Monday, March 14, 2011

How To: Ruffled T-Shirt Necklace

With the sun shining and time being on my side, I am happy to be posting my St. Patrick's Day craft for you! After perusing the aisles of the nearby drug store and discount store for inspiration, I decided to make something with the materials I already own: ribbon, embroidery thread and needle, scissors, and an old green shirt. The finished product is a ruffled green t-shirt necklace that will keep you from being pinched this Thursday :)

Here's how to make your own:
First, lay out the green shirt that you are going to use. Cut off the bottom hem of the shirt and discard (or save for a different craft). Cut 5-7 strips parallel to the bottom hem about 3/4" thick. These strips will actually be circles (rings) of fabric. Cut off one of the side hems on each ring to form true strips of fabric.

Thread your embroidery needle either with a color matching the shirt or the color of your ribbon. Sew lengthwise through the first strip of fabric leaving several inches of thread on either side. The closer you make your stitches, the smaller the ruffle will be. Pull the thread tight after the first strip has been stitched. Repeat this process with the rest of the strips of t-shirt. For my necklace I stitched the first and last strips close together to make the ruffle smaller than the middle of my necklace. You can experiment with the different sizes to find the combination you like the most. Once all of the strips are ruffled onto your thread, you can arrange the strips to your desired spacing. Think of the ruffles as accordions: you are able to expand and compress each strip. Throughout this process, you may want to hold the unfinished necklace up to you in order to determine how many strips of fabric you wish to use. If you decide that you need more, simply cut more strips from your tee. After arranging your ruffles the way you want them, snip the thread leaving several inches on either side of the fabric.

For the ribbon part of the necklace, you can either cut two pieces of ribbon that will be tied in a bow at the back of your neck, or if you are making a longer necklace you can choose to use only one longer piece of ribbon. (For the second option, you have to make sure your necklace is long enough to fit over your head.) To add the ribbon, thread one end of your necklace (this is why we saved several inches of thread on either side of the ruffles), sew the ribbon at the end of the ruffle. You probably will want to use a loop stitch for this. Once you feel that the ribbon is securely fastened, knot the embroidery thread and snip close to the knot. If you are creating the necklace with two pieces of ribbon, simply repeat this step on the other side. That's it!
It may sound like a lot, but it is very manageable. Also, if you don't have a green shirt laying around, you can use anything made of green fabric. All you have to do is cut it into strips and the steps are the same! If you need any clarification just write me a comment. I would be more than happy to help :)

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