I’m working on a new silk necklace. The color is somewhere between fuschia and plum, and the fabric is silk charmeuse — a very shiny, soft silk.
First, I make strip of fabric wide enough for the beads to fit in when it’s sewn into a tube. The best way to create an even-width piece of fabric is to tear it because it will tear along the weave, whereas cutting on a perfectly straight line requires some measuring and careful cutting.
Next, of couse is pinning in place, so I can sew it.
One thing to note about silk is that the edges start to unravel right away. Maybe it’s the slippery fibers, but silk unravels more quickly and to a greater degree than any other fabric I’ve worked with.
Because of the unraveling, it’s good to do a little extra stitching. I use a zigzag stitch close to the edge before adding a straight stitch just inside the zigzag.
After stitching, I turn the fabric inside out and insert a piece of jewelry wire through the fabric leaving plenty extra at both ends.
Next, I finish off one end of the fabric, just tucking in the raw edges, and now it’s time to start adding the beads. I insert a wooden bead pushing it down to the closed end of the necklace along the jewelry wire. I insert a needle with thread through the fabric and through the bead. Then I wrap the thread around the silk several times before adding another bead so that the fabric conforms to the shape of the beads.
And that’s how it’s done!