Free Tutorial – Fabric Flower Frills

This fabulous free sewing tutorial by Karen Harvey is perfect for adorning your fascinator project from Love Sewing issue 11

Fabric flower frills can have many decorative uses and can be made using the smallest scraps of fabric, making sure that nothing goes to waste. Young children in particular love making them and when they can turn them in to hair bobbles, hair slides or brooches they can be a popular hobby for those 6 years plus, filling many a long journey or rainy holiday. A travel kit complete with ready cut circles, needle and thread can fit in a Tupperware box.

Karen says: “You can use any type of fabrics for these flowers and the type of fabric may dictate which kind of flower you choose. I love the fraying two tone effect of shot silk as seen in the photos. Wool or tweed also gives a lovely finish which improves as they wear. Felt scraps and indeed shrunken woollens come in to their own with the first and easiest design, so you need never totally despair at a shrunken sweater again. The heat that shrinks them in the first place prevents further fraying on cutting and therefore you can use them just like felt. I have also found that the thickness of duchesse satin stands up quite well in these simple flowers as well.”

Felt/Wool/Duchesse satin flowers

1. Cut 7 circles of your chosen size from the fabric scraps. The size of your circle will dictate the size of the finished flower. If using thicker fabric, you may not need the 7th circle. (Photo A)
2. Starting with your first circle, fold it in to quarters and then sew through the bottom corner over and back a few times to secure it. Try and stay as close to the point as possible in order that the flower “Petals” spring up when finished. (Photo B)
3. Place the first folded circle point in to the centre of a base circle and sew through to base and the folded corner a few times to secure. You will be doing 3 more like this to make up 4 quarters on the base. (photo C)
4. Repeat this process with the further 3 circles to complete the circle. For uniformity, make sure these are placed folded side to open side around the circle.
5. Take one or two further circles, fold them in to quarters and secure by sewing over the point. Place them pointed side down in the centre of the other 4 pieces. If it is fiddly to secure these in the middle with further stitches through the base then these can be glued with a glue gun but most fabrics can be sewn in to place. If the fabric is very thick, then sometimes 1 circle in the centre will suffice as it did here. (photo D)
6. Once finished, secure a brooch or bobble to the back or attach it to a hair slide, a Kirby grip or a few to a head band. They can also be used to decorate clothing or other accessories.

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Satin/silk flower frills

1. Again cut a number of same size circles from your chosen fabric, the size of which will again dictate the size of the finished flower. How many you need to cut depends on the thickness of the fabric. I find that when using soft satin or poly mix about 13 circles is enough to make a full flower but you may need up to 17 or more if you are using chiffon.
2. Fold each circle in half and then in to thirds as shown (photo E). Double thread a needle, knotting the end, and thread it through the bottom pointed corner again, pushing it all the way to the bottom of the knot.
3. Repeat this process as many times as you have circles and then line up the pointed ends so they are all in the same direction (photo F). Check whether you have done enough by folding the two ends round in to a circle and turn over to look at the fullness of the flower from the front.
4. When you are happy with the fullness of your flower, sew over the point of the last folded circle a few times to secure it (photo G), then turn the first and last towards each other and sew the two together a few times.
5. On the flat back, sew across opposite sides of the circle a few times to secure (Photo H)
6. Turn over to check your finished flower and then attach to your chosen accessory. These can have many different uses, and as you can see from the bag photo shot silk really does take on a beautiful effect.

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