Fabric Flowers, The Tamara Blog

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

I adore the look of fabric flowers. They have a lovely vintage, sentimental feel, perfect for weddings and other special occasions. And when making them, there are lots of opportunities to add trinkets, personality & meaning to create everlasting mementoes.

 

These flowers can be applied to shoes, used as brooches/corsages/boutonnieres, or even as a gorgeous bridal bouquet. They’re easy to make, and last long after fresh blooms have faded.

Fabric Flowers, The Tamara Blog

Supplies:

  • Polyester/nylon fabric – satin, chiffon, organza, lace
  • Needle and thread
  • Compass or household items for making circles (like lids, jam jar rings)
  • Beads, cast-off earrings, stick-on stones, etc.
  • Fabric marking pens/chalk
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • Candle
  • Glue
  • Ribbon
  • Bouquet form (optional)
  • Shoes (optional)
  • Shoe clips – if applying to shoes

 

Flower Centers

Jeweled buttons make eye-catching centers for these flowers, but consider lost-earring-half-pairs, broken jewelry pieces, or other un-useable items from the bottom of your jewelry box or junk drawer. This can also be a beautiful use for Grandma’s old brooch or that earring your man gave you that you never wear. These elements are especially meaningful when making flowers that will become a bridal bouquet.

 

Fabric Flowers, The Tamara Blog

Choosing Fabric

I recommend at least 5 different types of synthetic fabric.  The use of synthetic material is essential, as the process of making the flowers involves melting the edges.  If you use natural fabrics (silk, cotton, rayon) the edges will burn rather than melt/fuse… not a good look.  Choose lightweight satin, chiffon, lace, organza. I used a lovely pleated fabric as one element.

Also consider color and texture.  If all the fabrics are one color or shade, the blooms may just appear as a ball of one single color. Contrast in hues and styles help highlight the main color and give depth to the overall appearance.

If using lace or tulle (netting) the edges do not need to be melted. These fabrics add a nice texture layer to the flowers.

For one bouquet, I began with ½ yard pieces of 7 different fabrics.

 

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Cutting Flower Circles

Determine the exterior diameter desired for your flowers.  My roses were 3-1/2″ across.  Stack fabrics one atop the other, pin in place, and use the water-soluble pen to mark circles, using compass or household items as a guide. Cut. Then create circle stacks 1/2″ smaller until you have 4 or 5 different sizes.

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

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Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Prepare Flower Elements

In preparation for the next step, you may want to have a glass of cold water or ice cubes handy, in case you inadvertently touch a molten edge before it has cooled. If you do make contact with a hot melted bit of fabric, grab an ice cube to help with the burn. Protect your paws!

Carefully hold the edges of the fabric circles over the candle flame until the edges begin to melt and curl.  Continue turning the circle until the entire edge is finished fusing.

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Assemble Flowers

When you have completed finishing the edges of all your circles, assemble.  Stack the circles, gradually working toward smaller circles until satisfied with the result, then stitch together.

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

To secure and create dimension, turn the flower over, and pinch in half.

Take a few stitches in the center of the stack to hold that pinch in place, and knot the thread.

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Turn flower right side up.  Add a center to the bloom.  This is where the crystals, buttons, pearl paint, glitter, or old earrings come in handy.  Go crazy with the accoutrements!

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

For another choice for flower centers, embellish small felt circles with glitter glue or pearl paint.

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Assemble Bouquet

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

When you have plenty of flowers, begin assembly on the bouquet form.  I also added ribbon roses to my arrangement.  My tutorial for ribbon roses is here.

https://tamarajewelry.wordpress.com/2011/04/26/ribbon-rose-wrist-corsage/

To attach the flowers to the bouquet form, push a long straight pin through the center of the flower. Dip the pin in glue, then push into the Styrofoam of the bouquet form. Repeat until the form is completely covered. Once the larger flowers are in place, use tufts of fabric, ribbon roses, or other elements to fill in any gaps between flowers.

