Can't find a necklace to match your Ballroom or Latin dress? Why not try making your own. This Blog gives you step by step instructions on making a stunning necklace using scraps of leftover fabric, lace, diamontes and jewels. A sewing machine and some basic decorating experience is required.
Step 1 - To start with we need to make the necklace base. For this demonstration we will be making a "V" shape necklace. You will need a length of braided elastic in your chosen width, we used 2.5cm wide elastic. You will also need enough Lycra to cover the elastic, piece of Velcro, and assorted lace motifs.
Step 2 - Roughly measure around your neck allowing for the "V" at the front and about 2.5cm overlap at the back for the Velcro clasp. It's best to allow extra length as you can always trim it later. Using your sewing machine, zig zag the full length of the elastic to the Lycra edge.
Step 3 - From the top, fold the Lycra and elastic over twice so that the elastic is folded and sandwiched inside the Lycra. Stitch through the elastic and 3 layers of Lycra in zig zag.
Your line of zig zag will be virtually on top of your first line of stitching.
Step 4 - Cut the excess fabric away from the underside.
Step 5 - Run a line of zig zag stitching along the other side for extra strength and to keeping it flat.
Step 6 - Next cut the length of covered elastic in half and stitch the end pieces together at a right angle to form the front "V" of your necklace. It's best to use a wide zig zag stitch and work your way backwards and forwards a number of times to stop any fraying and give a nice clean edge.
Step 7 - Try on the necklace and have someone mark where the ends need trimming at the centre back. Make sure you allow approximately 2cm overlap for the Velcro fastening. Stitch the two sides of Velcro in place using multiple lines of zig zag stitching to make sure the ends don't fray as pictured below. Remember also to have the Velcro stitched so that the ends overlap correctly forming the necklace. I would advise stitching the hook (rough) side so that it faces away from the skin and the soft side facing towards the skin to avoid any rubbing and irritation caused by the Velcro hooks.
The photo below shows how your finished necklace base should look.
Step 8 - Arrange and pin your lace motifs to your required design. You may need to cut the motifs into suitable pieces to compliment the shape of your necklace.
At this stage it's a good idea to again try-on your necklace to make sure the design and shape compliment your dress and neckline.
Step 9 - Glue or stitch the lace into place. Either method is fine however if using glue I would highly recommend using E6000 Industrial Clear Glue. It's an excellent bond for gluing fabrics together, jewel stones, pearls and diamontes. It can be purchased from Diamonte.net in a variety of sizes depending on how much gluing you a planning to do!
Step 10 - Decorate the lace and necklace band with diamantes, jewel stones and half pearls in any design you wish to create. Necklaces look particularly stunning when encrusted with lots of stones in a variety of sizes to give texture, character and lots of sparkle.
Step 11 - Add your finishing touches such as sewing on jewel stones to emphasise the design and shape.
With practice you will be able to experiment with different designs, lace motifs and beadwork to create necklaces that perfectly match your dress, personal style and mood... all whilst saving a few dollars too :-)
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