Jewellery Challenge

Jewellery Challenge

It was great to see that “Jewellery” was the subject for the 2020 first quarter challenge. I love making felted jewellery, whether that’s pendants, bangles or brooches.

This choker style necklace is wet felted Superfine Merino.  It came about because I’d got some small offcuts of a very thin felt left over from a collar.  Rather than throw them out (perish the thought!) I had the idea of sewing each one down the long edge, to form tubes, and then use them as “beads”, threading them onto a felted cord.  To keep everything in place and avoid them slipping on the cord I attached small beads, sewing right through front to back.

The only problem is that when I try to wear it the cord slips around and ends up with the fastener at the front…..obviously the heaviest part finding its way to the lowest position!  Fortunately the cord is long enough for me to correct this so I’m going to have to cut the fastener off, slide another “bead” on and join the cord under it.

Another drawback with wet felted Necklace cords (or at least with mine!) is that, no matter how hard I full them, they do tend to go fluffy quite quickly.  To get around this I’ve started wrapping my cords with a machine zigzag stitch.  I’m finding that this makes them much more durable and also the stitching gives another dimension to the pendant/necklace.

This challenge also came at the same time as I was working on some ideas for quick and easy mixed media jewellery.  These next three pieces are a great way of using up small scraps of paper and fabrics plus any embellishments you might have lurking in the back of a drawer!

The rectangular pendant was made from heat distressed Tyvek which I’d first painted with metallic acrylics.  I’ve embellished it with pink, purple and mustard colonial knots and a few bronze seed beads and strung it onto a rubber cord.

The next pendant was made from tiny scraps of polyester velour fabric, backed with Bondaweb and ironed onto a painted, pelmet vilene background.  I’ve added beads, metal washers and a couple of “danglies” from a broken necklace.  The cords are two lengths of knitting wool which have been machine wrapped using the zigzag stitch.

This larger pendant is my favourite.  I’ve kept it very simple using a dark grey cotton velvet furnishing fabric on a pelmet vilene background. I’ve sewn on brown craft paper, scrunched and painted with black acrylic to give it a leathery look, and added a metal trim, wooden bead and two smaller metal beads.  The back is also covered in the leathery craft paper.  Again the cords are simply wrapped knitting yarn but these are much longer than they look in the photo so the pendant hangs below the bust line.

Although we are living in strange times with social distancing and having to isolate, as long as we can maintain our motivation and continue to feed our creativity we will be doing ok!  Stay safe and have fun!

12 thoughts on “Jewellery Challenge

  1. We hope you solve your issue with the first necklace (superfine merino and beads) because it’s beautiful! What a great way to use up your off-cuts.

    Wrapping the cords with machine zigzag is a good way of making them durable, and it adds interest!

    The mixed media pendants are gorgeous – especially the one made from tiny scraps of polyester velour fabric.

    1. Glad you like them! After turning my room upside down this morning I’ve found the last piece of the felt I used for the beads. Fortunately there’s enough to decorate the whole length of the cord so it won’t matter if it moves as there won’t be a top and bottom to it!

  2. These are all wonderful pieces Karen! I’m glad you found the extra felt to fix the first necklace because it is my favorite. I always get irritated if a necklace turns around on my neck like that. Glad you have a solution.

    1. Thanks Ruth, I also noticed I hadn’t beaded on the sections…..funny what you can spot on a photo that you don’t see in real life!

  3. What lovely pieces. You have a lot of patience to sew up the tubes. Your solution sounds like a good one. It looks short, will it fit over your head when done? I speak form experience. LOL

    1. Ha, ha……yes, I came up with this solution after realising that the troublesome faster was really redundant as it will go over my head without undoing it!

  4. Karen your collection of necklaces is both very creative & varied. I don’t know which is my favourite.

    The zigzag stitched yarn is a great way to create a cord. In the past I’ve twisted the yarn to ‘ply’ it before stitching, this stopped it stretching for me. Have you just used one strand or several in each cord?

    Had your first necklace not fitted over your head, I had a thought….make your next tube & slide it onto your cord, leaving it loose then use it to ‘cover’ your fastening. If your cord slips the fastening would not be seen.

    1. The cords on the mixed media pendants are wrapped single strands Antje. I like your suggestion of sliding the bead to cover the fastening, that might be a nice feature for another necklace.

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