July 12, 2010

Summer Flower Tutorial


I had a great weekend meeting customers and signing books over at Cabbage Rose in Fort Worth on Saturday. Thanks to all of you who came out and made this a special weekend for me and the shop. Be sure to visit their blog to see photos of the event. They are also doing a giveaway of my book, so don't miss out...go over there and sign up. Maybe you will be a lucky winner!

And now......

It's finally ready! The summer tutorial!! This was originally a flower embellishment that I made for the Monique Dress neckline with a few modifications. I have added an alligator clip to the back to make it more versatile and the circle that the ruffle is sewn to is slightly smaller to make the flower a bit fuller. This is a wonderful accessory for a jacket, dress, skirt, bag, to dress up a tank top or T-shirt (neckline or hemline)...even your hair!



I use a ruffler foot attachment to make the flowers. This is a fabulous foot and I highly recommend it for anyone who likes nice crisp ruffles. Plus, you don't have to pull up any pesky threads to gather and it is super fast....they are a little expensive, but worth their weight in gold (well, almost!).

Follow the steps below to make as many as you like and have fun with them. If you would like to share your work, please feel free to post to our fan page photos on Facebook. I am working on getting a link on the blog for a Flickr group, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Here is what you will need for your flower:

2" x 45" strip of fabric
ruffler attachment for your machine (this is fabulous, but if you don't have one, then just gather the flower with two rows of long straight stitches instead)
2 - 2 1/2" squares of wool or woolfelt
1 large button for the center
several 6/0 glass beads for embellishment
1 metal alligator hair clip, about 2" long
hot glue
hand needle and thread



Cut a strip of fabric 2" wide by the width of fabric.



Trim off the selvages.




Press 1/2" to the wrong side at both ends of the strip.



Fold the strip in half widthwise, wrong sides together, and press.



Place the raw edge of the pressed strip on the right hand side and slip into the ruffler attachment, set at every stitch.




Begin ruffling!



Press the ruffle flat.


Cut a 2 1/2" square of woolfelt, then roughly draw a circle just as a guide. Notice that this is the largest circle that could be drawn, so you only lose the corners. Once you have made one flower, drawing the circle will probably not be necessary for the next one.



Begin sewing the strip to the woolfelt square. Line the stitching up with the lines that you drew for the circle and turn as necessary to continue sewing.



Once you have made it all the way around the first time, place the strip just to the inside of the first row and continue in a concentric circle until the entire strip has been sewn down...see below....



By the time the entire strip is sewn, there should not be any woolfelt visible at the center of the flower. If you do have a small amount, don't worry about it as the button at the center will cover it.



Here is the flower all stitched in place.



Turn the flower over and check your stitches.



Trim off the corners...see, even mine is not perfect, but hey...it IS the back and by the time this flower is finished, no one will see this!

Give the flower a light press from the back, flip it over and sort of scrunch up the layers a bit, then steam it a few times to fluff it.



Here is mine, "post-fluff"...



Add the large button of your choosing to the center by hand.



Then add the glass beads as you like.



Flip the flower over and add the alligator clip with hot glue. Notice how mine is just inside the outer edge of the flower so that the clip will not show during wear.



Trim down the remaining 2 1/2" square to be a circle, add it to the back and hot glue in place. This covers those stitches and trimming from earlier steps and leaves a nice finish.



Now, put that flower in your hair, on your clothes or bag and look fabulous!!



Happy Sewing!!

29 comments:

Becky said...

These are gorgeous Kay! I don't "do" ruffles often. But you are so right about the ruffler foot. Tis wonderful.

Thanks for sharing with us.

Heidi Boyd said...

So cool, thanks for sharing! ...need to investigate the ruffling foot.

Mona @ la la by mona said...

Howdy neighbor! The tutorial is wonderful - thanks for sharing! I'm sorry I missed the book signing this past weekend. I did get to look at your book at Borders - it is just awesome! I love the sketches, directions, and photography. Big pat on the back for ya!

FabricsNQuilts said...

Great tutorial! I pine for a ruffler foot...

Deb said...

Oh I love them Kay. Thanks so much for the tutorial. Oh and your book is fabulous. I haven't sewn garments for many years. The book gives me enough confidence and inspiration to start again. Gorgeous drawings in it - just perfect.

