The basic technique for making flowers is so simple that children can easily do it. However, the technique also can be highly refined and detailed for those who relish that type of work. I will begin by explaining the simplest technique to get you started. Once you understand the basics you can use your own creativity or some of the variations I'll spell out for more complicated and intricate items. These look best in a bunch, so plan to make at least a dozen of them.
This title includes 25 great projects that allow you to turn your old and unused sweaters into countless fabulous outfits and accessories. It is great for beginners as it incorporates simple hand sewing techniques and doesn't require the use of a sewing machine. In-depth tips from the author, Crispina french, on felting, cutting and stitching old sweaters into fresh and fun new fashions. Its step-by-step illustrations take you through every step of upcycling.© 2013 Crispina ffrench / David & Charles · Reproduced with permission.
PREPARING YOUR MATERIALS
Measure and cut â€˜12 pieces of wire each about 24" long. Bend wire lengths in half, making the ends even. Do not crease the wire.
Cut scraps of fabric into squares, circles, triangles, and strips of varying sizes. Shapes can range from 1/2" across to 21/2" or even 3" across it the fabric has enough body to hold itself without looking floppy or wilted. Strips are best cut from thin cloth without much body and are useful up to 6" in length and 1" wide. You will need about 36 individual cut pieces to make a dozen flowers, more if possible. Flowers look really good with at least three different fabrics. Bright shades of natural flower colors are my favorite.
Using the cut pieces of scrap, make â€œ12 stacks that will become your flower petals. Start each stack with bigger pieces and pile on three or four pieces of decreasing size. Day attention to color combinations and how your shapes work together to create a flowerlike appearance.
Build a stack of two or three buttons that coordinate well with each stack of petals. You will want to make the piles of buttons start with the biggest and work toward the smallest. Flat buttons with either two or four holes work best for this, although shank buttons are fine for the top of the stack. Shank buttons also look nice threaded next to each other and manipulated to all face up in bunches.
CONSTRUCTING THE FLOWERS
Even the ends of the wire with wire cutters if necessary.
Slip buttons onto both wire ends, threading each end through a hole in each flat button, or just through the shank on shank buttons. Pull the slack of buttons to the very middle of the fold in the wire. Occasionally, if the buttons are especially small or if the stack of buttons is especially tall, it can be difficult to pull the buttons to the center of the wire. If this is the case, use your hands or a pair of small pliers to manipulate the wire and make it easier to pull them to the center.
With the smallest pieces on top, pick up a whole stack of the scrap arranged into petals. Hold the wires near the bottom with your other hand. With the two wire ends about 1/2" apart, apply gentle pressure to the top of the stack of fabric. Wiggle the wires back and forth keeping pressure even; slowly but surely the wire ends will work themselves into and then through the stack, top to bottom. Push the stack to the center fold of the wire to meet the buttons.
Thread a strip of green fabric onto one of the wires and slide it to meet the scraps.
Twist together the two ends of the wire either by hand, or by inserting the ends into an electric drill with the bit removed. Tighten drill closed around the wires. While holding the flower head and fabric tightly against the buttons with one hand, gently spin the wires to twist just enough to hold the petals firmly in place. Be careful not to over twist or the wires will curl up on themselves like old telephone cords.
Wrap the wire stem with the strip oi green fabric fastened in the wire twist: Hold the ribbon flat, angled toward the bottom of the stem, between your thumb and forefinger. Spin the wire with your other hand and let the ribbon pull through your fingers with a little tension. Move along the stem to cover the length with an inch or two of green ribbon to spare. When you get to the bottom, fold the ribbon back onto the stem while continuing to spin the stem in the same direction When the ribbon is too small to hold onto, put a little dab of white glue on the inside of the ribbon end and press it down smoothly.
TA-DA! You are done with your first flower!