WATERCOLOUR AND TEXTILE ARTIST: Eileen Gidman hand paints one of a kind textiles with dyes. The resulting fabrics are washable and suitable for sewing or framing.
Watercolour paintings are also featured on this blog by this member of the Federation of Canadian Artists.
Oh my gosh this textile necklace was fun to make and it feels light to wear. I was inspired on a recent vacation by another traveler's hand created bead necklaces which were gorgeously unique. And since I 've been wanting to use some of my extra hand dyed fabrics, I put the two ideas together and decided to try making my own necklace today. What else to do with a Sunday afternoon when I should could be weeding the garden!
Completed Textile Necklace
Looking through my stash of hand-dyed light fabric, I found this piece of low immersion dyed 'lawn' fabric. It was 56" long.
I pressed it and ironed over 1 3/4". The seam allowance was a 1/4" leaving 1 1/2" X 2 for a 3" casing which became the necklace. Notice I didn't cut it off the large piece of material before I sewed it in order to avoid distortion of the material as it is a loose weave and stretches easily.
Note: When I make another necklace, I will shorten my stitch length and match my thread so as to not show any stitching when a large bead is inserted into the casing.
The seam allowance was trimmed to a little over 1/8"
I turned the piece with a large safety pin.
I did not press it after turning.
Placing a bead in the end. It needed to be loose enough to move the bead down to the middle. The largest beads which I used in the middle three was a little over 1/2" in diameter.
Then I tied an overhand knot.
I added more beads and knots, alternating from side to side. These are the beads I recycled from an old necklace.
I think it looked quite pretty just tied with a bow and then of course you could adjust the length to what you were wearing it with but I decided for a more sophisticated look and added a clasp.
It was a little tricky to get the tube of fabric through the small metal circle on the clasp but it went. The fabric was pulled through to what length I decided was appropriate for me (about 20"). I double knotted the end and clipped off the excess fabric. You could add a few stitches to ensure it doesn't unknot.
For the toggle end of the clasp, I tied one knot then moved down an inch and tied two knots together. The reason for this was that two knots up by the toggle made it difficult to slip the toggle through the ring of the other part of the clasp.
As you can see I had about 7" to spare so I guess for this length of necklace about a 50" piece would do. I used 19 beads and they got a little smaller in size as they went away from the center.
The variation in colour of hand dyed fabrics creates an interesting gradation as you go along the necklace. I can't wait to dye up some specific fabric strips with some chosen colour schemes. What about red for the center with orange to gold leading out from each side. So much for just using up some of my current fabric scraps. Have any of you ever included textiles in your jewelry?