DIY Shirt Collar Necklace

I have this red shirt that I adore. I bought it years and years ago, and I have just about worn it out. It’s really not all that presentable anymore, which I regretfully admitted to myself last time I cleaned out my drawers, but I wasn’t yet willing to let it go.

My favorite thing about this shirt is its beautiful collar, with row after row of stiches on satin. Since I got my sewing machine, I rarely throw anything out anymore, but instead I try to think of a new life for things that are worn out. And, Eureka, it came to me: this shirt’s beautiful collar must live on. In necklace form!

The inspiration for this necklace also came in part from the cardboard inserts that came with our new coffee pot. They were perfectly shaped!

I started by cutting and trimming them a bit to make the form for the necklace. It’s not pretty, but it will be covered up.

Then I used the form as a template to trim the shirt collar.

I cut the collar and trimmed the cardboard to match the contour of the fabric.

I cut a another piece of fabric from the shirt to use as a backing, and then I was ready to sew! I placed the backing and collar facing each other and pinned them together. Then I sewed them together, leaving a small opening in which I could insert the cardboard.

The sewing only takes a few minutes, and then you’re ready to turn it right side out and insert the cardboard.

Once you have the cardboard in, you’re left with a small opening. I just put in a quick stitch by hand to close it.

This is what it looks like when it’s finished: a pretty red satin crescent moon. And voila, the necklace is halfway done!

Now all that’s left to do is add the bead strands. I chose to do a braid of three strands of seed beads, but, of course, whatever you like best is the right call. The technique is pretty simple. Bring the threads up through the back of the collar piece, add the beads, braid the strands, and take them through the front of the other side of the collar piece.

It is a little bit tricky keeping all three strands in place before braiding them, but I found that I could keep the beads on by putting a rubber band around the needle. I am sure there are lots of other things around the house that would serve the same purpose. Here is my small braid of strands.

I love how this necklace turned out, and I can’t wait to wear it! I also have a lot of that perfectly shaped cardboard left over, so I am thinking about finding new lives for some old silk tops as well. Fun!

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