Introduction: Fabric Corsage
Here is a quick project you can make with scraps. Make one for Mother's Day, or to spice up your wardrobe, or decorate your room.
Step 1: Supplies
You will need
1 scrap of cotton print fabric 3" X 21" this is for the flower
1 scrap of green cotton print fabric, enough to cut three small leaves, about 3" X 27", but this could also be three smaller pieces at least 3" X 9" each (or 6" x 4.5" each)
1 piece of thin cardboard to draw your leaf pattern - optional depending on how creative you feel
fabric chalk or pencil, sewing machine (preferred, but optional), thread and scissors or rotary cutter and mat. This could also be sewn completely by hand.
Step 2: Flower
Fold the 3x21" flower print fabric in half lengthwise, press.
Gently slant the raw edges at the beginning so that the pressed fold is level with the rest of the raw edge. Stitch across the fabric and continue along the raw edge until you are about two inches from the end.
Gently slant the folded side down until it is even with the raw edge, sew across this corner to the end of the fabric.
This will create the narrowed ends. Trim away the access corner fabric on the ends below the stitched line.
Gather the lower edge of the flower with two rows of long basting stitches. Pull the bobbin threads (threads on the bottom side) to gather the flower fabric. How tightly you pull up the gathering threads effects how your flower looks. You may have to make a few adjustments before you have exactly what you want. Looser gathers make a softer flower, you may want some areas to be tighter than others. If you want your flower to look more like a rose, make your gathers looser on the outer edges and tighter in the center. If you want your flower to look more like a mum gather it tighter all the way from the start to the end.
Begin on one side and roll the gathered fabric tightly to the end. Secure with pins while you hand tack the edges together. You may find it easier to tack the edges together as you roll the fabric. Use the method that is easiest for you. Be sure to catch all of the edges or your flower may unwind. Once your flower is secured you can adjust the outer edges to create the best possible flower.
Step 3: Leaf
Draw a leaf shape on cardboard or heavy paper about the size of the leaves you want on your flower.
Use the finished leaf shape to determine the cut size.
My finished leaf is 3.5" X 2". To get this size I cut the leaf about 4.5" X 2.75" which I determined by drawing around the finished leaf template and adding length it would lose when it was gathered and width to allow for the side seams. I also included just a little extra length because I needed the space to sew the leaf onto the flower.
Don't worry if it is not perfect because things in nature are not all exactly alike, these subtle differences make it more natural.
Fold the leaf fabric so that when you cut you get the front and back of your leaf. Trace, Pin center of leaf so fabric will not move, Cut three sets. (or one set for each leaf you want to include)
Place right sides together, sew along the outer edges from the back to the point using about an eighth of an inch seam. Stop at the point leaving the needle down. Lift the presser foot, pivot the leaf, lower the presser foot and sew to the back of the leaf. Leave the very back of the leaf open so you can turn it right side out. Trim the point so you can have sharp point. Pull the leaf through the back opening. Press.
Once the leaf has been pressed gather the center vein by starting at the center of the back. With a long basting stitch begin with about three stitches forward, three stitches back, then forward to within about an 8th of an inch from the point of the leaf. Pull the bobbin thread to gather the leaf, adjust until it looks like a leaf. The gather will cause the leaf to curl slightly. Pull the top thread to the bottom and tie the threads to keep the gather secure. Clip Threads. Finish the back of the leaf with a zig-zag stitch. Repeat for all three leaves or until you have as many leaves as you want.
In the images you can see the template I traced on the fabric and the template for the finished size on top of a pressed leaf.
Step 4: Finishing
Decide where you want your leaves placed, pin to flower.
Sew the leaves to the flower. You can sew a broach pin fastener to the back if you plan to wear as a corsage, or you can pin it on with a corsage pin.
Makes a nice enhancement for hats, clothing, or you can use as a gift or a gift decoration in place of a bow.
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