Fancy fabric flowers two ways: tutorial

Thank you all for your comments and help about my work-in-progress silk party dress!  I loved reading all your ideas--there were so many of them, most of which I hadn't considered!  Some of you said add a belt, some said do some self-fabric flowers, and some said it's classy and simple the way it is.  I still don't know exactly how I'll wear it, but I think the key is versatility and how fun it is to change it up!
I wanted to start with trying the fabric flower idea.  The perfect way to do a fabric flower but leave the dress open for other options is with a flower pin.  Luckily, I have an idea for a super easy way to make fabric flower pins out of the extra fabric!  I'd love to share the tutorial (s) with you.

Let me start by saying that I do not often make fabric flowers.  Hand-sewing frustrates me and I usually prefer making larger things, following a set pattern with different pieces that fit together.  But I've found a way that works for me, and I actually enjoy making these little flowers!  So often I look at fabric flowers and am confused by the construction, but I guarantee these ones are super easy to make!

Here's the basic tutorial, for a fun fabric flower you can make out of one, two, or maybe even three types of fabric.  All-one fabric would be pretty, but since I have the silk organza and the poly lining of the exact same color, I'm going to go with two.  So here's what you do:
  • Cut 11-13 circles.  Cut one extra-large one, 4 large ones, 4 medium ones, and 2-4 small ones, depending on the fluffiness you want and the stiffness or thickness of the fabric.  You can cut circles by tracing Tupperware lids, or by cutting squares and then lobbing the corners off carefully.  They don't have to be perfect!!
  • Fold the circles in half, then into quarters, then cut petal shapes out.  Again, no need for perfection, but try to make your petals pretty and rounded, even if they're not all the same size.
 Do this to all the petals.
  • On the extra large circle, mark the center with a fabric pen.  Fold the four large circles into quarters and sew them, with 2-3 stitches, to the center of the base flower.
 Imagine the base flower is divided into quadrants, like it has been by my folding it in quarters to find the center.
  •  Continue this method with all four large petals.
  •  Now for the second layer! Using the medium petals, sew them down on an angle from the original four quadrants so that each of them covers the fold between the original ones.  It makes more sense in pictures.
  •  Continue with all the medium flowers, then the 2-4 smallest ones.  At this point, the flower will be sort of puffy and you don't need to worry too much about perfectly covering the folds of the lower layer, and you can sew the 2-4 inner petals on whichever angle you choose, as long as their centers match up with the base flower center.
  • Now for the pin.  You'll need some pin backs (I got this package for about $1 at JoAnn's).
  •  Sew the pin back onto the flower.  Go through all three holes, anchoring on both sides of the pin!
  •  And you're done.
Now, after I made this flower, I thought... one flower on a dress?  Could be kind of boring.  I wanted to make another one!
I thought, what would it look like if I used a less symmetrical approach?  Rather than one whole layer of opaque flowers, what if I just mixed in the different types of petals?  So I'll show you now another version.  Here, cut 1 base flower, 4 large flowers, 4 medium flowers, 4 small flowers, and, if you like, 2-4 extra small flowers.  This flower has more petals than the other!

  •  Same as before--fold the large petals into quarters, and sew onto your base flower.
  •  Continue with the other large flowers--if you're using two different fabrics, like me, I suggest alternating them.  See; I have sheer, opaque, sheer...
  •  Sew on the medium layer, again, covering the folded edges of the lower layer.
  •  Once you get to the end, it should be quite 3-D, so sew the smallest flowers in however you like.
  •  Sew the pin back on as before.
Here are the two flowers!!  The more symmetrical one is the larger one; the more free-form one is the smaller.  They're very similar in that they both have the curved petal edges (wouldn't this be fun if you cut the petals pointy?!) and are put together the same way, but they do have different looks.

 Here's how they look on the dress.  Don't know exactly what I want to do with them... at the waist? Maybe over a self-fabric belt?
 At the top?

