Sunday, 16 December 2012

Choker tutorial

Gripped by a sudden desire to make jewellery, I did some research and did some thinking (a dangerous pastime, I know) and made my parents drive me all the way to Hobbycraft to buy some ribbon and lace.

I'm not a frequent DIYer but these chokers I made are so crude and simple and awesome, I love them. Originally I wanted to make an all-black one, but there wasn't any black lace, or cream lace - only white.

First I made a navy on white choker, with white satin ribbon ties. Next was a burgundy on beige one, with cream gauze ribbon ties, which I purchased to go with the tea-dyed lace. I didn't sew the gauze ribbon on securely enough so had to fold and resew them on in an ugly way, but I took more care with this next emerald and cream one.

  • 30cm velvet ribbon
  • 30cm galloon lace (with symmetrical edges, i.e. double-edged)
  • 2 x 30cm gauze ribbon
  • needle and thread
  • teabag
  • candle
If you're thin-necked, or want a gap between the velvet ribbon at the back of your neck, use slightly shorter lengths for the velvet ribbon and lace. For my red choker and blue choker in my previous post, I used 25cm.

Buying white lace instead of cream lace opens up more colour combinations, because you can leave the lace white, or dye it with tea.


If you can't find any cream-coloured lace, you can very easily dye some blinding white lace using a teabag. Pour some hot (but not boiling) water into a small bowl or yoghurt pot. (If it's a yoghurt pot, try not to melt it.) Pop in a teabag and give it a good squeeze. Leave in for a couple of minutes.

Submerge the length of lace into the tea, and leave for five minutes or longer, depending on how dark you want it. Once, when you fish it out, it's a shade you're satisfied with, leave it to dry on the windowsill.


Light the candle and run the ends of the lengths of gauze ribbons near the flame. Watch the ribbon melt and recede from the flame, to stop the ends fraying. If you're paranoid, have a jug of fire-extinguishing liquid (like, water) nearby, for peace of mind.


Here's what we've got so far.

Fold the end of the gauze ribbon over a few times, and stitch the folds to the underside of the end of the velvet ribbon. Because the gauze is thin and weak, folding it will hopefully secure it from being pulled out. Repeat with the second length of gauze ribbon, on the other end of the velvet ribbon. Now you have the ties.

Sewing on the ties

Front view
 To attach the lace to the velvet ribbon, make tiny stitches along both edges of the velvet ribbon. When sewing the first side, I found that I had to sew the velvet ribbon a little closer to the edge of the lace than I thought I should, in order to keep the velvet ribbon central. What's it called, straight stitch? Who knows.

Back view
In the photo above, look closely to see the stitches in dark brown. (I don't have any dark green thread.) Once you've sewn down both edges, you're done. That's it. Congratulations!?!

Katherine Glendenning from BBC's The Paradise
If you want more Victorian fashion goodness/British drama rubbish regarding The Paradise, stick around for my icon post on Glendenning.


  1. wow this is totally amazing! i used to be obsessed with choker once :D but then i thought it didn't look so great on me as it did on other people! you definitely made a really cute choker btw! i love it :)

    and yes, i love your blog.. so hi!!! newest follower :D
    love, annick from

    1. Thank you for stopping by! Sad thing about chokers is that you need a long-enough neck for it xD

  2. Cool DIY !
    The inspiration you had is my kinda of fashion..just love the style of that era :)
    Lovely blog as well.
    Let me know if you ever want to follow each other :D

    1. Thank you! I've had a long long love affair with Victorian fashion.

  3. Wow, this is so cool! Absolutely helpful:)

    thanks for the comment in my blog! I am following you now. :)

  4. Wow, this is so pretty! Such a good DIY!

  5. I like this post so much: amazing DIY!
    What about following each other? Cosa mi metto???
    Win a Daniel Wellington watch!!

  6. This is an amazing tutorial, you're really really good at explaining and the pictures go along really well! It's also a really adorable finished product. That choker is cool. Would you like to follow each other? :)

    1. Thanks! The daylight has been terrible so it was hard to get the pictures.

  7. That is a lovely necklace! It's my favourite style.

  8. Cute post!

    Congrats on being featured on Links à la Mode. Feel free to check out my DIY projects :-)

    Dille of Random Chic Musings


Thank you ♥

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