After you all piped up with suggestions for how I could fix my necklace (thank you!), I spent last night wracking my brain trying to figure it out. I went online to chat rooms and pored over the magazines on my studio shelves. I stared at the necklace, daring it to fix itself. Then, around 3 AM, I had my "Aha!" light bulb moment.
I remembered reading somewhere about a peyote stitched necklace worked around a coated electrical wire to make a flexible piece that would hold it's shape. Hazzah! I ran down to Lowe's with the unfinished necklace this morning. Much to the amusement of some hunky contractors, I stood in the electrical aisle testing out various thicknesses of wires available for sale by the foot. Turns out, #8AWG was perfect!
I finished the project this afternoon, and I am very happy with the final result. I inserted the wire and stitched the tube closed. Then, I curved the wire to meet at the back, and it worked! The bead work flexed around the wire and didn't kink or crease. Sweet!
The wire is going to take some getting used to - it's fairly stiff and so has some "spring" to it. The necklace, instead of draping, feels like a loose collar.
Different, yet lovely...