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Create Shoe Clips

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Shoe clip hardware allows you to wear your flowers on different shoes, or remove them when you want to go back to unadorned shoes. Attach flower to purchased shoe clip hardware. Since shoes take quite a beating, I recommend sewing the flowers to shoe clips, rather than using glue, for maximum security.

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

 

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

 

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

 

Fabulous Fabric Flowers -- The Tamara Blog

Enjoy and… make something beautiful!

 

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Ribbon Rose Wrist Corsage — say that five times fast!

I’m long past my Prom days, but I do believe that we need more reasons to wear flowers — in our hair, on lapels and the ever-lovely corsage. But fresh flowers do have a more ‘Weddings and Proms’ sort of vibe, so I’ve created a ribbon wrist corsage that you can wear anytime and with anything from a little-black-dress to jeans and a t-shirt.

This is an easy project that you really will use for years to come.  To make it, all you need are a few coordinating ribbons, some beads, and a needle & thread.  It’s perfect for a Mother’s Day gift, birthday present, or to keep for yourself.  And, best of all, no pimply boys sticking you with pins!

My finished corsage

Starting from the top layer, here’s how to make the corsage/bracelet.

Choose ribbon that’s not too slippery, and not too thin. My beige ribbon is 5/8″ wide cotton, 16″ long. If you are using wider ribbon, start with a longer piece. 1-1/2″ ribbon requires about a 30″ piece. Don’t use wire-edged ribbon for this part. You also want to have the same color thread already threaded in your needle, with a knot at the end, and have some coordinating seed beads handy. Don’t skip this preparation step… you’ll regret it in a minute if you do!

Just so you have enough, start with about 16″ of ribbon, find the middle, and create a 45° fold.  Like this:

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Then turn down the top, so that top point is pointing down.

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Then flip the entire thing over, like you’re turning a page, so you’re now looking at the back, and it looks like this:

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Take the tail on the right and fold it over to the left.

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It will look like this:

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Then take the bottom tail, and fold it up… like this:

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Fold that tail on the left over to the right, like this:

♥♥♥

See a pattern forming?  You’re creating little box folds.  Keep doing it for about 12 to 15 times.  Your ribbon will look like this:

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Be sure to hold the bottom securely, and let your ribbon expand out like this:

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Now the fun part! Still holding the bottom layer with your left hand, gently pull one of the tails (it doesn’t matter which one).  Keep the bottom secure, but let the ribbon slide through… the top will sort of collapse down to your left hand.

Holding and pulling… gently…

Keep going…

STOP!  (Don’t pull too far and ruin all your work.)  Magic!  You have a little rose. Look how cute!

♥♥♥

Now we have to secure the cutie-pie. This is where you need your pre-threaded needle. Grab that, and start to make little stitches from the back to hold your folds in place.

Back of your tiny cute rose

Make sure the stitches go through all layers of ribbon. Then bring some stitches from front to back and add a sparkle of seed bead.

I put about ten stitches in my rose, just to make sure it doesn’t move. Trim your ends on a diagonal.

Finished Rose

Next step is the satin flower base. Simple. Really.

I’ve got 8″ of single faced satin ribbon, 1-1/2″ wide. Stitch together the short ends, shiny (right) sides together, knot.

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Next, along one of the long sides of the ribbon, create some gathering stitches — about 1/4″ long, with a knot at ONE end.

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Next you’re going to gather that one side.  Gently pull that thread tightly…

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Once the gathering thread is tight, you can secure it in place with a couple stitches.

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Here’s that pretty flower…

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A little greenery as a base (this ribbon has a wire edge, so it stays put.).

Then I finished off the ends of my velvet base ribbon with velcro (Velvet ribbon 1-1/2″ wide, 7-1/4″ long).

♥♥♥

Stitch all the flower layers together on the base ribbon, and you’re done!  I added a vintage brooch to the end, to make the back look more finished, and the weight of the brooch keeps the flower from twirling around to the back of my wrist.

I must say, I think it’s beautiful, and I wear mine A LOT.  Of course, you can use the same flower-making techniques for hair ribbons and handbags.  Make something beautiful. Enjoy!