Monday, December 3, 2012

Stuff I Made: Peter Pan Necklace

I found a fabulous dress at Marshalls that I plan to wear to the company holiday party next weekend. If you remember this post from a few weeks ago, you know I was looking for something sparkly and great for dancing. I was originally looking for something with black sequins, but I ended up finding an adorable dress at a bargain price that was entirely silver sequins. They aren't the super-shiny sequins, so don't stress- I won't look like a disco ball.

The dress only cost $24.99, and it fit perfectly without needing any alterations. The only drawback is that I'm not in love with the neckline. It's just nothing special, you know? It's just a simple scoop neckline, but it's really high. Not quite Amish-high, but up there. I was telling the girls at work about it and we were brainstorming different ways to accessorize the dress that sort of de-emphasize the neckline. Suddenly, it hit me! The key is not to de-emphasize the neckline, but rather to emphasize it by changing it.

I realized that the key to making this dress perfectly adorable is to add a sparkly black Peter Pan collar necklace to it. I immediately starting searching all over the internet. Despite the current popularity of this style necklace, I was not able to find something that I love. Or, if I did find it, the price was way beyond what I want to spend. No worries! It's a simple style and with my basic sewing and crafting skills, I knew I could make a perfect one at a fraction of the price.

After work, I hopped on over to the craft supply store and spent just about $20 on a piece of rich, black suede, a little over a yard of black satin ribbon, and about 400 black rhinestones in various sizes. Originally, I'd planned to make the base of the necklace with a piece of black felt, but when I saw the black suede, I just had to upgrade. I wish I'd been able to find a nice double-faced black satin ribbon, but all that was available was a single- face. It's a minor detail that I'm willing to concede for now.

Once I got home, I got right to work. I cut out the pattern shape for the collar and did a trial run using the black felt:

I cut out the felt and laid it on my neck to make sure the proportion and shape worked on my neckline. Once I knew it was going to work, I used the felt as a guide to cut out the shape on the suede: 

The suede was an excellent choice- the weight helped the collar to lie really nicely against my neckline, and the color was far richer than the felt could ever hope to be.

The next step was sewing the ribbon to the ends of the collar. This is where I discovered a happy accident. I unintentionally made the end of the collar the exact same width as the ribbon, so I was able to sew the ribbon on without having to ruche it or manipulate it in any way! Accidental genius moves like that are the BEST!

The final (and most time-consuming) stage of creating the necklace was adding all the rhinestones. I like to think of myself as a professional be-dazzler. Back in my AMT days, I could bedazzle the cr*p out of any given costume in no time flat. I made good time on this project, but I've definitely slowed down a little without consistent practice.

I used the top of a shoe box to hold the necklace and all my supplies. It worked great, particularly in terms of keeping all those tiny little stones from falling all over the place. I did most of the bedazzling while on a Skype date with the Professor. He didn't seem to mind that I was preoccupied during our date. He's a good sport.

Gluing on the large and medium sized stones was easy, but it was the little ones that made it such a pain. I used a pin and a simple method: I dipped the tip of the pin into the glue, then used the glue to pick up a tiny rhinestone. Then, I carefully placed the stone onto the collar. I held the stone with one finger while slowly pulling the pin out from under the stone. Not easy, but worth the effort. The end result is great:

Is that awesome or what? I love EVERYTHING about this necklace! I of course wore it to work the very next day because I just HAD to show off my handiwork to all my coworkers. Let's just say, the necklace was a big hit! 

I made sure to wear my hair up that day so I could be sure to feature the lovely bow in the back. Let's all just say it together: A-dor-a-ble! 

On a side note: does anyone care to notice how fabulous my make-up looks in the picture? I tried some new techniques from my lesson with Joya Beauty and I LOVE the result! 

OK, back on topic: what do you think of my home-made Peter Pan collar necklace? 

Total cost: $20.04
Total time to make: about 2.5 hours

Feel free to pin any of these photos to Pinterest- I know all you crafters out there won't be able to help yourselves!

Note: Thanks to coworker Leslie for the great photos of me in my new fabulous necklace! Check back later in the week to see my full outfit! 

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