Thursday, August 30, 2007

China Silk Flowers

Is it a rose? A poppy? A ranunculus? Who knows? It is, however, the fastest and easiest flower you’ll ever make to add to any bouquet.

· Cut a square of any soft fabric approximately twice the size of your finished flower. The size of the square determines the size of the finished flower. If you want a finished flower about 3" in diameter, begin with a 6" square of fabric. You can make very small or very large flowers with this method.

· Fold the fabric in half diagonally with the right sides together. With a needle and thread, sew a running stitch up the fold close to the edge and down one cut edge. Make some of your stitches long and some short. Varying the stitch length gives this flower character. On this sample, the stitches were ¼” to 1” long. Don’t tie off your thread yet!

· Turn the flower right side out carefully. Now pull gently on the loose end of the thread, and you’ll see the flower form right before your eyes. Keep pulling until the flower is the size you want. Turn the flower over and knot off the thread.

· Turn the flower right side up again. Tuck the raw edges under, and form into a flower. Place it on a piece of crinoline. Gently coax the flower into shape by forming soft folds around the center. A shot of steam from an iron may help. Be careful not to actually place the iron down on your flower.

· Carefully tack down the flower by sewing in the folds. Sewing across the flower in an X should be enough to hold the shape securely. Trim off the excess crinoline, and you’re finished!

· For another variation, try using soft velvet, charmeuse satin or any other soft fabric. Using firmer fabrics such as doupioni silk will result in a fuller flower.

Enjoy your beautiful flowers...

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