Frayed Rosette Bib Necklace Tutorial

by admin on December 22, 2009

Carla from The Scientific Seamstress/CarlaC Dolly Designs and Sis Boom is our guest contributor today! She is going to show you how to make a frayed rosette bib necklace which is all the rage right now! So take it away Carla!


Bib necklaces are showing up everywhere this year! You can find them at high-end retailers like Antrhopologie, but the most amazing specimens I’ve seen are handmade and on Etsy. Just search “bib necklace” and you will be treated to big, delightful statement necklaces made from all sorts of cool materials. My very favorites incorporate soft, rolled fabric roses and lots of sparkly embellishments.

A few months back, Jennifer Paganelli asked me if I could make some blooms out of her gorgeous Sis Boom fabrics. We came up with a fun little technique and turned it into a tutorial, which you can download for free at There are so many things you can do with these little frayed rosettes…attach them to hairclips, picture frames, magnents…you get the idea. Of course, they just scream BIB NECKLACE, so I decided that I needed to make a bunch so could 1) bring them to the Sis Boom show and 2) get this particular craft out of my system.

Since I was planning on making a dozen or so necklaces, I went ahead and made LOTS of rosettes. They don’t take very long to make, and it is nice to have a “stash” to work from while creating. I used a mix of Sis Boom fabrics (mostly soft tonal prints, but I couldn’t pass up the wild zebra stripe) and silk dupioni. The silk was very stringy, so it took a little more effort, but the resulting rosettes were so decadent. In addition to the rosettes, you will need:

Fabric-Tac glue
Thin needle and sturdy thread
Assorted beads, buttons, and baubles
Hot glue gun
A scrap of knit fabric






The first step is to cut the felt backing. I found a good, comfortable (yet still bold) size to be 6″ wide by 3″ long. I just folded the piece of felt in half lengthwise and cut half a crescent shape that was 3″ wide by 3″ long.

You can play with the shape on paper before you cut the felt…you might prefer something smaller, bigger, pointier, or even more asymmetrical. Just hold it up to your neck and see how you like it.

Now for the fun part…adding the rosettes! I like to use Fabric-Tac rather than hot glue at this point because it takes a while to set. I don’t really have a plan when I start out, so it is nice to be able to move the rosettes around. Make sure to keep a warm, damp washcloth on hand so you can wipe off any glueblobs as that accumulate on your fingertips (those little boogers really stand out on black dupioni – ewww).

I made all of my rosettes pretty much the same size, but it adds so much more visual interest to use a mix of sizes.

It is very easy to unroll the rosettes to make them smaller. Just unroll until you get the desired diameter, and clip away the excess.

The cool thing is that the excess can be re-rolled into a second small rosette!

Glue the rosettes into place, covering as much felt as possible. Don’t worry about small gaps between the rosettes, however. You can cover them with beads or buttons in the next step. Once you are happy with the rosette placement, let the glue dry.

Now, grab your box(es) of beads, buttons, broken jewelry, etc., and start embellishing those rosettes! You could glue the embellishments into place with a very strong glue, but it is actually really nice to sit in a comfy chair and sew them . Plus, I just think the stitching gives a better feel and more durability to the piece. I also ran some extra stitches between the rosettes and the felt (out of sight) to really make sure the glued rosettes stay put.

The back won’t look too pretty, but that is OK because we are going to cover it up. First, though, we need to glue the ribbon to the back. I used silk ribbon because it is soft and nice and I have a ton of it. Satin or grosgrain ribbons would work well too – width and length are a matter of personal preference. I’d recommend starting with a yard and trimming down as needed.

Hot glue the center of the ribbon to the center of the backing.

Make a line of glue from the center to the corner, and work the ribbon into place. Get it as flat and smooth as possible.

The last step is to cover the backing. I uses knit scraps for this because they are soft, flexible, and won’t fray when cut. Cut a piece that is slightly larger than your backing.

With hot glue, it is always best to work in small sections. This prevents premature setting and massive burns. Squirt a bit of hot glue on one corner of the backing.

Place the knit fabric over the glue and gently press into place with your fingertips. When it is cool, pull back the fabric and apply glue to the backing. Repeat until the entire backing is covered with the knit fabric.

Check the edges to make sure the felt is attached securely. Do touch-ups, if needed. Also apply a bit of glue to any baubles or beads that seem loose.

Trim the knit to the shape of the backing. If desired, tie some knots in the ribbon near the corners.

The necklace is ready to wear – simply tie around the neck! Can’t you just see this with a little black dress or a v-neck tee? Here is an article that gives some great tips for wearing these fashion statements!


Carla Hegeman Crim, aka the “Scientific Seamstress” is a molecular biologist turned mom and patternmaker. Her eBooks are written in a clear, logical manner with extreme attention to detail…just like science protocols! When she isn’t in her sewing lab, Carla enjoys gardening, yoga, and spending time with her family.


1 Jenny 12.22.09 at 2:16 pm

Love it!! I am making the little rosettes right now and while they were cooling jumped on here to see what was new !!
So excited to find some pretty fabric and make one of these!!

2 Sherrie Tucker 01.01.10 at 4:00 pm

Love this project! These are so hot right now. You can make one in your favorite color for a party. Thanks Carla and Jennifer!

3 Courtney 01.13.10 at 12:46 am

I was just wondering if you could email me how much material you need on each flower. This is darling, I would love to try and make one! Also what kind of material works best.

4 Bobbie Lee 01.15.10 at 5:58 pm

Thank you sooooo much for this tutorial! Yours is the most complete, simple to follow one that I’ve found. You rock!

5 Dita Maulani 02.18.10 at 8:48 pm

I linked this here on my blog. Thank you for the inspiration ;)

6 elizabeth 02.28.10 at 12:17 pm

Thank you so much for showing these rosettes! I have been looking @ different websites, but these are awesome. I have 5 little girls and I want to make rosette headbands and clips :) thanks again!!!!

7 elizabeth 02.28.10 at 12:18 pm

sorry, I forgot –what is the best material to use???thanks

8 Katie @ Cheep Ideas 03.11.10 at 8:13 am

What a BEAUTIFUL necklace!! I love that I can use up my scraps with this one.

I’ve added this to the roundup on my website today, and you can grab an “I’ve been featured” badge if you’d like.

Thanks for the inspiration!! Gorgeous!! :)

9 Shannon 04.10.10 at 2:32 pm

Love these…thank you for not charging for the directions!

10 The Green Owl 06.11.10 at 5:56 am

Thanks so much for posting this!! I already put it on my facebook and will be teaching this at our Etsy Craft Party in Urbana Ohio :) Thanks again!!!!

11 Tanya 06.23.10 at 5:53 pm

Amazing! That is beautiful. Thanks so much for the tutorial.

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