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This project was designed by Becky Skuse who loves sewing and all things crafty. She has been lucky enough to work in craft magazines for many years and she likes to make practical items for modern lifestyles, yet also enjoys making items with a little bit of whimsy. She blogs at makemedo.wordpress.com and has an Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/MakeMeDo


Five Fabric Flowers

Sew five fabric flowers


Great for stash-busting, these flowers are all quick and simple to make, by hand or machine, using scraps of spare fabric from your stash. You can sew these flowers onto a jacket, dress or jumper. Or you could sew a circle of felt over the seams at the back and attach a brooch fastening – the perfect little gift!

 

Flower 1: Gathered Circle

 Gathered fabric flower

 
Materials 

Works best with delicate fabric (chiffon, organza, etc), but also looks good with printed cotton

For chiffon, you need two squares approx 30cm wide to make a flower approx 10cm in diameter

For printed cotton, you need one square approx 25cm wide to make a flower approx 7cm in diameter

Cotton thread

Hand-sewing needle

Pipe cleaner (optional)

 

Making a gathered circle


Cut your squares into circles – they don’t have to be perfect. Thread a hand-sewing needle with cotton thread to match the fabric – I’ve used red so you can see it against the white chiffon. Layer up your circles and using long running stitches, sew a circle around the fabric, approx 4cm from the edge (if you’re using 25cm of cotton, stitch the circle approx 3cm from the edge instead). Make your stitches approx 1cm long and leave the two thread ends loose but make sure they won’t be pulled out while you work.


Making a gathered flower


Locate the two thread ends and gently pull on both ends to gather up the circle. Let the inner part of the fabric circle become enclosed by the gathers. It’s ok to have a small hole at the centre of the gathers, just gather up the fabric as tightly as you can. Knot the two thread ends together to secure the gathers.

 

Gather chiffon to make a flower


Now you need to flatten the shape so that the small hole at the centre of the gathers lines up with the centre of the original fabric circle. I did this by holding the piece by the gathers and placing it down on its bottom, pulling out the unstitched fabric to form a neat circle. Open out the gathers slightly to reveal the small hole and press down lightly to make sure everything is lined up.

 

Gathered fabric flower


Release the gathers and they should puff up by themselves, covering up the small hole. You could leave the flower like this, or add a pretty button to the centre.
 

  Finished gathered flower project


You can create a really intricate look if you spend some time separating the gathers in the two layers by hand, encouraging them to puff up even more. Add a few invisible stitches to hold the layers to the flat back of the flower. A pretty decoration for special occasions or just everyday glam! 

Alternatively, if you’ve made the flower from printed cotton, try stitching it to a green pipe cleaner to make a delightful fabric carnation.

 

Flower 2: Charm Squares

Sew a charm square flower


Materials

Works with any fabric, especially bright printed cotton

You need six 13cm/5in squares from a Charm Pack (you can use matching or contrasting prints)

Finished flower measures approx 13cm/5in in diameter

Cotton thread

Hand-sewing needle

Toy stuffing, small amount (optional)

Green felt, small square (optional)

Wooden skewer (optional)

 

Choosing charm squares for a fabric flower

 
Take one of your six squares and place it right side down.


Constructing fabric flowers


Fold the top-right corner to meet the bottom-left corner. Don’t press.

 

Free sewing projects

 
Fold the top-left corner to meet the bottom-right corner. Don’t press.

 

 Step by step fabric flowers

 
Work a long running stitch along the bottom edge of the triangle you’ve created, approx 1cm from the edge. Leave long tails of spare cotton thread at both ends.

 

Petals for a fabric flower


Repeat with four more squares, using the same piece of cotton thread to chain piece all the triangles together. Leave long tails of spare cotton thread at both ends of the chain.

 

Gathering petals

 
Holding both ends of the thread, carefully gather up the petals.


Finished flower circle


Don’t worry about gathering as tight as possible, it’s normal to have a hole in the centre. Knot the two thread ends together to secure the gathers.

 

Making a centre circle for a flower

 
Take your remaining square and trim it into a circle. Using long running stitches, sew a circle around the fabric, approx 1.5cm from the edge, leaving both thread ends loose but making sure they won’t be pulled out while you work.

 

Centre circle for a fabric flower

 
Locate the two thread ends and gently pull on both ends to start gathering up the circle. Pause and insert a little toy stuffing inside the circle (this isn’t essential, but I find it creates a better effect). Continue to gather up until the stuffing is enclosed. Knot the two thread ends together to secure the gathers. This will be the centre of the flower.

 

Attaching a centre to fabric flower


Insert the flower centre into the hole at the centre of the gathered petals and pull through until you’re happy with the look.

 

Back of fabric flower

 
Stitch the gathers of the flower centre at the back of the flower to secure them. Add a circle of green felt over the top, if desired.

Work a few invisible stitches at the front to secure the flower centre to the petals. Use the flower to brighten up your home by stitching it to a cushion or curtain. Or stitch a wooden skewer to the back of the flower to act as a stem and pop it in a vase. Make more for a floral bouquet that will never wilt!

 

Flower 3: Appliqué Motif

Sew an applique flower

 
Materials

Printed cotton fabric is best for this flower

A flower shape at least 10cm in diameter

Fusible web (the same size as your flower shape)

Cotton thread

Hand-sewing needle

 

Cut out flower shapes for applique

 
Draw your flower shape onto the back of your fabric – you could draw the flower freehand or download a template. Make sure it’s at least 8cm in diameter – any smaller and the technique becomes very difficult. Add a seam allowance of around 1cm around the flower shape and cut out.

 

Applying fusible web


Place your flower right side down on top of the tacky side of your piece of fusible web, but don’t cut it out. Stitch the flower to the fusible web, using a 1cm seam allowance. Stitch all the way around and don’t leave a turning gap. Now you can cut out the flower shape from the fusible web. Then clip into the seam allowance around the outer curves of the petals, leaving a few millimetres between your cut and the seam line. At the point where the petals meet, make a cut as far as you can into the seam allowance, but be careful not to cut the stitch at the point.

 

Using Bondaweb

 
Now pull the two layers apart slightly, so that you can make a small cut into the layer of fusible web, without cutting the cotton fabric. Make the cut around 3cm long, or as small as you can, while also creating a turning gap large enough to pull the flower through.

 

Push fabric through gap

 
Push the fabric through the turning gap to turn the flower through to the right side. Use a blunt-ended object (such as a blunt knitting needle) to gently push out the fabric around each of the petals.
 

Press the flower with an iron on a low heat, making sure there’s no moisture on your ironing board – the flower should easily peel off the board after pressing. Your appliqué flower is now finished and ready to fuse to another piece of fabric, such as a skirt or duvet cover. Sew it into place to secure.


Using a printed flower motif


Finished fusible web flower


Rather than drawing a flower shape or using a template, you could cut out a flower motif from a piece of printed cotton fabric and turn it into an appliqué shape. To do this, cut out the shape roughly, leaving at least 1cm seam allowance around the edge.

Place the flower right sides together with the fusible web and sew around the outside of the flower shape. Finish as for the blue flower to create a unique decorative motif.
 

Find the final two flower tutorials here.


If you enjoy making accessories, please see our other projects here.
 

Free sewing projects