fabric flower tutorial

So, you may have noticed the flowers this spring. They're popping up all over the place. Fabric flowers on headbands and hair clips and ribbon belts and dresses ... and the t-shirts. Oh, the beautiful $45 t-shirts. You know the ones. Sigh.
I'm not even usually a flowery type of girl, but even I have been seduced by the fabric flowers this season. So I started making some.
Here's a couple of little tutorials if you'd like to do the same. (It's really easy.)
First, find some fabric scraps or swatches and cut out several circles. (Mine are about 2" in diameter, but you can make them whatever size you want.) Then cut out some flowery shapes with petals – make some of them smaller, and some a little bit larger. I free-handed mine; they really don't need to be perfect.
A note on fabric: I used all kinds of scraps that I already had in my fabric stash. Some fabrics will fray a bit on the edges, but that's okay. I used cotton, satin, organza, weird chiffon-y stuff and even some cotton jersey, which worked great. This could be the perfect way to re-purpose some old t-shirts that you don't know what else to do with.
Stack up your cut-outs, and you're ready to get started. (I was lucky enough to have a little help with this part.)

Fabric Flower Tutorial No. 1
Grab your stack of flowery cut-outs with petals. To make the flower's center, start by pinching one of your smaller flower shapes as shown – so it's in fourths.
Hold it in place, and grab your needle and thread. (I used contrasting thread here in hopes that you could see what I was doing a little bit better, but you'll want to choose thread that matches your flower.)
Make a few stitches in the very bottom of the pinched section, making sure to catch all of the folds that you pinched so it will stay gathered. Knot at the back.
Add another similar sized flower cut-out behind it, and again, pinch the whole thing to gather it a bit. Sew through the back of the center of this flower at the base, where you pinched it. Stitch through all of the layers and continue to make folds/gathers to give it dimension.
The back side will look something like this. You don't need tons of stitches to make this work; a few will do.
Then add another larger flower layer to the back, and another until you've achieved the size and shape you're going for.
Ta-da! Just eyeball it as you go. You really can't mess it up.
Here's another example of this type of flower, with more layers and in a lighter weight fabric.

Flower Tutorial No. 2
The second type flower will be made from the circles that you cut. Start by folding one of your circles in half, and then fold it in half again. (As shown.)
Stitch through the layers at the center point of your folds.
Again, just a couple of secure stitches will do the job.
Then, fold several more of these little ruffles, stitch and knot their center points, and then line them all up on your needle.
Squish them all together like this, and stitch through them all at once. I usually use around six to eight circles but you can use as many or as few as you want.
Tie a knot at the back and rearrange the individual ruffles/sections to make a round flowery shape. Make several stitches on the back to keep all of the layers in place. And you're done! Almost.
Now you can sew your blooms directly onto your t-shirt or bag or dress with your needle and thread. Or, if you're like me and are a little bit worried that your flowers may not survive the wash, you can sew pin-backs on them. You can purchase a whole bag of bar pin-backs for under $3 – just be sure to get the kind with the holes in them so you can sew them on. Cut a little piece of felt to use as backing and stitch it to your flower with embroidery thread. Now you can rearrange your flowers in different configurations and add them to anything you want. (Exciting!) This is the fun part ...
A few little 'corsages' for a bunch of Lo's summer tops. (I went a little crazy in her closet.)
And then I got excited about my closet.

I could go on and on but you get the idea. Go forth and make pretty flowers.

60 comments:

  1. I love these fun, frilly flowers!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love, love, love this! Thanks so much for the tutorial!!!! I always want "those shirts" when i see them but can't pay that much. This is the perfect alternative!

    ReplyDelete
  3. thanks for sharing jen - i've been saving and searching for fabric to make some, and handy that i can just use your tutorial now instead of searching online later!
    love the yellow ones!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome tutorial. Totally making some this week to send to my family out of the country.
    THanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. totally amazing, they look great! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. You KNOW I love these...will you be making more to sell? Please???

    ReplyDelete
  7. yay! thanks for the tutorial. I just found some white tee shirts i bought a while ago and havent worn (cos when I fine a style of white tee I like I will buy 5 of them) Now I know what to do with them!

    ReplyDelete
  8. buddy! these are so cool! i'm def making some!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. fun!! Love these, and I LOVE that white tank top one (ahem) and you could totally sell these at a craft show!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. these are beautiful! Thanks for sharing the tutorial. Can't wait to try making some!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Very cute. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  12. cute cute! and thanks for the tutorial - very clear steps.

    ReplyDelete
  13. AWESOME! I will be making some soon! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, lovely! I love them all - but the way the blue ones pop off of the green is just gorgeous. :) Rad!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love the shirts! I got several this year with flowers on them, because they are seriously on EVERYTHING IN SIGHT!! I love your tutorial, I don't watch video tuts, but I think photos are so much easier for some people! So way to go!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great Tutorial! I will have to try some of these for cardmaking! I will be sharing your tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm not into the flowers on a shirt trend, but I could see making a really pretty garland out of these to dress up my window for Spring. Thanks for posting such a detailed, well-photographed tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you SO much for this beautiful tutorial! This is my favorite idea of the year so far- one I'll actually DO! You Rock, Jen! :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey Hey Jen!

