Monday, June 27, 2011

Bellydance Necklace Tutorial Part 3: Lining and Finishing

Now for the final most important steps, lining and finishing. Don't skimp on this project and decide not to line the necklace to save time. A lining will protect all of the hard work you put into beading as well as soak up sweat while you dance. The lining is lightly stitched into place and easy to remove and replace once it becomes dirty or you need to repair any damage to the decoration.

Bellydance Necklace Tutorial Part 3: Lining and Finishing

You will need:
  • Sewing needle
  • All purpose sewing thread
  • Scissors
  • "Something Round" used in part 1
  • Small amount of base fabric or felt (reference part 1)
  • Marker 
  • 1 sew-on snap
  • Pins (optional)
  • Iron (optional)

Using the "something round" from part 1 of this tutorial, cut out enough fabric to cover the back of the medallion plus 1/4-1/2 inch allowance. This is the lining. Do the same for both straps. If necessary, use an iron to press the seam allowances so they are easier to fold under during sewing, (see photo.)

Do not include a seam allowance if you are using felt. Felt will not fray and does not need to be folded under. Cut the felt slightly smaller than the medallion and straps so that it will cover the back but not hang over the edges, (not pictured.)

Lightly tack lining to the straps by folding the edges under and stitching along the folded edge of the lining and into the back edge of the strap. Use pins to hold the lining in place if needed. Only stitch through a small amount of fabric. Do not stitch into the bead work, (see photos.)

Once both straps are covered, cover the medallion in the same way. Make shallow cuts around the curve of the lining fabric. This will help the fabric lay flat as you fold it under. Be careful not to cut these too deep. I was too zealous with my cuts and had to start over with a new piece of fabric.

Sew a snap closure on the ends of the straps according to the instructions on the package.

Congratulations, you are done! Pat yourself on the back.

Here are some things to consider when making your own beaded necklace:

Design - My primary dance style is cabaret so my necklace is gold and flashy. However, these techniques will work if you are a Tribal, Fusion, or other style dancer. Change the color scheme to darker fabrics and beads that more appropriately fit your look. Instead of glass beads use wood, metal, or shell. Add charms or a piece of kuchi to the medallion instead of an overly feminine flower. Add bells or coins to the fringe tassels. You get the idea.

Time - This project took me around 7 hours over the course of 3 days to complete from start to finish, (not counting shopping for supplies.) Granted, I did stop and start often to take photos but I have also made this style necklace before and already knew what I was doing. Keep this in mind before diving into a major costuming project. Do you really have the time and patience for such a commitment? Would it be worth the money to buy pre-made costumes instead of spending so much time creating them? Just a thought.

Supplies - I did not specify the amount of sequins and beads to buy because they are sold by weight not quantity. I did a final count of the bead work for curiosity's sake and here are my numbers. Now you can appreciate how much work goes into beading costumes.

66 Sandwiches
126 1/2 Ropes
12 Rope Arches
4 Tassels
34 Fish Scales
3 extra seed beads in the flower

For  a grand total of 19 seed beads, 166 sequins, and 1373 rocaille beads.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and are able to apply some of these techniques to your own costuming projects. This necklace will be raffled off as part of YIP Podcast's upcoming Propapalooza workshop. If you haven't already, go check them out. They're a hoot! I made sure to put my cooties on the necklace first...I mean model it. =P



    RetroKali said...

    Circle circle dot dot, I just got my cootie shot.
    Love the series,thanks.

    Najla said...

    Great job! As a side note, I really want to know where you got the t-shirt you're wearing in the last photo. I think I seriously need that one ;-)

    Nyla Crystal said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Nyla Crystal said...

    Great tutorial! I will have to make some now to match my costumes. I get so tired of going through cheap costume jewelery like water. These necklaces look much sturdier.