One very busy, topsy-turvy spring and first half of the summer later, I'm happy to finally do just that this sizzling August morning. Thank you very much for your questions, lovely ladies, I assure you that I had not forgotten about them.
This technique is dead simple, but it does lend itself even better to being explained via photos than merely in words, so I grabbed one of my favourite vintage brooches (which you may recall from this post) and my iPhone and took a few snaps detailing the key steps involved.
Before you start, you're going to need a brooch with a bar style clasp, a small (ideally fairly strong) elastic band (such as these ones from Goody), and whatever you're pining your brooch too. That's it, my dears. Now, let's get started...
Here's a cute vintage brooch pinned in place without anything (beyond it's clasp) holding it in place. As you can see, all looks good, but lurking (quite literally) behind it, may be a clasp in need of some reinforcement.
This is the same brooch seen from behind with its clasp open. Like most brooches - be they costume or fine jewelry - this one has a standard bar clasp. Before jumping ahead to the next step, let's assume you've slide the bar on your brooch through your fabric (whatever you're wearing), but that it's still open (in other words, you haven't closed the clasp yet).
In order to help the brooch stay in place more securely, we're going to need a small (the kind used for micro braids are great here) elastic band. I usually use a clear one, but to ensure it helped show up better on camera (especially because I took these snaps with my cell phone), I used a grey one. Take the elastic band and slip it under the base of the bar clip as shown and then close the clasp on the brooch.
Next, securely wrap the elastic band around the bar of the clasp AFTER the clasp, save for one wrap which you do lastly on top of the clasp itself. This can take a little dexterity, but you should be able to get the elastic band around two to four times in total including the last loop, depending on the size of both it and the brooch you're working with.
When seen from the back (a view that is unlikely to ever be seen except during the process of putting the brooch on), this is what your bar clasp and elastic band should pretty much look like.
The elastic band rest under the brooch on the front on the garment, it is not visible from the underside of what you're wearing (unless your garment was very sheer, that is).
In this shot, I purposely tilted the brooch to show you what the elastic looks like when the brooch is secured in place. So long as you use a small, thin elastic and your brooch is not especially tiny, if you've done the elastic up tightly enough, you probably shouldn't be able see it that it's there at all (have you ever noticed that an elastic was on any of the brooches I've worn here?).
This is what the brooch, with the elastic in place, photographed or seen from head on looks like. Even with a grey elastic band used here, you can't see it and yet the brooch is so much more secure because the band is looped around in front and over the clasp on the bar (in order to remove it when taking the brooch off, simply unloop the elastic band, slide it off, and open the clasp like usual).
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Now, this may go without saying, but sturdy and reliable as this method of helping to secure a brooch is, it's not entirely failsafe, because the elastic could always snap or slip off, thus rendering your brooch only as secure as the clasp itself (I usually like to keep an extra elastic band or two in my wallet at all times so that if this were to happen - it hasn't yet - while out and about, I could replace the band right way). If you have a brooch with an especially loose/wiggly/tricky clasp, I would suggest ensuring that your elastic band is wrapped very firmly in place before wearing it out and about.
I don't use an elastic every time I wear a brooch, but for many - especially those with loose clasps and/or which I'd be pretty heartbroken if I lost (or had fall and get damaged), I certainly do. I bought the wee little elastic bands that I use for this purpose several years ago at the dollar store, and you should be able to find some similar ones there, at a drug store, beauty supply store, big box chain, or pretty much anywhere a decent selection of hair accessories are sold (in addition to online).
If you've been worried about losing a much loved brooch, I hope that you'll give this dead simple approach a spin yourself. It takes mere seconds (and gets even quicker the more times you do it), costs almost nothing, and can be used with just about any bar clasp brooch of you choice – plus, and most importantly, it gives you a hefty dose of peace of mind that your beloved piece of jewelry is going to stay put from sun up to sun down.