    Great photos and explanation. Inspired to bring some life back to my t's!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Lovely! I just started a tumblr account called She Is Sew Creative to share all of the lovely, crafty ideas that inspire me. The link for this just went up there. Thank you so much. Love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you so much for sharing this! I can't wait to try some on my own!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Very well done tutorial and good photographs.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for sharing-- this is EXACTLY what I was looking for to make some birthday presents for my two younger sisters. I even bought the shirts beforehand, so confident that I would figure it out. Thanks for taking the guesswork out of it. Super cute!

    ReplyDelete
  25. These are so cute! I especially love the blue ones!

    ReplyDelete
  26. buena la explicación!
    gracias!!
    desde Chile
    c@

    ReplyDelete
  27. I think this tutorial is so great. I'll used it in my newest creations. Please visit my blog.
    http://arbolbeluna.blogspot.com/
    A hug!
    Bea

    ReplyDelete
  28. I just shared this on my blog and linked it back to you. So cute!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm going to put these on a bunch of clutches for a wedding. THANK YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I tried a fabric flower, and here's how it turned out: http://designfixation.blogspot.com/2010/06/diy-hair-embellishment.html

    ReplyDelete
  31. I discovered this tutorial through a link via an old Creature Comforts post. What fun! (I post after trying.) Also, this was the post that got me to finally make these flowers - not the Martha Stewart version, so cheers! Your blog is really lovely, too, and I have subscribed. Wishing you all the very best, Greta

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi!

    Wanted you to know I posted a link on my blog to this tutorial.

    Nancy Ward
    http://paperfriendly.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. how well do these hold up in the washer?

    - Donaville
    dvness@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. I can’t tell you how much I adore this! Thank you for the fabulous tutorial!! I featured this tutorial today on my blog with a roundup of flower tutorials. Here is the link:

    http://oopsey-daisy.blogspot.com/2010/07/wednesdays-wowzers-3-dozen-plus-four.html

    Thank you so much for inspiring me. Have a wonderful day!

    ~Alison

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank you for this awesome tutorial!

    Are you the one on ravelry who bought my excess twinkle yarn??

    Nysa

    ReplyDelete
  36. Here is the first of many things that I made with your wonderful tutorial!

    http://thisnthatcass.blogspot.com/2010/08/no-its-not-paper.html

    ReplyDelete
  37. Here is a post I did on the other kind of flower. Thanks so much for kick starting a new passion!!

    http://thisnthatcass.blogspot.com/2010/09/yeah-i-love-knitting.html

    ReplyDelete
  38. So excited to make flowers like this. THANKS !!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Love your flowers! Here's a collection I found helpful as well. Hope you enjoy!

    8 Easy Fabric Flower Patterns

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi I'm brazilian and I'm looking for ideas. I like flowers a lot. Great idea. Kisses

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi there,
    It's just the perfect time finding your blog(accidentally)... I've been struggling to make some cute accessories yet effortless for my daughter...
    Love the idea and you specifically explain every steps.. If you have more ideas, post it!
    I heart your ideas~

    ReplyDelete
  42. great idea.. i just going to make up some flowers to put on top of a wrapped gift.. cant wait..

    ReplyDelete
  43. this is one of the amazing post i like this a ,lot.

    http:// Good food and drinks of our world
    http:// Wonder of my world
    http:// Physical exercise blogspot
    amazon.com/wonderworld20-20

    ReplyDelete
  44. woow i love it. thanks... :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hey Jen,

    Great flowers, thx for the tutorial.
    LOOOOOOVE your red embroidered top!
    Please, oh please tell me where you got it! Nice combos.

    Anonymous

    ReplyDelete
  46. Just found your flowers today. I am going to put them on everything. They are so beautiful. This is September of 2012. I am so happy they were still on here.
    dmds1

    ReplyDelete
  47. In tutorial II - when you them all up to sew the 5-8 little ruffles into a flower, do you have them so they are all folded in the same direction or alternating directions? Wasn't sure & couldn't tell from the pics! Thanks!! SO cute!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Joanna – I had them facing the same way, but it works just as well if they're not facing the same way. You really can't go wrong! Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi nice Post written by you guys. It is amazing and wonderful to visit your site. Thank a ton for such a nice post.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I love what you did with your shirt and have featured it in my post as one of ten ways to redesign t-shirts: http://thedomesticatedprincess.blogspot.com/2012/11/from-t-shirt-to-treasure-part-2.html.

    ReplyDelete

  52. I am so glad you are back. I have missed looking at the awesome tbuy work that you Gym fitness accessories

    ReplyDelete
  53. These are so cute! thanks - http://www.davetiyeburada.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. Thank you for sharing this work with me but I am the best of the world. Thank you very much for sharing it but I am the best of the world mate.. A powerful site and also a good blog with nice articles as they are very much related to every other particular subject matter

    ReplyDelete

  55. Thanks for a nice share you have given to us with such an large collection of information. Great work you have done by sharing them to all. simply superb. Indian pickles

    ReplyDelete
  56. oh wow this is just brilliant the detail is just fantastic hugs Avacare

    ReplyDelete
  57. Yay!! flower power can I just hot glue safety pins on?

    ReplyDelete
  58. their creative work. Health into the hands of the designer.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!