Friday, April 6, 2012

Proud as a Peacock Embroidered Necklace Tutorial

***First, I've gotten many emails and comments recently wondering if I have fallen off the face of the earth. Rest assured, I have not. Ever have one of those months where everything is just sort of TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY OVERWHELMING? Yeah, that is sort of how March felt. And how April is feeling so far. Sometimes, having a family and a job and a blog and a dissertation to write is just too much, and the blog is the first thing that gets ignored. Thanks for your patience when I disappear for awhile!***

In case you missed it last month on Sewing in No Mans Land...

Now that the weather is starting to warm up, I can put away all my cowl neck sweaters and start pulling out my fun necklaces. I love the idea of making my own jewelry, but beading isn't really my thing. I'd seen these pendants on etsy, and thought putting an embroidered design inside could be awesome - like wearable art! 

Here's what I came up with - the Proud As A Peacock Embroidered Necklace! I've worn it out of the house exactly ONE time and immediately got compliments on it. Isn't that pretty much the most fun thing in the world - getting a compliment about something you're wearing and getting to say you made it?!?! I LOOOOVE that. 


It's super simple to make, and because it's small, it is a great project to keep in your purse to work on when you have a few minutes here and there.

Small embroidery hoop
Fabric - just enough to fit in your hoop
Embroidery floss in 4 colors
Hand-sewing needle
Pendant - I ordered mine from this etsy seller, and was pleased with the quality and service. I purchased the second largest oval pendant.   

First things first - trace the embroidery pattern lightly onto your fabric. You can use my peacock feather design, of create your own! You can use an water-soluble ink pen to trace the pattern, but I just do it lightly in pencil. Then, place your fabric in the embroidery hoop. 

This pendant uses two types of embroidery stitches - a satin stitch and a back stitch. The back stitch is incredibly easy. Satin stitches take a tiny bit of practice to get the tension right, but are basically just back stitches worked next to one another rather than in a line. Trust me, you can master these stitches. 

I started in the middle of the design with a navy blue embroidery floss. Embroidery floss comes as six strands that are loosely wound together. I separated my strands so that I was working with three strands at a time.

I used the satin stitch on the four inner sections of my design. The "eye" of the peacock feather is a dark blue. I started my satin stitch in the middle of the eye and worked outwards towards the edge.

Then I stitched the next section around the eye in a bright turquoise. These smaller sections of satin stitch are the easiest.

 Next was the large gold section. You can see here where I started the satin stitch for this section - right in the middle. I wanted to make sure those large stitches would be straight, so I started there and worked outward. 

For the last section of satin stitch, I started at the bottom, since it was the largest section.. 

And finally, I used the back stitch to cover all those little feather lines. I wanted these lines to appear daintier,  so I only used two strands of floss for these stitches.

 And that's it for the embroidery! It looks like it takes a long time, but really those satin stitches fill in quite quickly - you'll be surprised how fast it comes together!

Putting your hand-stitched art into the pendant takes nearly no time at all! The pendant comes as three separate pieces - the front frame, and inner piece to wrap your fabric around, and a backing piece. Simply wrap your fabric around the center piece, and use a little tape to hold it in place.
Then, just place it inside the frame and fold the prongs down on the back.


Place your brand new pendant on a chain, and you're done!


Any other ideas for cute embroideries to put in pendants? I'm thinking of making a few more. The possibilities are endless!

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