DIY Ruffled Fabric Necklace and A Tragic Tale

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  August 24, 2011 — 2 Comments

We had tons of yellow fabric left over after crafting those delightful flowers for my friend Sarah’s apartment, so I decided to try recreating a necklace I’ve been coveting from Etsy shop Pretty Things by Meg.

We’d stopped at Michael’s earlier to pick up some tacky glue for the flowers, and since this idea had been brewing in my head I went ahead and picked up some jewelry chain and a necklace clasp, as well. Fortunately, my friend Cassie is a jewelry-making expert (she’s even dabbled in doing it professionally) and helped me pick out what I needed.

I started out by cutting a long strip of yellow fabric (I just cut it the whole width of the fabric). I think I made it about 4-5″ wide, but I really just sort of eyeballed it. I think I may have actually made mine a little too wide, so if you’re following along at home you may want to go a bit narrower.

I folded my fabric in half lengthwise, then got down to figuring out what to do next.

It took me a while to figure out how to attach the chain. I thought about just attaching it to each end of the fabric, but worried that would put too much strain on the ruffles. I tried sewing a pocket in the top of the ruffles, but that meant my chain would get ruffled as well (necessitating a LOT more chain). Finally, I settled on using a needle and thread to literally sew the chain onto my fabric as I ruffled it. Difficult to explain, but maybe the pictures will help.

I would sew a few long stitches in the fabric, then take the thread through a link of chain and tug. Since I would sew a few inches of fabric for every few links of chain, there was more fabric than chain per inch after I pulled the thread tight, making a delightful little ruffle.

It’s worth nothing that I had 36″ of chain and left about 12″ hanging off before the fabric started, giving me plenty of freedom to adjust the length later on. I kept sewing and ruffling until I had what seemed like a good length to drape across my neckline (about 5 inches worth of ruffled fabric). I just kept holding it up and looking in the mirror until it seemed right, so definitely just experiment and see what works for you. I tied off the thread and snipped the excess fabric.

Cassie, jewelry extraordinaire, helped me snip the excess chain and add a clasp and jump ring (that larger hoop that the clasp hooks onto). She even added a little extra bit of chain so that I could adjust the length if I wanted to. I totally wish that I could tell you all how to do this but I have no idea. It looked like she was mostly just using needlenose pliers and a pair of wire snips, though, so I think it’s totally doable if you’re interested in figuring it out.

And voila!

And now for the tragic tale. It was about 11pm and I was not looking my best by the time the necklace was done, so a picture of me modeling it right away just was not doable. A few days later I put on a little makeup and my new favorite necklace to get a picture of it in action. After a few pictures I decided that the self-portrait angle just was not doing my chin any favors. Nick wasn’t home to help, so I placed my camera atop a tower of books and photo frames propped in a windowsill (for optimum light). Everything was coming along swimmingly and I was about to get the nicest picture of me and my new necklace when Pistachio came charging out of nowhere and leapt to the windowsill, which is totally normal catlike behavior and no cause for alarm except that SHE KNOCKED DOWN MY CAMERA!

To be fair, I have dropped my camera several times in the past three years, and it needed to be replaced soon anyway, but I was hoping to save up and replace it on my own terms. Unfortunately, this fateful fall seems to have done it in. I haven’t been able to turn it on since.

On the bright side, I was able to get my pictures off of it. This is the last picture I took before it fell to its death.

I think I need to trim the fabric to be a little narrower, but other than that I’m so so so so pleased. This necklace will be absolutely perfect for LSU football season.

And you know what else? I had a complete meltdown about my camera, with crying and everything, but my mom called me right in the middle of it and offered me a camera she’s not using anymore. She bought it when she was still working in real estate and it has–get this–a wide angle lens! How perfect is that for taking pictures of my house? I’ll be able to fit so much more of the room into each shot. I’m really excited. Here’s hoping it still does the trick for photographing step-by-step craft projects like this one! I’m still playing around with it, but hopefully y’all will get to see some pretty wide-angle shots of my little house soon!

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap

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2 responses to DIY Ruffled Fabric Necklace and A Tragic Tale

  1. LLLLove that necklace! I’m completely impressed. Home decor AND fashion!?!??! You’re superwoman. Perfect color for LSU football!

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