Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bellydance Necklace Tutorial Part 1: Construction


It is time to put together the beading techniques you have learned into a wearable piece. Making a necklace  is much more attainable than jumping into bra and belt decorating.

I have broken this tutorial into 3 parts for sanity's sake. Take note that each part of the tutorial has a different supplies list.


Bellydance Necklace Tutorial Part 1: Construction

You will need:
  • All purpose sewing thread
  • Sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • A Marker
  • Tape measure or ruler
  • 1yard (36 inch) grosgrain ribbon, 3/8inch wide*
  • Small amount of base fabric*
  • Small amount of felt or interfacing to cut medallion shape*
  • "Something round" between 1 and 3/4inch - 2inches diameter
* The finished neck measurement in this necklace is 16 1/2 inches. Adjust the amount of ribbon, fabric, and felt based your own desired finished length.


Start with 2 pieces of felt or interfacing laid on top of each other. Take "something round" (I used a candle holder,) and trace it's shape onto the felt with a marker. This will be the medallion of the necklace. Keep your "something round" between 1 and 3/4inch - 2inches in diameter. A toilet paper tube would also work.


Next cut your grosgrain ribbon into two 18 inch pieces. Fold each ribbon in half creating two 9 inch pieces. These will be the straps of the necklace, (each strap is 2 layers of ribbon thick.)

Cut out enough base fabric to cover the medallion and straps plus 1/2inch allowance around each piece. Pin the fabric to the medallion and straps.

Shallow cuts around the curve of base fabric

Once pinned in place, make shallow cuts around the base fabric of the medallion. Do not cut the slits all the way to the middle. This will help the fabric lay smooth around the curve of the circle as you stitch it down.

Back of medallion

Use the needle and sewing thread to Tack the fabric onto the felt. I make my stitches wide across the bottom with only a little thread showing on the top.

Front of medallion

Once the medallion is covered tie off and trim the thread. Do not worry if the stitches are even. They will be covered with beads and will not show.

You can machine sew the fabric on. I am showing you how to hand sew the fabric in case you do not have a sewing machine or you are intimidated by it. It is up to you.


Cover the two straps in the same way you covered the medallion but without snipping the edges.

Hand sewn medallion, strap, and machine sewn strap

Here is a picture of the covered medallion and straps. I machine sewed the bottom strap just to show you that it is possible. The down side to machine sewing is that it is difficult to keep the ribbon and fabric from shifting around while stitching it down. You can see in the photo the bottom strap does not lay flat like the hand-sewn one. However, it won't matter once everything is beaded. I did not even bother to change out my white bobbin thread.

Medallion with straps attached from the back

Pin the straps to the medallion and place around your neck to check the spacing. Don't poke yourself in the neck with pins! Once you like the way it looks tack the straps onto the medallion.

Medallion with straps attached from the front

The necklace is now ready for decorating. It may look a little lumpy now but it will come together once we decorate it.

Next: Bellydance Necklace Tutoral Part 2: Decorating

4 comments:

The Beading Gem said...

I stumbled upon this great sewing project. Okay to feature and link to it in a future blog post? I write a jewelry making blog. I'm sure many of my readers would come and visit! Pearl

Naima said...

@Pearl sure no problem, blog away! =)

Almost Precious said...

It's a gorgeous piece and I love the color. Came here by way of The Beading Gem's Journal and I'm now one of your new followers. I'm off to check out Parts II and III of your tutorial. :)

ריקודי בטן said...

very creative! I like it!