SarahB said...

So fun! I will have to make a few of these!

Michelle said...

Those are sooo cute!

Stacy (S.E.W.Butterfly) said...

So pretty!

Delcie Wardrop said...

These are sew/so gorgeous!! I WANT A RUFFLER FOOT. I will have to see if it is possible to get one for my 25yr old Singer. It would be fabulous as I am ruffling hems for aprons and edges for cushions by hand, several times a week. I can't tell you how frustrating it is have to start again when a thread breaks. The flowers will be a great addition to my aprons, cushions, bags etc, even nicer than yo-yos!! THANK YOU!!

Kerry_Kid Giddy said...

I had no idea I could get a ruffler attachment!!! That's AWESOME! Love the photos too! Thanks for sharing!

CaroleWoods said...

I'm happy you were able to get this tutorial online! I can't wait to try it. It was great seeing you on Saturday...I'm so happy for your continued success!

carolina ellis said...

Hi Kay, I am new to your blog via your GORGEOUS new book. I think you would enjoy a visit to my place. A blog friend and I are doing several postings on a project from your book. Thank you sooo much, not only for writing it, but for making it hip and current. There are only so many bags and placemats a girl can make. Carolina

Amy said...

Love this tute and I can't wait to make some for hair accessories for my little girls! I got your book in the mail today and LURVE it!! Do you want to know on of my favorite features? There are women in all shapes in the pics. Several of my pattern books have only stick thin models; so I love to see that your designs look equally as stunning on curvy women. Thanks!

neighbourhood.gal said...

Hey! I just wanted to say that I received my patterns, they are GREAT! I have already made a muslin of the Monique and have cut out the fashion fabric - a dark wash chambray.

I think I want to line the dress rather than use facings, so a trip to the local fabric shop is in order.

I am considering adding corded piping to the neckline and waistband edges. Maybe even making my own out of the chambray.

Or I could add decorative topstitching in a traditional jeans style.

I have also been thinking about the zipper. Exposed? Lapped? The piping will make an invisible zipper impossible...

I am so excited! Thanks!

Ginger said...

Thanks for the tutorial. Now I have an excuse to get my ruffler foot out of the box.

Yycien said...

For me, it would be better to use these flowers as a hair clips. I 'm thinking of making small ones of these. Such a great idea and looks like a fun project. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

Sasha Holloway said...

OMGoodness these are AMAZING

sesiber said...

Wonderful idea!Thanks for sharing...

Louise said...

Holy crap, I need this attachment.

Genevieve Rodriguez said...

Thanks for telling us about this tutorial during the Fiskateer chat. These are GORGEOUS!

Jen Conlon said...

Great tutorial! You've been featured on the Quality Sewing Tutorials blog.

We hand select only the best free tutorials and patterns for the home sewist.

Grab a brag button!

Kay Whitt said...

Thanks so much for letting me know, Jen! I have posted a link to your blog on my Facebook page!!

alda said...

these flowers are amazing!

Sharman said...

I found your tutorial today and I have a ruffler that I bought years ago and had never used it because it just looked too intimidating. Took me a while to even find it but I got it on my machine and tried it. Oh my gosh, it's so cool! Not hard to do this at all. Thank you so much for the tutorial!

KatieZ Creations said...

LOVE these!

Deborah said...

Thanks so much. This is so cute, and I'll surely make some for shawl pins.

Mira Leventhal-Abudi said...

I linked back to your tutorial on my post about ways to embellish your garments. Here is the link http://sewtlc.blogspot.com/2012/09/little-changes-big-outcomes-how-to.html
This is my favorite fabric flower, thank you so much for the tutorial!

Betsy Speert said...

Just found your blog by poking around blogland on a snowey day.
I write decorating books, and a decorating blog, and these would be WONDERFUL on pillows and as embellishments on soft furnishings! I think in the future I will do a post, making some of these flowers, and will link back to this post.
I love the cross pollination from fashion to home design.
Glad I found you.....

"Mo" said...

Just followed your tutorial today after ordering and receiving my ruffler foot. I love how easy it is to make these cute flowers! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this tutorial. Love it!
Maureen