off fabric if some of the strips are longer than others. Cut out two 2’ long x ¾” wide strips of fabric of the same color. Fold one of the newly cut strips, so that about 2/3 of the strip will serve as the band to the necklace and about 1/3 will wrap around one of the bundle of strips. Place the bend in one fabric strip over the ½” of the un-chained end on the strip bundles. Tightly wrap the smaller part of the strip as many times as it will go around the bundles as well as around itself. Sew up the back of this strip, so that the thread will rest against your body and not be visible (you have now created the part on my necklace that is a pink bundle—serving as a sort of fabric clasp or crimp). Repeat on the other strip bundle. Marvel at your creation for at least a half an hour, then tie the ends in a bow around your neck at the desired length and wait for all the compliments you will receive.