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Sweet soutache neck straps

Soutache beaded chains can finish your piece in style
Soutache neck straps

Looking for a fresh way to finish your necklace, bracelet or earrings? Use soutache braid, fire-polished beads, pearls and other assorted beads to create the perfect flair.

In the instructions below, we outline how to start the project by creating the soutache chain. To learn how to make the three-bead cluster, finish the neck straps, attach the pendant and add the clasp, you can download this free project PDF

Materials
Neck straps 8 in. (20 cm) each
    •    24 in. (61 cm) 1/8-in. (3 mm) domestic soutache braid in each of 3 colors: gold, rainbow metallic, orchid
    •    2 6 mm fire-polished round beads (Czech, lime)
    •    2 5 mm freshwater pearls (lilac)
    •    2 4 mm fire-polished round beads (Czech, dark turquoise AB)
    •    4 60 seed beads in each of 3 colors: A (red), B (blueberry), C (lime)
    •    1 g 11/0 seed beads (lilac-lined crystal clear)
    •    assorted beads of your choice for pendant attachment
    •    clasp
    •    9 in. (23 cm) chain, or 12-16 1-in. (2.5 cm) eye pins with assorted beads of your choice
    •    2 6 mm soldered jump rings
    •    nylon beading thread, size B (color to coordinate with soutache braids)
    •    beading needles, #10
    •    small craft scissors
    •    toothpicks (optional)
    •    washable fabric glue, such as api brand Crafter’s Pick
    •    2 x 2-in. (5 x 5 cm) piece of Ultrasuede (jazz blue)
    •    chainnose pliers and roundnose pliers (optional)
    •    wire cutters

Instructions:

Soutache neck straps Photo a
Photo a
Soutache neck straps Photo b
Photo b

[1] Cut a 24-in. (60 cm) piece of soutache braid in each of the three colors.

[2] Thread the gold braid through both 6 mm jump rings (Photo A).

[3] Thread the rainbow metallic braid through the jump rings so it is resting on top of the gold braid, making sure the center V is pointing in the same direction as the gold braid (Photo B).

[4] Fold the two braids back on themselves, and push the jump rings into the fold. This will make enough room to thread the orchid braid through the jump rings. Once again, make sure the center V is pointing in the same direction as the other two braids.

Soutache neck straps Photo c
Photo c
Soutache neck straps Photo d
Photo d

[5] Keeping the braids aligned, fold the stack in half. Separate the jump rings so they are on either side of the fold (Photo C), and cut the stack in half at the fold so you have two 12-in. (30 cm) stacks, each with a jump ring. Set one stack aside.

[6] With the working stack, center the jump ring on the stack, and fold the stack in half over the jump ring. Make sure the orchid braid is on the outside.

[7] Tie a double knot (see Soutache Basics) at one end of 1 yd. (.9 m) of thread. Trim the tail close to the knot.

[8] Sew through the left stack from inside to outside approximately 1/8 in. (3 mm) from the center fold (Photo D). Sew back through the left stack close to the last stitch, and continue through the right stack. Sew back through the right stack close to the last stitch, and continue through the left stack. Retrace the thread path through both stacks twice.

Soutache neck straps Photo e
Photo e
Soutache neck straps Photo f
Photo f
[9] Sew through the right stack from outside to inside close to the last stitch.

[10] Pick up a color A 6/0 seed bead, sew through the left stack from inside to outside, and then sew back through the left stack, the A, and the right stack (Photo E).

[11] To make a double-sided join:
    •    Join the two stacks below the bead (see Soutache Basics) (Photos F and G) to complete the first half of the double-sided join.
    •    Working from left to right, sew down through the join on the other side of the A, and then working from right to left, sew up through the join to the left of the A (Photo H). Retrace the thread path. This completes the double-sided join.

Soutache neck straps Photo g
Photo g
Soutache neck straps Photo h
Photo h

[12] Work as in steps 9-11 to add a color B 6/0 seed bead, a color C 6/0 seed bead, an A, a B, a C, and a 5 mm freshwater pearl to make a seven-bead soutache chain. Retrace the last double-sided join to secure in preparation for the three-bead cluster.

For the remainder of the instructions – including how to make a three-bead cluster, complete the backing, add the beaded edge and attach the pendant – download the free project PDF.

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