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The Circular Ribbon Flower

Mar 08, 2010
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This fabric flower is one I found in an old text I had, and I decided to try it–the instructions in the text were, shall we say, lacking. It can be made from ribbon, or from a strip of fabric. If you choose the fabric strip, you’ll have to finish the edges. First, a definition: Ribbon width as unit of measure. Candice Kling, in her excellent book The Artful Ribbon, came up with the idea of using the width of the ribbon, as the unit of measure, when demonstrating her techniques. This is an excellent idea, which enables you to create any of her pieces in the book in any scale you desire. I will use the ribbon width as unit of measure here as well. For this demonstration to photograph well, I’ve decided to cut a strip of taffeta, 3″ wide. The length of this strip is 6 ribbon widths, or 18″ long. So, the formula: This flower requires six ribbon widths’ worth of ribbon to make. You can choose any width ribbon you wish. Along one edge, mark ribbon widths on the BACK side of the ribbon. This will divide the ribbon into 6 sections, approximately one ribbon width square each. In…

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  1. sewinginmissouri June 20th

    Hi, I am so impressed with Kenneth Kings ideas! I kind of like the way it looks from the wrong side and wonder if a person could use something circular to "cover" the stitching. I am going to try it. By the way, does anyone know how to do "Japanese" smocking?

  2. User avater natsnasus January 17th

    I'm wondering if using finished off ribbon would do away with the fraying I got from just using a piece of cut satin to 'try out' the technique.
    I just finished making some larger satin evening clutches and this type of flower would be perfect on some of them.
    Thank you for 're-discovering' this technique. I wish my mom had kept all of her old sewing magazines!!

  3. nanacosta September 26th

    WOW!! I could not wait to make it!!! well, I did my sample in silk organza and it looks beautifull!!! thank you so much for teaching us this technique!!!.....mmm...I think I am going to hand paint some more organza to try out another one!!! thank you!!!!

  4. DebsThreads August 25th

    I'm a ribbon fanatic, and have never seen this flower before in any of the vintage books, or elsewhere. Thanks Kenneth for the instructions. I was just on a plane home from Portland, Oregon and saw the photo of the circular flower in one of the latest Threads magazines - so I came home immediately and looked it up. I took a beading class from you years ago - and you continue to inspire me today. Thanks for all your sewing contributions!

  5. maddykool July 14th

    thanx for such an awesome post.......i'll surely try dis one out

  6. These flowers are so lovely! Can't wait to make some!

  7. User avater sewingcats May 23rd

    Once again The KING comes through with a fabulous idea! How simple and easy this idea and instructions are written by The KING. I plan to make some small ribbon flowers for a broach for a drab jacket....just deciding on the color(s) is my only decision now. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  8. User avater bonVintage April 24th

    Hail to the KING..
    always the best ideas. Thank you.

  9. Needlewithaneye March 16th

    I needed a quick update to a blue knit dress for a St Patrick's Day dinner. Thank you Kenneth for your flower. Made it using 30" of green satin 10 1/2" wide for each flower. By seaming it lengthwise and then following your great directions created two knockout cuffs for my dress. Easy and so effective.

  10. Rabia March 16th

    So I made this flower, using the same size of strip as in the demo, but I used two-tone nylon organdy, that stuff you see kids' Disney princess dresses made out of-I LOVE that stuff, it's so pretty! I used a pink-and-gold colour.

    Well, despite the fact that the strip was a bit wonky due to the fact that the material was sliding about everywhere when I tried to cut it(the downside of that material)the flower was GORGEOUS, and ridiculously EASY. I found a blanket stitch worked better than a whipstitch and curbed fraying better. One long edge had the selvage on it, which made an attractive outer edge on the flower. The inside edge displayed a tendency to want to pop out of the middle. One might want to "finish" both long edges before commencing to make this flower, depending on the material and the kind of wear it is likely to be subjected to.

    Also, if you wanted to make it into a cuff for a blouse, the inside edge can be "box-pleated" and stitched to the inside circle; it "opens" the centre of the flower up some, and prevents the centre from everting itself. The design is only minimally affected, and not for the worse, as far as I can tell. Thabnk you for this clever idea, Mr. King!

  11. Rabia March 10th

    I am definitely going to try it SOON, probably in my fave two-tone iridescent organza.. Trust the King to come up with something clever and so simple too.The cuff idea is BRILLIANT.

  12. psfws1963 March 10th

    psfws1963 writes, I loved the flower demonstration. From Kenneth King. It had a smooth and easy look. The fabric made it look nice. He used a soft silky looking fabric. Very beautiful. 3/10/10

  13. psfws1963 March 10th

    I love the circular flower demonstration. From Kenneth King.It had a smooth and easy look.The fabric made it look nice. He used a soft silky looking fabric. Very beautiful. psfws1963 loved your flowers. Thank you. posted at 6 40 am 3/10/10

  14. ustabahippie March 9th

    FA..BU...LOUS!!!! All hail to Kenneth King! I can't WAIT to try this!

  15. sewcrazz March 9th

    i love ribbon work and this flower is beautiful and i have never seen it before. The directions are clear and concise.

    Thank you for sharing a wonderful flower.

  16. User avater thecraftqueen March 9th

    Such a beautiful, elegant embellishment. I plan to use these on my handbags! Wonderful, clear instructions - thanks so much! Irene

  17. OPStitcher March 9th

    Perfect timing. The instructions are nice & clear. These are just what I need to finish off some knitted lace wedding garters for 2 springtime brides.

  18. dowserjaney March 9th

    INCREDIBLY clear instructions for a lovely outcome! Thank you. Ah, that you could be the one to write instructions on how to get through Life!
    Janey

  19. agatha44 March 9th

    The flower is lovely. Thank you for such clear and easy directions. I love your work. Karen

  20. silknmore March 8th

    What a lovely flower from a simple idea. Thank you so much for sharing. http://fabricateandmira.wordpress.com/

  21. chornb March 8th

    Thanks Kenneth - you always seem to come up with a novel approach to something I've been thinking about. You are the best! Carol

  22. Thank you, that is a really 'niffty' flower! Nice of you to share and such easier to follow direction! Bests, Lyn

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