THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

September 6, 2009


Filed under: Accessories,Designer Inspirations,Embellishment,Georgene — georgene @ 9:55 pm

Ribbon, crystal, and tulle, oh my!

 design elements

Leaping in

 This weekend I put together my own piece of sewn jewelry, since I had the good fortune to find ropes of pearl beads at Addison Endpapers quirky warehouse sale last week. I went thru the trim boxes in the new studio and found some elements to make a tulle covered necklace with a ribbon bow closure, a la Lanvin. The pink/ peach/ nude story jumped out easily. I’ll do a black lace version later on.

trim boxesboxes

 Is it over before it’s begun?

 My fashionista friend who avidly follows anything to do with handbags, shoes, and jewelry claims this trendlet is over because “it’s at Forever 21”. Well, everything ends up at Forever 21 the next day! So what? That never stopped Dolce and Gabbana from doing, say, leopard print. Some things become instant classics, and I think that the ‘statement’ necklace is here to stay for awhile.


(This image thanks to Good Bones Great Pieces)

 The ladies over at Good Bones Great Pieces have also picked up on this trend. Love this great photo montage that shows how the influence has percolated thru the market.

 Not so fast

 Meanwhile,’s Spring 2010 Trend Forecast includes this tidbit about designer/wunderkind Jason Wu:

Wu will be unveiling his line of jewelry for Atelier Swarovski. Expect the baubles as well as the clothes to be sculptural, as their starting point was the work of artist Tara Donovan. “I like her concept of sculpting with everyday objects,” Wu said, “so I’m using fabric and crystals and making sculptures in that spirit.”

 Jason Wu sketch

The sketch that is shown along with the note gives an impression of an explosion of color droplets.

Since Tara Donovan’s sculpture was noted in some of the design services’ forecasts for Spring 2010 that I saw 6 months ago, it will be interesting to see what Jason Wu has done with her influence.

 As seen in Vogue

 September Vogue had this great photo that caught my eye.


There’s a lot going on in this photo. Since there are 2 necklaces in the credits, not sure where one starts and the other leaves off.  No matter, it is a great look for this fall.

200903_marni2The blurb gives credit to Marni for the jewel encrusted plastron, so I went hunting to see if I could find a reference to the specific piece without all the foufou fanfreluche of the Vogue photo obscuring the necklace. I don’t think  this is it.


The whole category of ‘felt plastron’ or ‘bib necklace’ is worth considering for more fun with sewn jewelry.



 MARNI_FW09_jpg  from Marni Fall 2009 collection

 More Statement Necklaces

 Lanvin glass pearl heart 1Love the scale of the latest Lanvin necklace to sell out on Net-a-Porter! Somewhere I have a rhinestone bow pin, I must make my own version of this.

marni_necklaceAlso love the fabric flowers on this Marni necklace – hard to see what is actually going on in this photo reference, but it looks soft knotted cord to form flowers. Could this be some form of Chinese Knotting?

Here’s my finished piece:

 finished necklace

First I tied off the string of pearls with a slip knot, leaving plenty of room on the string to move the beads along.

tie off end

Then I took my 1 1/2″ strip of tulle and passementerie trim and started to wrap the beads. After wrapping the entire length I went back and hand sewed around each bead, securing the tulle around the bead and the trim around that.

wrapping the beads

Once that was done, I lashed the beaded trim to the bottom edge of the tulle

lashing on the trim

I have added some vintage Swarovski teardrops and a pink organza flower…not sure about those elements. I may add more teardrops, and put the flower on a pinback so it can be taken on and off according to need.

The ribbons are stitched to the end and then wrapped with a circlet of the same ribbon to hide the stitching.

It took all day, but now that I know more about how it works, I can see that it could go faster. Worth the $1250+ for the Lanvin version? What do you have in your stash that could be used for something fun?


  1. Georgene, the passementerie was my favorite part about Kenneth King’s new book. Thank you for sharing how it can be done with jewelry. I’ve been inspired!

