DIY Vintage Pearl Necktie Necklace

craft, design, DIY, fashion

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.

a handmade woven pearl necktie necklace

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.

pearl necktie necklace handmade from woven faux pearls

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.

DIY how to make a pearl tie necklace pattern

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.

how to make a vintage pearl tie necklace pattern

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.

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Revisiting a favorite pattern…

design, DIY, tutorials, Uncategorized

I recently made some new towels from my Towel Topper Pattern. I still find these towels super handy around the house. When they get too old and ratty I toss them out and get to make more!

new towel

If you’re interested in making a few towel toppers of your own you can download the PDF pattern here (towel_topper) and the original tutorial is posted here. If you have a larger towel that you need to make a topper for just enlarge the pattern a bit.

Be sure to let me know how your towels turn out!

Hat Sewing Today

craft, design, life

visor hat webFinished 2 more samples today for the prospective “hat making book”. I guess I have 7 finished patterns/samples now. I need to finish a few more samples, then I need to grade the patterns, take photos, write prospectus and send this thing out to publishers. Making these patterns has been so time consuming. Each pattern is drafted, tested in muslin, corrected, then tested in muslin AGAIN. After all of that I can make the sample from the final fabric while writing down every single step it takes to make the hat.

girly cap web

I am definitely feeling some relief at seeing the little collection of finished patterns and samples here.  Of course next is the tricky writing part.  Writing introductions and descriptions may take as long as the patterns took!