Sunday, October 4, 2009

DIY Sunday - Upcycled Fabric Flowers

Rain ... rain ...

... inspires the domestic diva in me!

So, among other domestic doings, I decided to embellish my cardigan with a fabric flower.

My inspiration was Jayma Mays's character, Emma, on my newest obsession, Glee. As a former high school member of the vocal jazz ensemble, The Teepee Lighters (our mascot was "The Indians" -- maybe someday I'll write about the Native American carpet scandal of '93), I'm Glee's target audience - choir dorks from schools in bad-to-medium neighborhoods. All season I've been admiring Emma's retro-inspired outfits, but since it's No-Buy Month, I couldn't emulate her style without some DIY action.

Photo courtesy Fox TV

Emma wears sweater sets, chunky necklaces, and flower-bedecked cardis, for a 1960's-style, unbeknownst-to-her awesomeness. Hopefully, she'll be able to get the guy!

As usual, I searched the interwebs for directions on how to make my own retro flower cardigan, and when I didn't find exactly what I wanted, I made something up. Here's how:

You will need:
Paper (for the pattern)
2 types of fabric - stiff cotton or felt will work best (I upcycled a retired Western shirt and used some other fabric I had lying around)
Some kind of button (cover it with fabric if you want)

Step 1: Make a pattern for the petals.
You can decide what type of petals you want - rounded, pointy, heart shaped, etc. But they should be narrower on one end than the other. Make one pattern that's large (about an inch long) and one that's smaller. (Scroll down to look at a picture of some petals below)

Step 2: Cut the petals.
Take Fabric #1 and cut 4 petals using your larger petal pattern as a guide. Then cut 4 of your smaller petals from Fabric #2.

Step 3: Sew the petals.
Thread you needle and loosely sew your petals onto a thread, stitching at the narrower end of each petal. Alternate larger and smaller. You want to sew very loosely (for you sewing types - basting), so all of your petals lie flat on the table, like so:

Step 4: Pull tight.
When all of the petals are on the thread, gently pull your stitches tight. Your petals should all snug together, and then you can smooth them out the way you like. The center will probably look messy:

Step 5: Create the center of your flower.
Sew the button into the center of the flower. I used the snap from my Western shirt, and simply cut a bit of the fabric around it to sew it on. Once you've sewn on the button, you can tie off your thread.

Step 6: Put your flower to work.

I sewed mine onto an old cardigan so I could be cool like Emma Pillsbury, but you can use it for a brooch, a handbag decoration, a barrette, or whatever your heart desires.

Heck! You can create a whole fabric bouquet!


Darci said...

Oh my, your posts never cease to make me laugh...especially the part about the TeePee Lighers. I'd be interested to know if they've taken on a more PC name.

Catfish said...

I hope not! The TeePee Lighters by any other name would never be as sweet!