~ day 3: fashion ~
Little sleeping princess. What a doll!
Guest blogger: Mary Cook
Today's holiday do-it-yourself project comes from Mary Cook, a stay-at-home mom in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is mama to a beautiful baby girl who is about to turn one. This feminine flower can be made into a clip, headband, or brooch. It is so darling on her little girl, but I would totally wear the same headband! A perfect gift for any girly girl young or young at heart!
You will need:
8-10 squares of fabric, more if you use only very thin fabric
1 strip of synthetic fabric cut to about 2 -2.5” wide and 36-48” long. A heavy satin works well for this. Alternately you can use a matching pre-made headband.
A 2”x12” strip of organdy, tulle or other sheer fabric
1 alligator clip
Length of ribbon to cover alligator clip
Hot glue gun and glue
Lighter. The long nozzle type made for candles is easiest to use
Long taper candle and holder (optional)
Sopping wet sponge
Step 1: Cut square of fabric. Start with squares of fabric in varying colors and textures. Cut the fabric 1-2” larger than you would like your finished flower to be. Make sure to use a combination of natural and synthetic fabrics because they react differently to fire. I like to use silk, satin, organdy, tulle or any other fabric that catches my eye. An inexpensive way to get different fabrics is to look for scrap bags and your local fabric store. I was able to get 2 scrap bags of bridal fabric for $1.30 each and then added my own fabric choices to these.
Step 2: Cut the squares into circles. This can be done easily by folding a square in half diagonally, then in half again, and again one more time. Hold the triangle with the tip pointing downward and cut straight across. You can also cut a rounded shape to give your circle a bit of a flower petal edge. Don’t worry about making perfect circles. You will be burning the edges which can even (or uneven) them out... and hey, flower petals aren’t perfect circles are they?
Step 3: Burn the edges. Before you begin burning please let me remind you that you are working with fire and it is very hot! (Really? Wow! Who would have thought?) You can burn your hands or your house if you are not careful. Some fabric will melt and take a while to catch fire, but some catch fire and burn FAST! Be prepared! Do this in a well ventilated area because scorched fabric is no fun to breathe. Since it is usually too windy to do this outside and have control over what I’m doing I stand over my stove or sink where I can drop the fabric if need be and it won’t hurt anything. I also lay down a sopping wet sponge to drop my fabric on to put out the flames.
I use a lighter for burning edges because it is easier to control, but I use an entire lighter for one flower. You could also try using a candle to keep your cost down. Start with a piece of synthetic fabric and hold the flame to the edge of the circle. Singe the entire circle. With a bit of practice you can make the edges curl up by getting the flame close, but not touching, and letting the fabric crinkle. Don’t worry about making the edges a perfect circle, the unevenness adds to the beauty. Next try a piece of silk. The sheer stuff burns REALLY fast so I usually dampen the entire circle so I can have a little bit of control in how it burns. Make some larger and some a little smaller to help with stacking
Step 4: Stack the flower. Once the edges of all the circles are burned, arrange and stack them how you like putting larger pieces in the bottom and a small piece on the top, then sew a little “X” in the middle to hold them together.
Step 5: Add the center. Take a piece of sheer fabric or tulle. In this example I used organdy. Cut a piece about 8-12” long and ¼- ½” smaller than your smallest circle. Fold this piece in ½” folds and cut both ends off in a “V” shape. Unfold the strip. Thread a needle and tie the ends in a knot. Stitch a seam down the middle and then pull the fabric down the thread tight towards the knot. Put the needle through the center of the flower and pull it through. Cut the needle off the thread and tie a knot tight against the fabric so that it stays scrunched up.
With needle and thread start from the back side of the flower and go through the center. Place one sequin, then one bead over the needle and pull them down the thread towards the flower. Place one more bead over the needle and go back through the bead again in the same direction to make a loop around the bead. Take the needle back through the other bead and the sequin, and then back through the flower. Work the beads and sequin down tight against the flower, pull out all slack in the thread and then tie a knot on the back. If you like you can put a drop of fabric glue on the back of the flower to help secure the thread. It’s not necessary but if you’re not that confident in your sewing skills, by all means go for it.
Step 6: Make the headband. If you are using a pre-made headband, you can skip ahead to the final step. Take the long strip of fabric. Using the same method as before singe the edges to seal them. Try to keep the melting and burning to a minimum for this piece so the edges will maintain flexibility and not snap and break when tied around the head.
Step 7: Attach it to a clip or pin. Take the alligator clip or pin and wrap the ribbon all the way around the clip, including the inside and the space covering the spring, then cut to fit. Hot glue the ribbon to the clip. After the glue is set Sew the top piece of the clip to the bottom of the flower. Clip the flower on to your headband or you can put it directly in your hair or even on a blouse or jacket.