Every girl loves pretty flowers. Heidi Sage has quite an assortment of pretty posies to wear in her hair. I'm going to show you how to make one type of flower that Heidi Sage loves to wear in her hair. I plan on writing tutorials for several different types of flowers but I thought I'd start with the hardest ones first. This is partly because I needed to make some anyway and partly because these are my personal favorite. This is a simplified version of a technique that I learned from a milliner in Chicago.
For these flowers you will need:1. 1/8 - 1/4 yard Dupioni Silk (some other natural fibers will also work, but dupioni creates the most beautiful flowers) DO NOT use polyester.....it WILL NOT work! It must be silk!
2. Aleene's Stiffen-Quik
3. French netting or tulle (optional)
5. buttons, beads, or baubles for the center decoration
Now let's get started! Cut the dupioni silk into 4" x 4" squares. You will need 5. You will also need 5 squares that are 3.5" x 3.5".
You will need Aleene's Stiffen-Quik. There are other fabric stiffeners on the market but I have not used them so I cannot vouch for their effectiveness. I know this fabric stiffener works quite well.
Cut each square into an organic petal shape. You want each petal to be a little different much like on a real flower. Make sure you leave the bottom of the petal straight across. Also make sure that the lines in the dupioni run the length of the petal.
The 10 petals cut out. Five petals are 4" x 4" and five petals are 3.5" x 3.5".
You want the two sizes to be about 1/2" to 3/4" different in size as you will stack them later.
Spray each petal with Stiffen-Quik making sure it is thoroughly coated. Don't worry about using too much, there's no such thing!
After you soak the petal use your fingers to scrunch of the petals creating tiny ridges that go the same direction as the ridges in the dupioni.
The scrunched petal.
Once you have all the petals scrunched you can blot them off with a paper towel. This will make them dry quicker.
After blotting, place them in the microwave. Heat them 30 seconds at a time turning them over between increments. It takes about 7-8 thirty second intervals to dry the petals. You MUST supervise these while in the microwave. Silk can catch on fire!
When you pull them out of the microwave they will be stiff little sticks.
Next, spread the petal over a metal spoon.
Once it is over the spoon, steam the petal. This creates the shape of a real flower petal. Make sure not to burn your fingers. You can use a clothes steamer to do this or a steam iron, both methods are very effective.
Once all of your petals are steamed open, you are ready to construct your flower.
Start with all of the big petals. String the petals onto a needle and thread as shown.
String all five big petals onto the same string making sure that your have all of the petal cups turned the same direction.
Once all five petals are strung together you will create a circle with the thread linking the petals together. Pull the thread tight bring the petals close to one another in the center.
Tie off thread and clip.
Now you are going to sew the petals together to make the flower fuller. Do this on the back side about 1/3 5o 1/2 way up the flower petal. Don't go too far or the petal separation won't look natural.
All of the petals are sewed to the petal next to them. This helps fill out the shape of the petal. Now repeat the above steps to create a circle of petals from your small petals. Later your will stack the two layers together to have a 10 petal flower.
Before you stack your two groups of 5 together you need to work out your center decorations. I am using french netting but you could also use tulle, net, or russian netting. I cut a strip that is about 2.5" wide and 12" long. You gather the strip onto the needle and sew it into a circle like you did with the flower petals.
The circle is complete and the thread has been tied off and clipped.
Next stack your two layers of petals, your net, and apply a felt circle to the top of the net and underneath the petals on the bottom of the flower.
The bottom of the flower. Sew through all layers to secure the flower.
Then add your buttons or decorative elements to put a little pizazz into the center of your flower.
Center details. Once you've done this, all you need to do is attach a hair clip to the back and you've got a great bow! The finished measurement of this flower is about 5.5" in diameter. I also love these on a GRAND scale as a hat! Those are cute for little girls and big girls alike!
Here's Heidi Sage sporting one of hers. Now if we could just get that girl some cute clothes to wear! ;-)