Circles of Silk Neckpiece

Circles of Silk Neckpiece

Not really a necklace, not really a scarf, the Circles of Silk Neckpiece is a wearable accent that dresses up a casual t-shirt with silk yo-yos and beads. A Creative Clothing class assignment titled “Stick Your Neck Out” inspired this piece.

I wanted to make something colorful – with such a riot of color it would match nothing and go with anything! I have a basketful of luscious yo-yos that I made from vintage kimono scraps. (One of those “keep my hands busy while watching Law & Order reruns” activities.) Rather than whip stitching the yo-yos together directly (the traditional method), I attached a size 6 seed bead between each intersection. The bead spacing provides a little bit of extra negative space, and the single color of bead used throughout unifies the collection of color and pattern. I attached the front yo-yos to form a V neck. I prefer that neckline, and the front stitches keep the neckpiece in place when I wear it. It easily slips on and off over my head. It creates a bold (for me, anyway) visual statement with virtually no physical weight.

The detail shot shows the beads that connect the silk yo-yos. I used a neutral color nylon beading thread for this step, but any strong thread will work. Because you will want to keep these joining points strong, make sure you make several thread passes to attach each bead securely. I buried the thread ends inside the folds. If you need a yo-yo-making lesson, skip to the end of this post!

I used the small Clover Yo-Yo Maker (the green one that makes 1 1/4-inch finished circles). It is so much faster and easier than tracing and cutting a gazillion circles! You just snap it onto your fabric and trim around it. The cutting doesn’t have to be perfect – the edges will be hidden. There are holes in the template to guide your stitching so you get perfectly spaced, even stitches. Pop off the tool, gather the edges to the center and tie off. Use strong thread, doubled, so it doesn’t break when you pull the gathers.

If you want to make tool-free yo-yos, Positively Splendid has a great tutorial with fun embellishment ideas. This is the method I used on my first yo-yo project, before I knew there was such a thing as a yo-yo maker! You’ll get wonderful results making yo-yos this way – just not as fast.

Browse through all of our DIY accessories on Create Whimsy.

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