Friday, 3 July 2009

Fabric Flower Tutorial

Drumroll please...I now bring to you my very first on-line tutorial. I hope that the photographs and instructions are clear and simple for you to follow, but there are some additional tips at the end of the post (along with a little givewaway) and if you have any questions please pop them into the comments so that I can answer them for everyone else as well.

Copied & Pasted

You will need:

Scrap Material - I used an old shirt;
A little scrap of felt or extra scrap of fabric;
Needle & Thread - Mine is red to show you the stitches. You may want yours to match; A Pen;
Scissors;
Buttons;
Iron - optional, see tips at the end.
A Tumbler - to draw around;
And a shot glass - Have your vodka on stand by in case it all goes tits up!

Start by drawing around the tumble to make five circles on your scrap fabric. Now cut them out - easy enough so far right? Note: I should note here, that this project isn't an exact science. Draw on your fabric in biro if you want and don't worry if your cut edges are a little bit wonky. No-one will see this part of the fabric once the flower is complete.

Take your little circles over to the iron and fold in half, then press. Watch your fingers! Fold in half again (so that you have a quarter circle) and press again. Do this for all five circles.

Fabric Flower Tutorial: Steps One - Three

Thread your needle, doubling your thread and knotting the ends together. Pick up your first quarter circle and, starting at one corner of the rounded edge, run a few long stitches (not neat, little ones) across to the other corner. Then pull/push the fabric together creating some little folds. This forms your first petal.

Fabric Flower Tutorial: Steps Four - Six

Pick up the next quarter circle and pop a stitch into one corner of the rounded edge, then push against the previous petal before continuing to stitch across to the other corner. Push/pull to create your next petal. Repeat until you have five petals on your thread. You'll see that they have started to curve around into a flower shape all by themselves. Use a couple of little stitches to join it to the first petal and that's the base of your flower.

Fabric Flower Tutorial: Steps Seven - Ten

To cover the hole in the front, middle of your flower you can either use a little bit more of your scrap fabric, or some cute, little buttons. Either way, make sure you do this step before you cover the back. This is not maths class and you do not need to show your workings. It does make it a bit harder to sew buttons on, but take your thread through the fabric at the edges of the gap - this will be covered and won't be on show.

Cut a little circle out of your scrap felt and secure it to the back, covering my working. If your sewing is neat and perfect then I don't like you because I'm jealous you can secure the felt with stitches or, if you're a scruffy sewer - like me - use a little bit of fabric glue.

And, voila! That's your flower finished! You can either add a brooch back so you can wear your little lovely on your jacket, or you could stitch to your bag, scarf or sock!

Fabric Flower Giveaway

A Few Tips To Make Things Easier

Material - Cotton and linen are perfect materials for this little project - old shirts, pillow cases and sheets would be fabulous. The material draws together so nicely and only leave a little gap to be covered by your buttons and felt. Thinner fabrics draw together easily, but don't hold their shape as well. Heavier fabrics hold their shape well, but don't draw together easily. (See the denim flower below.) If you do use a heavy fabric, use extra fabric to cover the gap instead of using buttons - much easier.

Pressing The Circles - Pressing makes the corners of each flower petal stay in form and it's a little easier to sew the fabric without trying to hold everything in place - but, if you hate ironing and are nimble fingered, you can skip this step.

Production Line - If you think you might make more than the odd one of these little cuties, draw and cut out all your circles in one go; then take them all to the iron; then sit and sew them all. It's quicker and easier!

I took a few sewing lessons a while ago, to increase my confidence with a needle and thread and with machine sewing. I was taught how to make this little brooch by my tutor, who said she had no problems with anyone passing it on - she couldn't remember where she learnt it! Please don't abuse me if you think this method has been in your family since time immemorial! Thanks :)

The Giveaway

Leave a comment, letting me know what you think of the tutorial and tell me your favourite colour or colour combination. On Monday, I'll choose a name at random and the lucky winner will receive a brooch in their favourite colour or colour combination. Looking forward to your feedback. Have a good weekend!

11 comments:

Gem said...

ooooh this actually made me think about trying something crafty! The flowers are so cute, they'd look really nice on a tote bag or something methinks.

Oh, and I'm easy, I just like colour :-)

Steve Rodli said...

So, clair, I was laughing at your tits up and my hubby reconized it as one of my need to share laughs -so he paused his program and asked What? so I told him and that started one of those hubby/wife convos that you just can't share with anybody else and left me a little grossed out, but still laughing and now I'm back to reading your tut. So, if there's any misspleeeddd words or too much correct grammer I'll let ya know. I like that first photo, if you plan on tuts in the future it would be a great picture for your SET PHOTOG.

Steve Rodli said...

Clair!!! Clair!!! Clair!!!

I'm going to make you work your fingers to the bone...I want each of my petals different. I'm in the process of taking a picture-haha,I'm multi - tasking, you'll see it at some point.

Clair!!! Clair!!!

Leonie Guld said...

Awwww I wondered how you did those petals without any exposed stitches. Very tricky!! Love it. thanks for the tut

Julie said...

I found a shop this weekend inside which the girl had a little workshop where she customised clothes using flowers like this and buttons and beads etc. I was quite envious!

Great tutorial :)

I considered shouting this to you ...but I'm a little lethargic too! ;)

Julie said...

You sent me one of these lovely flowers as part of the journal with a twist swap and it's lived on my winter jacket since. I was so curious as to how you made it, but didn't want to mess with it to try to figure it out.. and now I don't have to :) I plan on making some flowers after work today :) Thanks!

Shanda said...

Great tutorial Clair! I love the one on the bag you made for me.

kissinia said...

Great tutorial! Will definitely give it a try!

Jessi W said...

This is an amazing tutorial, I just tried it tonight and the flowers turn out fantastic!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

Leah Cox said...

Loved your tutorial - Thanks for sharing! I just gave it a shot and posted my results.

_Leah
www.inspireandindulge.wordpress.com

Sylvia Anderson said...

Just love this tutorial and would like to have the yellow and red/orange flower. I think yellow makes me feel bright and happy, even on a dark and rainy day.