Friday, May 30, 2008

Denim Flower Embellishment Tutorial

These cute flowers can be used to make ponytail holders, barrettes, pins, or can be sewn onto clothing, bags, etc. The above picture shows two flower ponytail holders and one flower sewn onto a denim purse.

You will need:
Denim (I use denim from recycled jeans)
Iron on Adhesive (I use Therm O Web HeatnBond UltraHold)
Sewing Machine, thread, needle, scissors
Thin cardboard (cereal boxes work great) or paper
One or two buttons
Ponytail holders (optional)

On a piece of cardboard or paper, make a 3" by 3" square in one of the corners. Inside that square, draw a five petal flower. I do not make my flowers perfectly symmetrical. It looks better if the petals aren't all exactly the same size and shape. Cut out the cardboard flower.

Cut out two pieces of denim, making them larger than the cardboard flower. Following the iron-on adhesive directions, bond the two pieces of denim together with right sides facing out. Place the cardboard flower on top of the denim, pin it in place. Cut out your flower.

Pep Talk: For those of you who think your cutout flower doesn't look very good and you are considering throwing it in the garbage, please reconsider. Give the little flower a chance to bloom. Mine doesn't look like much at this point either. Ready to go on?

Thread your sewing machine with a contrasting color that will show up on your flower. Set the stitch length to 2 (medium length). Begin sewing from the middle of the flower, sewing a line up the center of one petal. Once you've sewn to about 3/8" from the tip of that petal, with the needle in the flower, lift the pressure foot to turn the flower around, lower pressure foot, and stitch back over your previous stitches to get back to the middle of the flower. Do this for all five petals, ending up back in the middle of the flower. Leave the flower on the sewing machine.

Sew around the edge of a petal about 1/8" from edge, ending up back in the middle of the flower. Repeat for the other four petals. Cut the thread. There is no need to tie the thread off because the middle of the flower will be covered by a button.

Pick out a button and sew it on to the right side, center of the flower. If you are making a ponytail holder, sew the ponytail elastic to the back side of the flower at the same time you sew on the button.

If you want to sew the flower onto a piece of clothing or bag, do not sew the button on yet. Pin the flower to the item you are embellishing, and using the same color thread as you used on the flower, sew around the outer edge of the petals going over the existing stitching. Sew the button on.

Now you can experiment with different sizes, shapes, and colors of flowers. And you can use material other than denim.

That's it folks!

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