I thought that it would be fun to make some fabric flowers, and I have had this project on my mind for awhile. This was actually an experiment for me. I have used this method for years to make ruffles for pillows and other things. I like how the flowers came out. The method can be varied quite a bit to come out with different results.
I made a couple of the flowers with pipe cleaners for stems, and left the other two so that they can be attached onto something else or made into a pin or hairpiece.
You will need a small amount of fabric (at least 2 1/2″ x 18″) to make strips for the flower petals (fat quarters work well for this)
crochet cotton or string
pipe cleaners for stems (optional)
small amount of felt for base of flower (also optional)
needle and thread
small amount of glue
Rotary cutter, ruler and mat, hole punch
I used a fat quarter for this particular flower. Cut your strip to be twice the depth of the flower petal you want. I cut these 2 1/2″ so they are 1″ plus 1/4″ for the seam after folding – see below. (The large flower was about a 5 1/2″ wide strip). The strips will be folded in half lengthwise.
Fold the strip lengthwise, so that the right side of the fabric is out and the raw edges are together. Press.
Set your machine to a wide zig zag stitch. Place the crochet cotton/thread next to the raw edges of the folded piece of fabric, and zig zag over the thread to the end of your strip. Note: make sure that you don’t catch the crochet thread in your stitching. You will be using this thread to gather your strip.
Hanging on to the ends of the crochet cotton/thread, gather the fabric from both ends so that the entire strip is gathered. You can adjust the gathers as you form the flower.
This is where you will make the decision whether you want to have a stem or not. If not, take one end of the fabric strip and start to roll it inward.
If you want a stem, take a pipe cleaner and place it on the end, then start to roll the fabric strip over the stem. If you want, you can add a dab of glue here. I waited until I rolled the entire strip and added the glue at the end. This is up to you.
Keep rolling up the strip and adjust the shape of the flower as you go. Make sure that the length of crochet cotton/thread doesn’t get wrapped up in the fabric strip as you go.
If you are using a short piece of fabric like a fat quarter, you will probably use the entire strip. Again, this is personal preference. If your strip was a full width of fabric, you will probably want to cut it off. This will depend upon how large your flower will be, and the depth of the strip you are using.
This larger flower made from wider fabric did take a 45″ wide strip of fabric that I had cut 5 1/2″ deep.
Now you need to secure the end.
I turned the flower over and tied the two strings that are hanging down from gathering the strips into a knot. This helps to keep the gathers from coming undone. Do this whether you used a pipe cleaner for a stem, or not.
Trim the ends of the thread off.
Then take a needle and thread and sew from one side of the bottom to the other. Stay within the seam you gathered.
If you used a stem, this is where I add a dab of glue inside the bottom of the flower, next to the stem.
Sew from side to side, around the stem, the same as above.
If you are making the larger flower, stitch each layer to the previous one as you go around and wind up the gathered strip. When you are done, tie the crochet cotton/thread together the same way as the small flower is done above. You can now also trim off any stray threads that are hanging from the raw edge of the fabric.
If you have added a stem, cut a circle of felt about the size of a quarter. Punch a hole in the center with a hole punch and slip the pipe cleaner through. Add a small amount of glue to the base and press it upward onto the fabric. You can also use a hot glue gun, I used Fabri-tac here.
I then added straight pins to hold it in place until it dried. Be careful not to glue the pins in! If you used a hot glue gun you can probably skip this step.
I sewed a fabric covered button into the center of this flower. I also tucked in the raw ends of the petals on this one and tacked them in place.
If you taper your fabric strips when you cut them, you can start out with a tight, smaller center and then enlarge the outside petals.
There are a lot of things that you can do with these flowers, let your creativity take over! If you make some, please share your pictures, I’d love to see them!