Thursday, October 18, 2007

Nouveau Roses

Give a favorite old flower an updated look with new pleated French wired ribbon. The steps are very easy.

· Cut a 2 yard piece of size 5 (1" wide) ribbon for the rose into two 1 yard pieces. Sew the two raw ends of one piece together about ¼” from the edge. Accordion-fold this piece into tiny pleats (about ¼” wide) between your thumb and forefinger. This is the outside of the rose.

· To make the inside of the rose, take the other 1 yard piece of ribbon and begin by folding the right side of the ribbon down diagonally, letting the ribbon extend below the selvege about ½”. Fold the diagonal edge in half again. Begin rolling the ribbon tightly from the right about 1” to 1½” along the length to form the center of the rose. With a size 11 milliner's needle and Nymo bead thread, take a few stitches at the bottom of the roll to hold this center roll in place.

· Sew the tail of the center bud to the center of a 3" square of crinoline with just a few stitches, and stand the center up. Coil the ribbon around the center very loosely to form the center of the rose, leaving some space between the coil. Tuck the raw edge under the coil of ribbon when you get to the end. Now, flatten the coil of ribbon gently with your hand.

· Tack the rose’s flattened center down in the folds, and along the selvege edges. Carefully cut the excess crinoline away underneath. Place the circle of pleated ribbon underneath the center of the rose, and tack it down around the edges of the center.

· Make two simple leaves, and tack the leaves underneath the rose to the crinoline.

· Cut a circle out of felt (pink or scallop the edge) to cover the crinoline. Glue the felt on the back of the rose. Glue or sew a pinback to the felt to make a brooch, or eliminate the felt back and use this as an embellishment on a crazy quilt or other project.

Enjoy your beautiful roses...

When you have time to browse, please visit Vintage Vogue.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Simple Ribbon Leaves

Use this simple leaf to add greenery to your floral compositions. The steps are very easy.

· Cut 10" inches of ribbon into two 5" pieces. If you’re using French wired ribbon, you can leave the fine wire in the edge of the ribbon or remove it—your choice. Removing the wire will make the leaves softer.

· Fold the ribbon in half, and overlap the center selvege edges about ¼" as shown. Pin to hold in place. Make two of these.

· Place one leaf on top of the other as shown, with the outside edge of the top leaf aligned with the center of the bottom leaf. Pin to hold in place.

· Sew along the bottom edge, about ¼" in from the cut edges with ¼" long running stitches.

· Pull the running stitches to gather, wrap the thread around the gathers a few times, and knot off. Cut the thread.

· Tuck the finished leaves underneath your ribbon blossoms.

Enjoy your beautiful leaves...

When you have time to browse, please visit Vintage Vogue.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Antiquing Velvet Ribbon

Add a new dimension to your ribbonwork by overdyeing and crushing new rayon velvet ribbon to give it an antique look.

· Cut a piece of velvet ribbon in a light to medium value. Rayon or silk ribbon works best. Polyester and nylon velvet ribbons cannot easily be dyed and, because of the fiber content, the nap of the ribbon will not crush.

· Mix a dye solution using a fiber-reactive dye. Use the appropriate dye for the fiber content of your ribbon. I use a weak solution of Procion dye with the rayon ribbon. As with any dyeing project, the more dye you use in the solution, the more vibrant the colors will be.

· Wet the ribbon thoroughly. Wring most of the water out of the ribbon by pulling it between two of your fingers. Make sure the ribbon is damp, but not dripping wet. Wetting the ribbon first allows the dye to spread more easily throughout the ribbon. Place the ribbon wrong side up on a few folded paper towels to protect your work surface from the dye.

· As shown in the second piece of ribbon above, spread the dye on the wrong side of the ribbon with a brush (I use a Chinese Sumi brush) or use an eyedropper. You can purchase small glass medicine bottles with an eyedropper from any pharmacy. Use more than one color of dye for a variegated look, and let the colors mix together on the ribbon. Let the ribbon set for a few minutes to allow the dyes to set. Turn the ribbon over, and place it right side up on a few clean folded paper towels. Take the ribbon on the towels to your ironing board. Protect your ironing board with a piece of foil underneath the paper towels to prevent any leak-through onto the ironing board cover.

· With a dry iron on the cotton setting, iron the ribbon dry. As you iron, the pressure of the iron will force some of the dye out of the ribbon into the paper towels. This is why you need a piece of foil underneath the paper towels to protect the ironing surface. Because of the leak-through, the finished color will be fainter that it initially appeared when you first applied the dye. The third piece of ribbon in the picture shows just how much of the color is lost when ironing. Press down hard, and twist the iron in your hand as you iron the ribbon. The heat and pressure from the iron will crush the nap, and give the ribbon a beautiful antique look. For another look, crush the ribbon in your hand into a ball while it is still slightly damp after ironing, and then let it dry without smoothing it out. Iron the ribbon again when it's dry. It will retain some of the creases, and never look new again!

Enjoy your beautiful ribbons...

When you have time to browse, please visit Vintage Vogue.