Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Free Fabric Flower Tutorial - How to make a simple gathered fabric flower
My girls are starting school tomorrow, and because of a school consolidation, the uniform colors changed from navy, khaki and white last year to purple, gold, white, black and khaki now. My youngest is entering kindergarten (sob!!). I planned to "pass down" the bows and flowers from my older daughter, but they now both need hair accessories in a different color! I wanted something quick to make today, since we're spending at least part of the time gearing up for school.
This flower is a simple strip-work piece that I've created out of just a portion of a fat quarter of silk dupioni, and is very easy to make. It helps if you have a sewing machine, but you can hand-stitch if necessary.
Other supplies needed:
* 1 fat quarter of fabric
* Basic sewing supplies (needle, thread, scissors, iron/ironing board)
* Rotary cutter, mat with markings, and acrylic ruler (not completely necessary, but very, very helpful)
* Hot glue gun and glue
* Fancy button
* Barrette or pinch clip (or pinback, if preferred, to add to a purse, coat or shirt)
First, press your fabric. Then lay it on your cutting mat with the edges squarely against the guide marks. Position your ruler along the 45-degree diagonal line, and make the first cut.
Move over 2 inches, and cut your first strip. Cut another 2-inch strip, also on the bias. When you add your strips together, they should measure about 36 inches, but this is approximate - if you've got a lot less than 36 inches, cut a third strip. If you've got more, don't worry about it.
Place your fabric strips together with the ends nestled as shown below, with 1/4" overhanging on EACH side. If you have a right and a wrong side, be sure to place your fabric right sides together. Pin.
Take this to your machine, and sew 1/4" from the edge. If you don't have a machine, be sure to stitch by hand with very small stitches!
Press your strip with the seams going to one side. You can press the seams open if you wish, but since I have a quilting background, I usually just press to one side.
Once you've pressed your seam, cut off the little triangle that sticks out on the one side, so that you have a smooth, clean strip (below). I couldn't show the cutting because I didn't have an assistant here today to hold my projects, like I usually do when I photograph my ebooks, lol.
Trim your ends into gentle curves. I've shown it below with the fabric layered on top of itself, so you can see how both ends are curved (sort of like a really long, skinny boat!).
Using your needle and thread, make long running stitches about 1/4" in from the edge, starting at the curve (below), and stitching all the way to the other end of the strip. Finish after you've gone up the second curve. Do not stitch along the other long side (the second photo is showing the stitching and is "flipped over" from the picture above; you will not stitch along both sides).
Pull your thread gently to gather your fabric strip. You don't need to gather it overly tight, but tight enough to create some flattering "ruffles." It will start to wind in on itself as you pull (second photo, below).
Cut a 3 1/2" inch square out of matching fabric. Find the center by folding it along both diagonals, and then unfolding it.
Thread your needle, and stitch the gathered fabric strip onto the square. Position it over the middle point. Wind the strip into a corkscrew as you move inward, stitching as you go along.
Trim the square away, leaving a smaller circle (below).
Sew and hot-glue a button onto the front.
You can add a piece of felt to the back for more stability, but because I was aiming for a super quick project, I decided to simply hot-glue the barrette to the back.
Enjoy your finished fabric flower! :)