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!