Tutorial: Twisted Petal Flower

Yes, another fabric flower!  This is the one I used to decorate Yuki’s Blossom by Blossom Dress.  I just made the flowers and stitched them directly to the dress, but you can use this to decorate just about anything – a shirt, a bag, or you can stitch it to a headband, a pin backing, etc.  It’s called the Twisted Petal Flower because you make it by cutting out petals, twisting them and stitching them together.

You’ll need:
Thread and needle

I used a sheer fabric and I would recommend something thin (though sheer is not necessary).  Since you’ll be twisting the fabric, both right and wrong sides will show, so you may want to keep that in mind when choosing your fabric.  Also, depending on what kind of look you want, you may want to pick something that won’t fray too much since you’ll be leaving the edges raw.

Here we go!

First you’ll need to cut 2-3 fabric squares about the desired size of your finished flower (yes, there is only one here, but you will need 2 or 3.  If you cut 3 squares you will have more petals.  More on that later).

Take one square and fold it in half and then in half again, so it is in fourths.  Making sure the folded tip is in the bottom left corner, draw and cut out a petal shape like so.

It should look like this when it is unfolded.

Next you will need to cut petals from the other squares.  Start by cutting the squares in half so you have rectangles.

Fold the rectangle in half and cut it out in the shape of a petal again.

So you should have one 4 petal piece and two or four 2 petal pieces.  In the flower I’m making here, I only ended up using 2 of the petals.  But if you want a more full flower, you’ll use all four.

First you’ll want to thread up your needle and tie a knot at the end.  Then take one of the 2-petal pieces and twist it in the center.  You only need to twist it 180 degrees so that one side will be right side up and the other half will be wrong side up.

Do the same with another 2-petal piece and place it on top of the first one creating an X.

Place that X on top of the 4-petal piece at an angle so that all 8 petals are showing (no twisting necessary).  The two twisted petal pieces go on top of the 4-petal piece.

Just to show how the petals should be place on each other, I’ve drawn Xs.  The blue X is the 4-petal piece on the bottom.  The pink X is the 2 twisted petals on top.

Starting from the back of the flower (ignore the picture), put your needle through the center of the flower and stitch it 2 or 3 times.

It will look like this, and you could very well be done . . .

but I wanted the flower to have even more dimension, so that all the petals would stick out from the dress.  So, fold the whole flower in half (doesn’t matter which way) and stitch the center of the flower a few times (where my thumb is).

Open the flower and fold it in half the other way and repeat.

By pinching the bottom of the flower and stitching, you’ll get the whole thing to pucker up a little bit.

At this point, I decided I was done with this flower and just hand stitched it onto the dress with the remaining thread.  If you want to add more petals, just repeat what you did with the first two petal pieces (twist them in the center and make an X), and stitch them on to the BACK of the flower making sure to place the petals at an angle where they’ll be seen best.

And that’s it!  Like I said, you can easily stitch these onto clothes, or attach them to a pin, or a headband, a purse, etc.

Here are the flowers in action.  Some I made just like this, some with more petals and some were just single petals stitched on.

Hope you have fun adorning things with flowers!  I sure did 🙂

Tutorial: Felt Flower Pin

I didn’t originally intend it, but I’ve been posting a tutorial from a piece of each of my Project Run & Play Sew Along outfits.  I’m a little late with this one, but I thought I’d share how I made the pin for the blazer I made 2 weeks ago.

Now I know there are a billion fabric flower tutorials out there, but why not one more?  I’m really sorry for the horrible pictures – I work at night in my poorly lit crafting area.

So here’s what you need:
Wool felt
Hot glue gun
Pin back
Scissors, thread and needle

You can definitely use different fabric or even polyester felt, but I LOVE wool felt for this pin.  It’s nice and thick and gives the flower great shape.

First you’re going to need to cut your felt into little 5-petal flowers.  These are actually going to be the petals.  You’ll need 4 that are about the size you want the finished flower to be.  Then you’ll need 2 that are slightly smaller.  You’ll also need 2 circles – one that is smaller than your flower pieces and then one that fits inside the pin back.

(ignore the finished flower, but you can see how the smaller circle fits perfectly inside the width of the pin back)

Here’s how I cut the 5-petal flowers shapes.  First I cut the felt into circles slightly larger than I want the finished flower to be.  Then I slowly go around the circle and cut 5 little divots to make the petal shapes.  If you want, you can draw the design on first and then cut slightly inside the line.

Before you start, you may want to thread up a needle and tie your knot at the end, so you’re ready to sew.  Now take one of your large petal pieces and fold it in half.

Then fold it in half again.  It should look like this (side and top view).

Take the larger of your two circles and place the tip of your folded petal piece in the center of the circle.

Starting from the back side, put through needle through the tip of the folded flower and stitch it in place.  Don’t tie off or cut the thread, continue using it for the entire flower.  Repeat with the other 3 petal pieces arranging them around the circle to cover the entire circle.  It should look something like this.

Now take one of your smaller petal pieces and place it on top (without folding).  Put the needle through the flower (from the back) slightly off center and then back down a millimeter or two over.

When you pull your thread tightly, it will pull the center of the flower in and the petals upward (because of the small space between the stitch).

Now, for the center of the flower, you’re going to take the last petal piece and fold it in half.

