Saturday, May 11, 2013

Kanzashi Necklaces


Sorry for the delay, as usual, but there are so many new things to report! Helen has a new recording, a new publicist, a new iPad mini, a new Alexander Technique teacher, and a new kanzashi design......necklaces!

Here's what happened: Helen's friend Rebecca came over one day and said, "Make me a necklace, here's how you can do it". Rebecca is an art teacher, so she always has lots of Ideas. Well, not all of them work, as it turns out, but Helen liked the concept, and decided to try it.

Helen never cared much for fabic flower necklaces, because combining fabric with metal chains never seemed Quite Right to her. Rebecca's idea was for a long ribbon necklace with just one small flower. After doing some Experimenting, Helen arrived at her pendant design, and here's how to do it.

OK, make your flower.....probably something small with 4-7 petals. Now, cut a small piece of thin satin ribbon.....1 inch is probably sufficient. Fold the ribbon in half.....this is going to be your loop. Hand sew the ribbon to a small piece of fabric that won't fray....some knit or spandex sort of thing. Just tack it a few times. It will look roughly like this:

That's the underside. Glue this side to the flower. Here's the exposed side:

All right, it's hard to tell from the photo, but it looks relatively mainly see the fabric, a few stitches, and a small ribbon loop. Now, glue it to the back of the flower, and slip a long ribbon through the loop, like this:

OK, so you've glued it. What about the back of the flower? You have to have something to protect it and hide the unmentionables, like glue and/or stitches. After trying a few things, Helen has decided on using the same fabric as the flower. Cut a small circle, treat the raw edge with fray prevention liquid or heat, and glue it to the flower back. All right, now for the fun part. Here are some completed necklaces. This one is silver fabric with a coin pearl....
That one's at the Morning Glory Gallery . Here are some that will be in Helen's Etsy shop soon...these are all silk of various sorts. This one's more about the leaves than the flower....
Dupioni silk with a coin pearl....
Another dupioni silk with a blue jade bead....
More to come.
Just a tip...pendants get bumped around more than brooches or hair accessories, so Helen is trying to stick mainly with silk for these flowers. We're impressed by the staying power of habutai, and the resilience of chirimen (neither of which are pictured here, lol). We all may stray to synthetics every now and again, but we can see the reason kanzashi were and are made from kimono's absolutely the right fabric.


  1. Very pretty...I like:-)


    1. Thanks, Joana! This pendant business works better than the other way I showed you, where I glued the flower to sheet aluminum. Also a little quicker, maybe.