Friday, January 4, 2013

Fabric Flower Tutorial

Hey there!  I posted this picture on Instagram and Facebook and I had a lot of people ask how I made this cute flower.  So- here is a tutorial.  I had a ton of fun making them.  It is pretty easy but the steps can take some time.  It took me about an hour per flower (I haven't made very many, so I may get faster as I make them more).

Materials Needed:
-  Synthetic material (taffeta, chiffon, or something like that.  It needs to be synthetic so that it will melt.  Natural fibers will not melt, they will just catch on fire)
-  Felt
-  Fabric scissors
-  Thread
-  Sewing Machine (you can also sew it by hand if you don't have a machine)
-  Cutting mat
-  Acrylic ruler
-  Rotary cutter
-  Lighter (a candle burns too hot and will leave smoke marks on fabric.  Just stay away from the candles if at all possible)
-  Hot glue gun
-  Hot glue sticks

Step 1: Cut strips of fabric to desired width (I am showing a 3" width here).  For a "palm" sized flower, it will take about 48" of fabric.

Step 2: Sew strips together "long" ways to make one very long strip.

Step 3: Adjust your machine's stitch length so that it is on the longest stitch possible, or a basting stitch.

Step 4: TIME TO SEW! Fold your strip in half "long" ways and sew your basting stitch on the folded side of the fabric.  **Note: you can sew the raw side together instead, but it will make the cutting part quite difficult.

Step 5: TIME TO SCALLOP! Cut raw side of strip (or opposite side of seam) into scallops to make petals.  Do this the entire length of the strip.

**Note: don't worry about the scallops being even.  It is better if they are not even because it will give the flower character and it will melt "prettier" if they are not even.

Step 6: TIME TO BURN!  Take your lighter and wave it over the very edges of the scallops.  The edges will melt and curl into fabulous petal shapes.  Not only does this create the petal shapes, but it melts the edges so that there will be no frays and loose threads to worry about.  Melt all the scallops down your strip of fabric.

Step 7: TIME TO RUFFLE!  Take ONE thread at ONE end of your strip and tug until it comes free.  The fabric will start to gather.  Slide the ruffled fabric down the length of the strip until the entire strip has been ruffled.  This can take some practice.  **Be sure to tug gently so that the thread does not break mid-length.

Step 8: TIME TO GLUE!  Take small sections of ruffle and glue them around each other to form your flower.  You will glue the ruffle around in sort of a spiral shape.

**Note: I found that gluing about a petal to a petal and a half at a time was just the right amount.  It wasn't so much that the glue was dried before I finished placing it together, but it gave me enough to work with so that I could see progress.

** Your flower should look something like this on the bottom when it is finished.

Step 9: Cut a circle out of your felt that will cover the ruffled part of the back of your flower.

Step 10: Spiral hot glue on the felt and stick it to the bottom side of the flower.

TADA!  Your flower is done!  Isn't it pretty!?  It is now ready to have a pin, clip, or headband added to it.  These can also be glued onto picture frames, made into garlands, or sewn onto clothes or a bedspread.

Have fun!  Don't forget to play and experiment with your project.  Try different fabrics, patterns, sizes, and petal shapes.

This is a picture of the difference between a 3" fabric strip and a 4" fabric strip.  The flower on the left is a strip that is 3x48 inches.  You can see that the flower has many more petals and it is a more flat shape.  The flower on the right is a 4x48 strip.  There are not as many petals and they are larger, making the flower a little puffier.

Let me know if you have any questions.  Leave me a comment below and I will be happy to answer questions or comments on ways to improve my tutorial!  


1 comment:

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