Then roll it into a cone.

Insert your needle back through the center of the flower and through the tip of the cone.  Pull the needle through the cone and back down the center of the flower.  Stitch it into place a few more times, then tie off the thread at the back of the flower and snip.

The back of your flower will probably look something like this, messy stitches and knots all over.  Heat up your glue gun and adhere the pin back to the center of the flower.

Take your smaller circle and hot glue it to the back covering the pin back (and all those unsightly stitches 🙂

At this point, I didn’t totally like the shape of the flower and it’s petals, so I took some scissors and trimmed it a bit.  Then you’re done!!  Add it to anything for a fun finishing touch.  I used it on this blazer, but I love that I can add it to any other coat, or a bag, or a headband, etc.

There you have it!  One more flower tutorial for ya!

Blossom By Blossom Dress – Special Occasion for PR&P

For winter’s rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

-Algernon Charles Swinburne

Well winter certainly isn’t over yet, but I thought the poem was fitting.  The dress has winter imagery, but spring colors underneath and flowers blossoming all over, so I immediately thought of winter turning to spring.  Hence the poem and the name 🙂

So here’s my entry for this week’s Project Run and Play Sew-along.  The theme is Special Occasion/Party Wear.  I had fun making this dress.  I can’t say that it’s a super original idea, but it was definitely a new challenge for me.

I started with the idea of finding a sheer patterned fabric to lay over a solid fabric.  I used this curtain, and though it was much more opaque than I had originally imagined, I liked the tree branch image.  Because I had a “sheer” fabric, I thought an illusion neckline would be something fun to try.  It turned out to be barely noticeable (because of the nearly opaque white fabric and the light colored green underneath), but that’s probably much more age appropriate for a toddler.

I wasn’t planning on making the main body of the dress two different colors, but the idea sprouted from my indecisiveness at the fabric store.  I would usually never pick a nearly neon green, but it went so well with the purple and I figured it would be hidden under the white anyways.  But once I started playing with it, I really liked the colors and made each one peek out a little bit.  They really shout “spring” and “fun” to me!  It was a nice contrast to the stark white and bare branches of the curtain material.  The fabric is a cheap nylon.

I hand rolled and stitched the neckline and armholes, which was new to me.  I don’t really know if I did it right, and it doesn’t look super clean, but I wanted the hem to be as small as possible.  They are still not nearly as small as pictures I’ve seen online, but I guess I’ll keep working on it.

I finished it off with a bunch of flowers and petals cut from the curtain fabric and handstitched to the dress.  I just can’t resist putting fabric flowers on anything! 🙂

I like the way the fabrics look, but with hindsight, I wish I had chosen something different.  These fabrics are synthetic and stiff and unforgiving.  I sew at night when Yuki is sleeping and I’m horrible at using measurements (a major weakness), so last night I realized that the bodice fit ALL WRONG.  It was super baggy in the front and perfect in the back.  The neckline was too big and almost falling off her shoulder.  So I added some pleats to the front and had to take in the bodice a bit.  Now it’s a bit of a squeeze to get her arms through :P.  I really don’t know how to get that perfect balance of fitted, but still fits.  If the fabric had even a little give, it probably would not be so bad.  Oh well – live and learn!

The shoes are kind of a fun story.  I realized last night that Yuki didn’t have any shoes to wear with the dress.  I felt ridiculous buying shoes JUST for this outfit, especially since this girl has an outrageous amount of shoes for some reason.  But I went to Payless and these gladiator sandals, originally $12.99, were marked at $4.  They have a buy one get one 1/2 off promotion, so I thought I’d buy something else and these shoes would be $2.  But when I went to check out, it turns out the sandals were on clearance for $2 so with the half off deal, they were only $1!!  So then I didn’t feel so bad. 🙂  I didn’t particularly like the silver flowers they had on them, so I made a few more flowers with the curtain material and hot glue gunned them on.  I think they look great and match perfectly with this dress now!

I also made a petticoat with tulle to give the dress more body, but I think I actually prefer the dress without.  I guess it’s a good thing to keep around though.  It can be paired with any skirt or dress and since it’s kinda huge, she can probably use it for a long time.  This morning she just wore it around the house like a tutu and turned around in (very slow) circles.  Where does she learn this from!?? 😛

(Please ignore how crooked that top row of tulle is.  I was in a super rush :))

For our photo shoot today we went to the Palace of Fine Arts.  Just another gorgeous spot in our city.  And the weather was amazing!!  It actually felt like spring!

Well, I guess that’s it for this outfit AND the Project Run & Play Sew-along.  I think next week the three actual PR&P contestants that are left will do their signature look.  It’d be fun to keep playing along, but I feel like it’s time to move on to other projects that are calling my name.  I’ll have a few tutorials coming up and a reflection on this sew-along challenge coming up, but for now I’ll just say that it has been so much fun participating.  I have learned so much, been so challenged and am so inspired!

I leave you with two outtakes from the photoshoot:

I told Yuki to lean in and smell the flower.  I think she’s either kissing it or nibbling on it.  Yum.

And this picture is SO our daughter.  You can put the girl in a dress, but that doesn’t make her act “like a lady!”  She was climbing and picking up rocks and scraping her knees the whole time.  That’s my tomboy!  She makes me proud 🙂

Linked up this project here: