Thank you to Kathrin from Annekata for joining me here at whipup today, where she will be sharing a simple, doable fabric jewelry project from a salvaged t-shirt.

I’ve always been inspired to make things using my personal interpretation of slow design. My material of choice is usually rescued or salvaged and then transformed into interesting, functional items and accessories. I love hand-sewing, but also enjoy developing unusual designs. Born in Germany, I’ve lived in Cologne, Madrid, Barcelona, Buenos Aires and New York City (a real urban nomad). Currently, I enjoy a slower pace of life with my husband and daughter in upstate NY. For more tutorials and interesting ideas, visit my blog:

T-shirts are one of my favorite materials. In my closet, they’ve become skirts, scarves, hair bands and corsages. They’re comfortable, abundant in every wardrobe and can be found in any second hand shop. When working with a material, I usually try to use as much of the original as possible. When it comes to t-shirts, the one thing which is always left over is the neckline. Mmmh, could this small fabric scrap possibly be integrated into a project?

So I started to experiment. First by cutting out the neckline and pulling it over my head. It looked pretty….stupid. But the direction was right. The more I cut, the more the idea revealed itself. The result was a comfortable, and unique piece of fabric jewelry with the added benefit that it’s so easy to make that it can be “whipped up” by children and non-sewers alike.

– t-shirt
– scissors
– ruler (or not, if you have a good eye)
– safety pin
– thread
– glue (if you’re a non-sewer)
– trim, buttons, beads for decoration

1. Cut off the neckline and the piece which will become the necklace. It is usually surged and will not unravel. Then cut a long 1 inch wide strip “along the grain”. That means cut from the bottom hem into the direction of the shoulder, not across the shirt. Pull the strip and it will curl along the edge giving it a finished look.

2. With the help of a safety pin pull the string through the opening of the neckline. Voilà! It’s done. Now it’s time to decorate: The grey necklace features a piece of trim which was then sewn onto the neckline. The blue one has a simple ruffle sewn onto it. If you don’t feel like sewing at all, beads can be glued, which makes the necklace less flexible, but this way it is a hit among the younger girls:

There are many ways of decorating. Use embroidery thread, buttons, beads or flowers. Sew on trinkets and tasseled trim. Use velvet ribbon, make the necklace long or short, it’s your choice, but have fun exploring.


September/October brings change of season, and fresh starts and frivolity and seriousness too. So for a break from whipup realtime I am introducing a few weeks of guest bloggers to liven up your crafty experience. To bring you something fresh, and hopefully invigorate you to make and do and be and think! Its going to be a fun few weeks so come along for the ride.

Today I want to introduce you to Kathrin, her blog annekata has become a firm favourite, I love her original and stylish take on eco fashion and recycling. Her blog focuses on hand-sewing, slow design and features many tutorials ranging from making your own sandals, to fabric tape, to hand-stitched ornaments. I love that Kathrin showcases the process of making, showing some of the time involved and demonstrating that anybody, no matter their skill level, can create.

My passion is for all things handmade, particularly textiles and handsewing using principles of slow design. My work is process oriented and strongly influenced by folk art and the inventiveness of people with limited resources. I use recycled or sustainable sources whenever possible and design patterns for handsewn accessories, goods and wearables. I was born and raised in Germany but most of my adult life was spent living in Cologne, Madrid, Barcelona, Buenos Aires and New York City. I’m currently enjoying a slower pace of life with my husband and daughter in upstate NY. For more tutorials and interesting ideas, visit my blog:

Did you know that the word ‘jewelry’ comes from the Latin word “jocale”, meaning ‘plaything’ and that the first jewelry dates back approx. 100,000 years ago? Some things are timeless. Who doesn’t love jewelry? Think about how much earrings, necklaces and rings can make any outfit more special. Not to mention the sentimental value of a brooch inherited from a great aunt or a wedding ring.

Usually I don’t wear rings; any rings, but this changed when I started to make them from fabric and thread. They’re soft, easy to wear and very comfortable. They can also be created any way you like including with a “stone”. I started to experiment with different threads, floss and shapes. The variations are endless. Experiment. They make great friendship rings and gifts.

If you want to make your own “plaything”, here are 2 different versions:


  1. tape measure
  2. fabric scraps (I use linen for a clean look)
  3. scissors
  4. needle
  5. thread (sewing thread and embroidery floss, metallic, different colors or whatever tickles your fancy)

How To:

First, make the ring. This will need some experimentation depending on the fabric you’re using. Measure around the finger and add a little extra for seam allowance. Jot down the measurement for future reference. If you want a ring with a “wrapped stone”, add a little extra, because the wrapping will tighten the ring. Be generous with your measurements or you’ll have a nice new linen toe ring.

Cut out a strip the measured length and approx.1 1/4 inches wide. It depends on how wide you would like the ring to be.

Fold both long sides to the middle, and then fold over once again to encase the seams. Close the open part with a slip stitch.

The easiest way to finish the ring is to attach a “stone” made from embroidery thread, illustrated here:

Close the ring with a few stitches. Now hide the closing seam with a “wrapped stone”. Thread a needle with embroidery thread, make a knot, sew through the ring (to attach the embroidery floss) and then wrap the thread around the ring through the opening a few times and finish by wrapping horizontally the embroidered part. This looks great with metallic embroidery thread.

Here’s a second version: A jewel for your ring.

Cut a piece of fabric 1 1/4 inches by 2 1/4 inches. Fold both long sides to the middle and then both short sides to the middle. Fold over once again to encase all the raw seams into the square. This will be the ring’s “stone”. Thread a needle with some embroidery or metallic thread and sew around all the edges. illustrated here:

When you are finished with the “stone”, attach it to the ring. Overlap the ring slightly and cover the seam by sewing the stone to the ring with a few stitches. Make sure the ring fits before you permanently close it. If you want to embroider a name or message, do so before you close the ring and attach the stone.


Oooh oh oh, love these. And I reckon us in the Southern hemisphere could be making some to brighten up our winter! Link to tutorial.

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How lovely these are! Perfect gift idea. Link to tutorial.

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Sweet little ring. Link.