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Silk Lotus Flower

Silk lotus flower: The silk lotus flower is easy to construct, but looks very luxurious. You can make it in any size, but pick fabrics that tend towards stiff, like silk taffeta, or dupione. You can singe the edges of the petals with a flame (the flower here is singed), or just leave the cut edges raw. Also, after you master the basic technique, you can experiment with different petal shapes.

Cutting the petals: You will cut five units to construct the flower. Begin by cutting squares, measuring the size you want the flower. In our example, I'm using a 3" square. For the demonstration, I'm using paper, so you can see the process.

Fold the square in half.

Fold one side up in thirds.

Fold the other side up.

Fold the entire unit in half lengthwise.

Cut as shown.

Open it out, and one unit will look like this.

For the next step, you will have your five petal units, and a piece of crinoline.

Crinoline is a milliner's interfacing, and is also customarily used as a base for fabric and ribbon flowers. If you don't have crinoline, use any stiff interfacing fabric.

To begin, hand stitch a circle in the center of one of the units, 3/8" around.

Draw this row of hand stitching up tight, and sew the center of the unit to the crinoline. The rows of stitching on the subsequent petal units will also be gathered, and sewn to the crinoline.

For the next four petal units, you will sew progressively larger circles before stacking each unit on top of the previous one. Since I've made the squares 3", I'm using coins to show the progression of the sizes of these circles. Notice the largest circle, is 1/3 the total diameter of the petal unit.

Making progressively larger circles of stitching does two things--it reduces the diameter of each petal unit as the flower progresses, and creates padding for a larger flower center.

Unit two is hand sewn, and stitched to the first unit, through the crinoline.

This is what it will look like-the nub of fabric in the center of the first petal unit, will be contained inside the nub of fabric in the center of the second petal.

As you are sewing the petal units to the flower, make sure the ripples in the petals are evenly distributed around the flower-you can pull the petals one way or another and hand-tack, to achieve this.

Petal unit three is sewn and stitched to the first two units.

Petal unit number four is stitched and sewn to the developing flower.

The final unit number five, is stitched and sewn to the rest of the flower. Note the center of the flower-the nubs of fabric in the centers of the units, will pad out the final center, giving it a slightly rounded shape.

Turn the work over-you can see where it is sewn to the crinoline.

Trim the crinoline close to the stitches.

And here you have the finished flower. Fluff up the petals to give it life, and you'll have a lovely flower!

Comments (29)

chebre chebre writes: Beautiful
Posted: 11:20 pm on April 1st

fitswell fitswell writes: I embellished shoes to wear to my son's wedding using this lotus flower I made of nylon ripstop and nylon organdie,silver button trim and the geranium leaf I embroidered from Kaffe Fassat's Garden of Delight machine embroidery pack.I would post a picture but I cant figure out how to upload it on this site.The shoes are super!
Posted: 11:12 am on November 6th

MsJane MsJane writes: This is beautiful. Thank you Kenneth.I do so appreciate your contributions to the website and your master class articles.
Posted: 6:06 pm on January 18th

jlee90 jlee90 writes: very lovely =]
Posted: 1:27 pm on October 30th

crochet_art_n_motion crochet_art_n_motion writes:
After reading this post, I felt it was necessary for a translated version:

"Costurita writes: Hello, thank you for your great contribution! Currently, I have to make a wedding dress that required flowers on the bodice, and I didn't know how I was going to make them. But with your idea, I believe I have found a solution to my problem. Thank you"

(costurita writes: hola, gracias por tu aportacion justo en estos dias tengo que confeccionar un vestido de novia que lleva flores en el corpiño y no sabia como iba a hacerlas pero con tu idea creo que tengo resuelto el problema, gracias)

Boy, I wish I could see that wedding dress!
Posted: 10:38 am on September 21st

Sewfunnytroy Sewfunnytroy writes: Something so very simple, can look so very Gorgeous. Kenneth is wonderful. You will make Martha look like the hired help! Go for it!
Posted: 7:25 pm on September 20th

sewingcats sewingcats writes: Thank you again Mr. King! This would be so beautiful in black dupione to embelish a simple black silk dress and matching clutch. You are THE have such wonderful and creative ideas for all sewing levels and you instructions are beautlfully written and illisrated! THANK YOU.
Posted: 5:52 pm on May 23rd

mami50 mami50 writes: Hi Kenneth .
Thank you for a nice course and sharing his great talent, even if you can show us a technique to create other flowers,
Best wishes.
Posted: 4:30 pm on April 10th

KelleyHighway KelleyHighway writes: Has anyone tried the singeing tool? One post-er said they would but I was wondering about purchasing that tool. Shared this Silk Lotus Flower tutorial with soooo many!
Posted: 11:35 am on March 27th

Elfi Elfi writes: Instead of blossoms, I made table runners.

