Fabric flowers are always an easy way to embellish bags and accessories, and there are dozens of ways to make them. The one pictured here isn’t unusual, but I thought I’d photograph the steps for you while making this one last night, and give you the directions that I typically use. I also made a very easy ribbon flower, and I’ll try to show that to you this week.
Start by cutting 5 squares of fabric, all the same size. For my flower I used 3-1/2″ squares, and the finished flower measures approximately 3-1/4″ at its widest point. You can make these in just about any size you want, but keep in mind that if they’re really tiny or extremely large, they may be hard to handle. You can also use more squares if you want, depending on the look you’re after. Lightweight fabrics are easiest to work with because they gather more easily and more tightly. I used a mid-weight hand-dyed cotton, so I have some additional bulk in my gathers.
Fold one corner of a square over to meet the opposite corner, forming a triangle. Finger-press to hold it in place.
Thread a needle with a fairly long double strand of thread. I like to use something that pretty closely matches the fabric, in case some of the stitches aren’t completely hidden by the button later on. OK, beginning at one corner, loosely stitch along both open edges as pictured below. Don’t stitch along the folded edge.
Note: I’m left-handed, so all this may look backwards to you.
Pull the needle and thread to gather your triangle into a petal.
If you can’t keep the fabric gathered tightly enough, it’s OK to stitch the corners together to secure, as I did on the petal below.
With the same length of thread (don’t cut it off and start over), fold and stitch another petal the same way. You will be making a chain of petals.
Continue in this fashion until all 5 petals are made. Shape them together until you’re satisfied with the configuration, then stitch the corner of the last petal to the first one. You may also need to make some extra stitches on the back to hold everything in place. Once you have them all stitched together, you can fluff them and play with them until they look good to you.
Next, stitch a pretty button to the center front (see photo at top of post). Make sure it’s large enough to cover the raw edges and stitching that will be visible in the center. At this point you may want to add a piece of felt to the back if you’re adding a pin back, or you can glue or stitch the flower to whatever you’re embellishing.
Be warned, the back of your flower might not be very pretty, as evidenced below, but it’s unlikely that anyone will ever see the back anyway.