Years ago I found a vintage necklace hand-woven from faux pearls in the shape of a necktie at an estate sale. I had never seen anything like it and of course I was curious to figure out how it had been made.
The vintage thread that the necktie was made with had started to break and some of the beads had fallen off. It was too fragile to be worn so I didn’t feel too bad about taking the necklace apart. It was a complicated little piece but I managed to figure out how to recreate the necktie shaping. I have since found purses and other shaped necklaces made in a similar fashion and I would like to create more patterns in this style. It is time-consuming and I wouldn’t exactly call it easy but you can make these ties yourself. I have found a few vintage pearl ties since that very first one but usually they are damaged or smelly or the old thread is rotting away.
I have made a few finished necklaces for sale in my Etsy store but if you want to try your hand at making one for yourself I have finally written down my complete DIY pattern. It was almost harder to write down the pattern than it is to make them, it took a few years and a lot of pearls to get it all figured out. I also drew illustrations to go along with the instructions and I think it is fairly easy to follow the steps but I would say that this pattern is for those who don’t mind a challenge.
I found the perfect thread to make these ties after a lot of trial and error. Some thread was too thick and some broke too easily. But this Coats and Clarke is the perfect balance of strength and fineness. In order to weave in the pearls you need to sew through each pearl around 3 times so the thread needs to be strong and fine and the needle needs to have the smallest head possible.
And you need a lot of faux pearls, around 500, for one necklace. You definitely want to use a nice glass bead and not a cheap plastic one. The necktie needs to have a bit of weight to it so that it hangs well and the shine on a glass pearl is so much nicer. I use a 6mm pearl to get the size tie that I make and it looks like the original vintage one.
If you want to try the pattern you can buy it here and let me know how your tie turns out.