Use your accidentally-shrunken sweater or one that has one too many moth holes.
This is a Sew Useful Contest entry, so there's also one for sale in my Etsy shop. Here's my listing: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6472730
Step 1: Materials/ Supplies
- One (or just part of one, like a sleeve) Wool or other animal fiber (angora, cashmere) sweater. Please note that sweaters made from cotton or synthetic fibers will not felt. Sweaters made to be machine washable also will not work. The label will tell you if it's machine wash or hand wash. The one I used here is a moth-eaten cashmere sweater.
- Matching sewing thread
- Sewing needle
- brooch pin (available at any craft store)
- Scratch paper or cardboard (a cereal box works great)
- Fabric glue (optional)
Step 2: Felting Your Sweater
Once the washing is complete, you will notice that not only has the sweater shrunk, but the fibers of the sweater has matted together and that the sweater appears more fuzzy. If the fibers still don't look bonded and matted, you may have to wash your sweater again so that you can get a fairly tight fabric, and your sweater has shrunken considerably. Once you've felted your sweater, you will be able to cut into it without any fraying or unraveling.
Compare the 2 flowers below. One is more felted than the other.
If your sweater is not felting, then your sweater is probably the wrong kind of fiber, or you have a "washable" wool.
Step 3: Drawing and Cutting Your Petals
Then using your cardboard as a template, cut out 5 petals (or more if you'd like!). Don't worry if you don't draw or cut well -- it makes the end product more fluid and organic looking. To make the petal more symmetrical, fold the cardboard in half and then draw half of the petal on the folded edge. When you cut it out, you will end up with a symmetrical petal.
Step 4: Sewing the Petals
Then freehand cut a circle a little smaller than a quarter and sew the petals onto the circle. You'll want to make sure that you stitches on the right side of of the flower are as invisible as possible. It doesn't really matter if you can see the stitches in the back because it will be covered up later.
Step 5: Attaching the Brooch Pin
Step 6: Finishing and Embellishing.
Optional step: If you'd like some extra stability, cut a quarter-sized circle from some cardstock. Then, using the brooch pin as a guide, cut 2 small notches at either end and insert over the pin heads as shown in the photos. Glue circle to the pin using fabric glue or a hot glue gun.
To cover up your stitches and make the back neater and more attractive, cut a circle, about quarter-sized, or slightly larger (if you're doing the optional step). Using the brooch pin as a guide, cut 2 small notches at either end and insert over the pin as shown in the photos. Glue or sew this onto the back of the flower. If you sew it, make sure your stitches don't show up on the other side.