The Shitenge Project: Jewelry


As you may recall I am currently a) trying to figure out how to integrate a plethora of shitenges into my daily life and b) looking for ways to amuse myself between freelance projects, thus The Shitenge Project was born.

While I have yet to figure out how to use a sewing machine without a tutor I decided for my second project to try a hand-stitch jewelry design.  I used to create jewelry so I had beads at the ready.  I selected a large chunky bead that I didn’t mind covering with fabric, a funky wooden bead, ribbon, and jewelry wire for the necklace.

I started by cutting two strips of material approximately twice the width of the large chunky beads (if I was really meticulous I would have measured the width of the chunky bead and then doubled it but instead I eyeballed it).  I didn’t measure the length but instead fit the necklace and bracelet to my wrist and neck.

Next, I sewed the sides of the fabric together to make a tube.  If I were an actual seamstress, I might own something called a loop turner, but instead I used “found” objects (aka a mechanical pencil/cuticle stick/small tree branch) to laboriously flip the material inside out.  Once I flipped the fabric tube, I ran a piece of ribbon through the tube (for the necklace) and inserted my chunky beads.  After placing a chunky bead inside I slipped a funky wooden bead on the outside of the tube until I hit my desired length.  Rather than sewing the ends closed, I took a bit of flexible jewelry wire and wrapped it around the ends to hold the beads in place.  I then cut and tied the ribbon to my desired length and voila, my necklace was complete.  I used the same method for the bracelet but instead of using flexible jewelry wire and ribbon I simply fit the bracelet to my wrist, tied the ends together, and cut off the excess material.

Ta-da! The finished product: A funky fabric bracelet and necklace.  This was really simple and would be a great project for an old necklace that needs to be revitalized for yourself or a child.  The best part is that if it gets dirty or you get bored of the design you can slip off the material and make a new necklace/bracelet in minutes.

Please leave any ideas for future shitenge projects in the comments section but please remember I’m a novice seamstress!


2 responses »

    • Thanks! I consider myself too baller for placemats and usually just walk around with a bowl in my hand or let the cats lick up the crumbs. So those would probably get stuck in the “aren’t those pretty and I wish I was more classy” pile. However, cloth napkins are a possibility even though they only get used 3 times a year at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.

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