The piece of fabric which lies behind the neck when wearing a tallit is an atarah, which strictly translates to crown. While I admire people who attempt to make an entire tallit, a more manageable endeavor would be to make an atarah for a premade tallit.
Here are some beautiful examples of atarot designed by Lisa Sambol, a graduate of M.I.T. who now creates such things in Israel. How lucky we are that Lisa is channeling her energies and intelligence in this direction!
While I was surfing the almighty web on this topic, I found there was an interesting discussion in 2000 on a website whether one should wear a decorative atarah or not. There were those who found them flashy and distracting and those who said they were family heirlooms. I find them rather beautiful. But for those of us who are not silversmiths who want to make our own atarot, I recommend looking at a couple of websites The Magic Needle and the California Stitchery. If you make something, why not send me a pic?
And to end today's posting, a couple more of Lisa's atarot- ala Agam