Woven Embroidery, Sunflower Necklace




Introduction: Woven Embroidery, Sunflower Necklace

About: I currently live in Ghent, Belgium. I studied fashion, but love working with diverse materials.

Ever since I followed the embroidery class here on Instructacles I have been learning about different kinds of embroidered flowers. I hope some day to make a flower rainbow and show you all of them, but this one will have to do for now.

I love this woven embroidery technique which allows the petals to be loose from the background. This is the first time I am trying it because it never really fit into any of my projects.
I got my inspiration here.

This is NOT a beginner friendly project. My end result is far from perfect and though I am no expert, I have been embroidering for years.
Still it was fun to be learning a new skill.


  • Embroidery floss, brown and yellow
  • Fabric
  • Mini embroidery hoop
  • Pins
  • Needle
  • Pencil, or something to draw with on the fabric
  • Scissors
  • Felt

Step 1: Plan Your Flower

You can make this as a lapel pin or a necklace, or just to add some directly in a floral piece.

The size depends on what you want to use it for.

I will place mine in a the miniature embroidery hoop.
Mini embroidery hoops are not like normal embroidery hoops, they are not bend. In stread they are (laser)cut from triplex, which makes them quite fragile.
So in order to prevent them from breaking, use relatively light weight fabric and don't embroider over the edge, because it adds bulk that you can't get the hoop arround.

As you can see in the pictures I drew a safety margin. This is no issue with this project because the petals will hide the fabric anyway.

I only drew the placement of the petals after the next step, but you can do it here if you like.

Step 2: The Heart of the Flower

Most embroidered sunflowers I've seen have a french knot center and this works really well for big pieces.
However for small pieces, this woven technique really captures the overall look of the sunflower

I looked at the woven lines in my fabric and used those to make sure my lines where straight

Bring your needle to the front of the fabric on your circle outline and then pass your needle to the back where the pencil outline crosses the same line in your weft.
Put the threads about a thread width appart, this makes the weaving easier.

Go from left-to-left and right-to-right to move between the lines. This keeps the back neat (as shown in the last picture)

You make this the same way as the warp, you just weave these trough.
It is a simple weave, over - under- over - under.
If you went over a thread one way, you will need to go under it the next row and vise versa.

Continue untill you filled your circle.

Step 3: The Leaves

I chose to go with eight leaves in stead of the six from the flower I am basing this instructable on.

Because a sunfower has quite a lot of petals and I think it just does not look right with just six leaves.

The length of the leaves is about 1/2 the center diameter.
For this relatively big sunflower I am using a five strings warp, for a small one you can just use three.

In the middle between two leaves I start my thread, go over the pin and to the middle on the other side.
Bring your needle up a little bit to the inside go over the pin and bring it to the back a little to the center of where you started.
Now bring it up in the center, go over the pin and start weaving.

It does not matter if you start your weave over or under, however if you use five strands it does seem to help to hold the pin straight while you tighten the fist row. It gives a little loop if you leave it in place.

To make sure you don't pull your thread too tight, you can use a pin as shown in the last picture.

Step 4: More Leaves

I was not satisfied with this one row of leaves. With a small (penny sized) flower it looks great, but in this size it just did not quite resemble a sunflower to me.

So I made an alternating row behind the leaves that were already in place. This also hides the fabric that would be showing if you put it in the mini hoop with just one layer of leaves.

Step 5: Place in Hoop

With the embroidery done it is time to place the flower in the mini hoop.

Roughly cut it out and put the flower in position, don't for get to put a jumpring arround the screw before you tighten it. (I totally forgot)

Now sew the excess fabric flat to the back and cover it with a felt circle to make it comfortable to wear.

And it is done :)

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    6 months ago

    Eeeeeeee this is gorgeous!! The way you mounted it is very clever :D