Springtime accessories: fabric necklace tutorial

How do you do? I’m Tilly, I write a blog about sewing over at Tilly and the Buttons. Casey has asked me to write a guest post for her while she takes a well-deserved break. I have to say I was totally chuffed to be asked, as Casey’s blog was the first sewing blog I ever found and has been a constant source of inspiration to me ever since. Thanks, Casey!

The theme for the guest writers this week is Spring. It won’t be floaty dress weather in London for a while yet, but if you’re like me you’ll be itching to bust out that floral fabric already. So I thought I’d show you how to make a fabric necklace to garnish your crossover wardrobe with some colour. This tutorial is easy-peasy and super quick. Hurrah!

You will need: 1) cotton fabric – preferably with a smallish print; 2) polystyrene balls or wooden beads – 1″ diameter or smaller.

1. Cut your fabric. Drape your tape measure around your neck to work out what length you want the necklace to hang, then double that measurement and add 4″ to determine the length of fabric to cut. To determine the width of fabric, first you need to work out the circumference of the ball. Remember pi from maths lessons? Circumference = 3.14159…etc x diameter? This is why you learnt it, so you could make a fabric necklace. (Alternatively you could just wrap your tape measure around the ball, but I am a geek and like maths so humour me here.) My ball is 1″ diameter, so the circumference is 3.14159″ – let’s say 3 1/8″. I’m going to add 1/2″ seam allowance, plus 1/8″ wiggle room for the balls, so I’m cutting the fabric to 3 3/4″.

2. Fold the printed sides of the fabric together along the length. Press or pin if you need to, then stitch along the length according to your seam allowance (I left 1/2″, so am stitching to 1/4″). Press the seams flat. Turn the fabric tube the right way out (you may want to use a tube turner or knitting needle to help you do this).

3. Tie a knot as tight as you can a few inches from the end of the fabric tube. Insert one of the balls, smoosh it down to meet the knot, then tie another knot the other side. Continue doing this until you’ve got as many balls in as you want, leaving a few inches of fabric at the ends for tying.

4. Fold in the raw edges of each end by 1/8″ and stitch. You could slipstitch if you don’t want the stitches to show, but I’m not bothered by that kind of thing so use the machine. (If you run out of fabric, you could also insert some ribbon to the ends before stitching and use them as the ties.)

And here’s two I made earlier! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you make one of these necklaces, I’d love to see it – do leave a comment here or pop over to my blog and show me. Byeeeee!

March 21, 2011 · 36 lovely thoughts
posted in creativity,misc,sewing,tutorials ·

Casey March 21, 2011 at 07:16

Oh wow, Tilly!!! This is such a fun way to use up some of those old scraps… Hmm… I think I can forsee a couple of these in my future! Thank you so much for guest blogging during my little break–and happy spring! :)

♥ Casey

karen March 21, 2011 at 07:49

You like maths? You like maths?! Numbers scare me. Your necklaces don’t, though. They’re super-lovely. I may need to find some polystyrene balls.

Gina March 21, 2011 at 07:53

Love it Tilly! What fun, I have some beads that don’t go with anything, now they do!

Sheri March 21, 2011 at 08:05

What a cute idea! My daughters and niece are looking for some sewing crafts and things to do, and I think this would be a great choice! I think I’ll make one for me, too, while I’m at it. :)

Carys March 21, 2011 at 08:07

I love those necklaces, they are adorable!!
From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

Jill March 21, 2011 at 08:50

how fun!! thanks for sharing!

Stephanie March 21, 2011 at 08:54

How cute and easy! I’m going fabric shopping on friday and I’m adding beads to my shopping list! And I love math too! Yay nerds!

Renee March 21, 2011 at 09:24

Very cute idea. And easy. Thanks for the idea.

Thanks for being a guest while Casey takes a much needed break.

Trudy Callan March 21, 2011 at 10:12

Great idea! What a great way to add some fun and cute accessories to one’s wardrobe.

Charly March 21, 2011 at 10:30

This is such a clever and simple idea! Looks lovely :)

Jenny @ Kerrfect! March 21, 2011 at 11:00

Very neat and seems rather simple to make too!

Corinne March 21, 2011 at 11:06

too cute, what a nice pop of color for spring! nice little gifts too!

Connie March 21, 2011 at 12:25

Just adorable!! I’m making one today!! Thanks so much Tilly!!

Josie March 21, 2011 at 12:43

I’m definitely going to try this!!

Kristen March 21, 2011 at 13:02

wow, so fabby and simple! Thanks!

Paige March 21, 2011 at 13:53

I love that you mentioned pi! I use it way more than I thought I would with my DIY projects. Totally glad I learned it!

Plus, the necklace is very cute. Thanks for sharing!

Faith March 21, 2011 at 14:00

Super cool! I just shared the link to this tutorial on Facebook, and now all my friends want to make them too. :-) Girls craft night!!

Jojo March 21, 2011 at 15:19

This is such a good idea for using up all the scraps you have left after making a dress!

Hillary March 21, 2011 at 18:29

Oh fantatic blast from my past. We used to make these in girl scouts when I was little. I am going to make some again thanks!

Caroline March 21, 2011 at 20:30

How lovely! I just discoverd Tilly today and now I see she is a guest blog on Casey’s website. Go Tilly!

Marie March 22, 2011 at 08:13

Thanks Tilly, these are super cute!!!

Mary Beth at ✄ Yarn U ✄ iPhone app v1.2 March 22, 2011 at 09:56

I think this would be a great way to use up scraps from the swing dress sew-along. Not that I participated…

Becca March 23, 2011 at 11:18

These are so lovely, definately gonna locate some polystyrene balls and give it a go – yay!

Maria Soto March 24, 2011 at 15:50

thank you, now I know what to do with all my wood beads. great for a Sunday project/or tonight

Katie March 25, 2011 at 08:18

What a great tutorial – thanks for sharing!!! Can’t wait to try it :)

Rebecca March 25, 2011 at 13:21

Very cute! I’ve been wanting to figure out how to make some new necklaces and these look great!

Tonya Muller March 26, 2011 at 19:16

Love this. I have some lovely fabric just waiting for a project, I think I found it.

Adele April 12, 2011 at 10:09

I just made this necklace for my friend, but managed to do it with no sewing and a vintage scarf. Thanks for the tutorial – I saved about £17 on the ones in the shops.

Adele x

nerissa April 19, 2011 at 02:52

Very cute! I’ve been wanting to figure out how to make some new necklaces and these look great!this necklace very nice and cute…

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