Friday, April 8, 2011

Raggy Fabric Flowers

These fabric flowers can be seen everywhere right now, on home dec, garments, handbags, etc. I made this one from the hip and made a second one to show you how. That will end up as a hair ornament for Sophie. There are subtle differences between the two which taught me the best way by the time I was done the second one. Here we go:
Spray starch your fabric if it is limp like this cotton. Draw a circle on your foundation fabric the size of the completed flower.
Cut out with pinking shears. Starting in the middle draw a spiral. This will not show when complete and need not be perfect. Give yourself a healthy 1/4 inch between rows.
Cut a bias strip or strips one inch wide. Stitch together as needed to give yourself about 20 inches. You can simply overlap the strips instead of accurate seaming. You are going for a "shabby chic" look here. Once the strips are cut and sewn iron them in half, BUT, favor one side by about an 1/8th of an inch. I did this with the first flower and it looks much better even with the backside being a different shade.
Now comes the only tricky part. This went swimmingly on the first flower but took three tries on the second. Let me save you the aggravation. It is really important to line up the strip as you see above. Take the folded edge and place it to the right. Put that fold on the beginning of the line at the center of the circle. Take a few anchor stitches. Get yourself out a shishkabob stick, stiletto, or a dental pick like you see here. With the folded edge on the pencil line, stitch the strip down. Every few stitches use the stilleto to force a pleat into the strip as you stitch. This is a bit futzy but the entire flower will only take you minutes to sew. You do not need perfection here. Continue around the spiral until you reach the end. You may or may not use all of your strip. Remember the bigger the flower, the longer the strip you need.
You will be left with a space in the center once it is all stitched. Wad up a piece of the strip, a couple of inches, and just tack it down in the center. You are just filling space here and it needn't look pretty. It will be covered with the floss stamens.
Pick out the color floss you want to use for the stamens. Wrap around two fingers till it looks like the above. Take the loop off your finger and place it in the center of the flower. Stitch it down back and forth a few times, the narrower the better. Once stitched down, cut the loops, trim shorter if needed, and fray out a bit. Take your pinkers and cut back the foundation to the last stitched line of the spiral. Trim  threads. You can do a few things here. Depending on the fabric, you can favor the folded edge not at all or a lot, for different effects. You can trim the edge with pinkers for a different effect. You can combine two fabrics to make your spiral strip, something I have seen in retail, like a linen and and organza of the same shade. These literally take minutes to make and I think are pretty cute and certainly on trend. Have fun!
  I like my first flower better with the favored edge and the straight edges. This will be cute in Sophie's hair, however.

***We will be leaving tomorrow for a trip to Cape Cod to deal with Ern's mom's health issues. She is 84 and experiencing severe dementia and the police found her roaming in the middle of the night last week in her  nightgown and socks at 1:30 in the morning. She was hospitalized with hypothermia and severe dementia and is moving into a nursing facility. The family is rallying around and much needs to be said and done. My heart goes out to any and all of you dealing with these issues. Sad to say we have prior experience with my own Mom when it comes to this. Till next week....Bunny

7 comments:

  1. This is so cute! I'm going to have to try one of these:)

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  2. I like this a lot - not so fussy it's going to take hours, not so busy all you see if the embellishment and not so expensive I need to go out and get special materials.

    Claire

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  3. loveeeeeeeeee this flower!!!1
    I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. I know what it is like, so, much prayers for you and the family this weekend. I hope you are able to get some issues resoved.

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  4. Super cute! Good luck on your trip; unfortunately you do know how hard this will be. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

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  5. Lovely flower! And, my heart out to you. - Susan the Lurker

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  6. What a great project, Bunny! I've seen them all over the place & can't wait to try making my own.

    I'm so sorry to hear about Ern's Mom. So sad! It scares me to think about it. We, too, dealt with the same thing with my Mom.

    {{HUGS}}to both of you.

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  7. Great flowers! I'll have to try them for the lovely granddaughter, when she decides to wear thing in her hair. I'm so sorry about Ern's mother. We have had that happen to several of our grandparents and aunties. I'm sure it's quite heartbreaking. Take care,
    Cynthia

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