So there it is.  I still have no idea how I want to wear the dress, but at least I have some fun options!
Seriously, thank you for your suggestions on how to accessorize the dress.  Believe it or not, hot pink minidresses are not the norm for me!

26 comments

  1. Those are gorgeous. I've been wanting something like this to make an old cardigan I love and can't bear to get rid of look fresh for fall again. Thank you!

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  2. Thank you for the great tutorial-the flowers look like peonies!

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  3. Ah! So cute!!! They look great both at the top and the waist. It is great that they have pins so you have variety.

    Maria from:
    http://mycurrenthobby.blogspot.com/

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  4. These are great. My mum has been asking me for a fabrci flower and after looking at lots of different tutorials I can honestly say that yours is the best!

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  5. you are a freakin GENIUS right now! I need to start getting more creative with my clothes! I LOVE this!

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  6. Those flowers are beautiful!!! You are so talented!! Thanks for the tutorial.

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  7. Thank you! They are beautiful, I think they look wonderful at the waist...Theresa xoxo

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  8. I think this tutorial of yours is just a re-hash of Blair of Wisecraft's flower tutorial? WiseCraft Tutorial Here.

    I have a bunch of fabric flower tutorials up on my blog, here. I especially like the satin rose tutorial and the chiffon & tulle flower tutorial.

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  9. Thanks for sharing! These flower pins look really pretty, I'll have to try making some for myself. Does the fabric at the edges of the flowers ever fray?

    They look cute both at the top and waist. I can understand your indecision. :D

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  10. Thanks, everyone! So glad you find it so useful!
    @Iris, I haven't seen the Wise Craft tute in a while; I guess it is similar! It's a versatile style =) Your chiffon and tulle flower is really pretty, thanks for the links!
    @QuackedPlush, yeah, I think depending on the fabric you could have some fraying issues. I thought about spritzing hair spray on the finished flower to prevent that, but it hasn't been bad on the silk and poly ones. Of course Fray Check, nail polish, or melting would work, but would be time-intensive for all those edges!

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  11. Beautiful! I don't enjoy hand-sewing either, but to make these lovelies...it might be worth it!

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  12. I think at the waist with a matching belt would look great!

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  13. Well I couldn't resist and had a go myself tonight. I made a simpler version- the result is there:
    http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/very-easy-fabric-flower-brooch

    I did put a link onto your tutorial both in the description and the credits. I hope this is ok.

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  14. I love fabric flowers, I even some talked about doing today on my blog. I plan on doing a gazillion flowers here very soon trying several tutorials. Thanks again!

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  15. Lovin the flowers! Have to say, the flowers at the waist perfectly complete the dress. Just what the dress needed.

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  16. Love the flowers! Gonna try it definatly, as soon as I've figured out what fabrics etc I want for them XD

    And I like the placement on top of your dress. The middle is OK, but if you ask me, they 'drown' a bit in the pijnk lace of your skirt.

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  17. Oooh! They look amazing on the waist. Great job!

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  18. I can not wait to get home and make these! I'm always picking up cute clearance scraps to use just for these types of projects!

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  19. Love, love, love this dress with the flowers! Not sure if you can get away with it for a wedding though!

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  20. Found your blog from Totally Tutorials and love it! Thanks for posting the tute. I like the dress. I have that pattern, too, but I like how you did the skirt.

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  21. Thanks a ton! i am making a ball gown for my DD and was looking out for fabric flowers, this style of flowers exactly match the design i had envisioned will keep you posted once i complete the dress

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  22. Thanks fo share, please give me permit me to link this

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  23. craftmate11/05/2011

    the flowers are not only beautiful, your tutorials are the best i've seen. how wonderfully talented your are. thanks so much for sharing.

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  24. Anonymous1/23/2013

    Thakyou so much for explaining so well they are gorgeous now to try one :))

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  25. These look superb - shall have a go thanks

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