    Comment by Sherril Miller — September 6, 2009 @ 11:59 pm

  2. I love your neckline – everything about! It looks great!

    Comment by senaSews — September 7, 2009 @ 12:14 am

  3. Oh wow… that turned out beautiful. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Comment by KayB — September 7, 2009 @ 12:59 am

  4. Your neckline looks beautiful, thanks for sharing the instructions.

    Comment by Els — September 7, 2009 @ 4:11 am

  5. Oh, so pretty! What do I have in my studio to recreate this look? Not near enough! But thanks for the inspiration to organize what I have and think hard about what I need to aquire. Beautiful!

    Comment by ConnieB — September 7, 2009 @ 7:36 am

  6. Outstanding post and your recreation/creation is lovely!

    Comment by JoanneM — September 7, 2009 @ 8:15 am

  7. Good heavens!!! Your opening picture had me at hello. And then your necklace. TO DIE FOR. I like it about 10 xs better than all the other ones. Thank you for sharing your eye candy with us.

    Comment by Natalie — September 7, 2009 @ 8:47 am

  8. Visually wonderful post! I love these “neck bibs” and yours is fabulous. What’s in the SR to make one of these with? Gobs of goodies and I am really tempted. I am thinking Christmas gifts for DDs. Up here in the Adirondacks I would need something to go with plaid flannel. Hmmm…….

    Comment by Bunny — September 7, 2009 @ 9:04 am

  9. I was just thinking of a making some eyeglass holders for my reading glasses! Now I’ll add some pearls and embellishments to something that’s usually boring.

    Comment by Suzanna — September 7, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

  10. Your neckline is beautiful! I could picture it with an evening gown. Thanks so much for the how-to-do and the inspiration.

    Comment by Mpressive Threadz — September 7, 2009 @ 1:42 pm

  11. Splendid work.

    Comment by Judith in Umbria — September 7, 2009 @ 1:44 pm

  12. Absolutely love your necklace. I recently found a couple of pins on sale that I just could not pass up–now I know what to do with them. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Comment by BettyB — September 7, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

  13. Glad I came back to this site some new very interesting items which I wanted to know more about. Great work on your site.

    Comment by wedding bands — September 8, 2009 @ 7:21 am

  14. gorgeous.

    Comment by jessica — September 8, 2009 @ 10:56 pm

  15. Real sewing diva’s don’t just follow trends, we set them. That piece will be just as lovely years from now if you wear it with the right outfit. Beauty is never out of style, and that necklace is beautiful. If you love it, wear it.

    Comment by MZ ANNE — September 10, 2009 @ 12:43 am

  16. Oh wow! that is a beautiful piece!

    Linda T

    Comment by vernonfashionstudio — September 12, 2009 @ 2:08 am

  17. Georgene………stunningly beautiful!

    Comment by Pam ~Off The Cuff~ — September 12, 2009 @ 12:40 pm

  18. These are really beautiful. I love how they look like the jewels of Marie Antoinette. At about that time jewelry was routinely placed on ribbons. another example of the fashion circle.

    Comment by Lacey — September 12, 2009 @ 7:27 pm

  19. I’ve recently got into jewelry making… mostly because I can’t see paying so much for costume jewelry! BUT I still love it… Thanks so much for this post!!!

    Comment by Angelia — September 16, 2009 @ 5:56 pm

  20. Beautiful. Inspirational. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by SewCalGal — September 18, 2009 @ 12:02 am

  21. It’s lovely, Georgene! These necklaces incorporate a range of styles–it’s great to see all them, as well as your interpretation. Thank you!

    Rose in SV

    Comment by Rose in SV — September 23, 2009 @ 2:11 pm

  22. I love it! Thank you for sharing.

    Comment by Eleanor — September 24, 2009 @ 11:29 am

  23. I love your necklace. It is lovely.

    Comment by Debra — October 4, 2009 @ 6:17 am

  24. Que arte!!
    Os colares são lindos, sou artesã e também faço colares, amei a idéia!

    Arraial d’Ajuda – Porto seguro/Ba – Brasil

    Comment by Cristina Paiva — December 6, 2009 @ 10:25 am

  25. Waouuuuu really impressive. I love it, it is so delicate, feminine and still fashionable… I am tring to get some ribbon and passementerie today so that I can try to make one (but obviously I am not as talented as you are!!)

    Comment by Little Parisienne — June 5, 2010 @ 6:08 am


    Comment by SILMARA — October 26, 2010 @ 8:16 am

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