Singing gave me an idea. For my daughter's wedding I had volunteered to make twelve 12-foot long table runners out of dress satin. I found it impossible to manage the slippery fabric and the masses of material on my sewing machine or serger and fashion straight seams. In addition the thread we had purchased did not roll of the spool correctly. I had already cut all the fabric and was desperate. To make a long story short, the singed flower edges gave me the idea of singing the edges of the table runners. I cut the edges in a freehand, wavy line and stretching the fabric, I singed these edges. This created a 3-D effect and was very decorative. The huge, long tables had white tablecloths and the red runners were decorated with votive type candles. We had many wonderful comments about these runners. Many people said that the edges suggested rose petals and they were curious where my daughter had found these unique table runners. They added greatly to the decor. Several other friends had nixed the idea and found it too loosey-goosey, so I did not want to go ahead without my daughters say-so and she was not in town until a few days before the big day. She and her fiancee–smart guy–saw promise in the idea, especially when I told her it would be that or nothing. But the singing went fast and troublefree and it was great fun to get the better of the yards and yards of fabric after all.

For Christmas, I am using some of the fabric to sew place mats. Onto each place mat I will attach a panel of wavy singed fabric and for each place mat I will make a singed-edges-flower. Wish I would have thought of this earlier, Its going to be a rush.
Posted: 5:49 am on December 9th

togorose togorose writes: Excellent pattern, came in handy just in time for me. I'm making a dress for my granddaughter and this is just what I need to add what was missing. Thank you.
Posted: 6:07 pm on December 8th

CaitySue CaitySue writes: This is a great idea! I think I must give it a try.
Posted: 6:42 pm on August 26th

Honour Honour writes: This is a beautiful flower. I plan to use the design to adorn a ring pillow for my daughter's upcoming wedding. I'll add ties for the centre of the flower and attach the works to a loosely padded cusion. Much prettier than my original design--what luck to stumble across this design at such an opportune time. Thanks.
Posted: 10:18 am on August 23rd

LottaTroublemaker LottaTroublemaker writes: I just love this flower, it's so beautiful! Thanks so much for posting it! :) I've bought several similar ones, how great not to have to do that and e able to choose the fabric you'd prefer! This must be so beautiful to make to adorn a pretty evening dress, e.g. a combination of different sizes... And also on a wedding dress as another poster mentioned!!!

I usually singe fabrics with either a long lighter I have (for lighting the fireplace) or using a candle for a handsfree version. For a real quick and not too big project, I usually just grab for the lighter. An ordinary lighter is not much fun to use for such things, they so quickly get too hot and it's easy to burn yourself. In my experience singing is NO PROBLEM whatsoever. It's very easy to do and I have never damaged fabric or set it on fire. The key is to move quickly and rather go back over it several times, until you have got the desired effect. Don't stop, that's when damage may happen. Natural fibres are the easiest to handle, as syntetics normally are way more flammable. I love to sew using polar fleece and often hand sew clothing for my Yorkshire Terrier (fleece is such a forgiving and easy fabric to hand sew, and you have such wonderful control in "molding" the garment while hand sewing, produces wonderful results, I think). I always singe the edges, as that not only gives an effect and prevent fraying, on fleece it clearly produces a much stronger edge too, so it is a way to make the garment more durable (nice for an active dog!). Most of the time I do an invisible singe, because I am not doing it to make it look different, but of practical causes. This of course would be different, as the darker edge looks great!
Posted: 6:00 pm on August 21st

isisirena isisirena writes: I have found that a candle with a good flame and no air-current is a good combination that singes fabric. You have both hands to handle the fabric and move it back and forth to prevent the fabric igniting.
Posted: 4:03 pm on August 14th

apatchinow apatchinow writes: This has got to be the BEST article ever on making a fabric flower. The instructions are so clear it's idiot proof.
I am making one now in silk dupion and just using a lighter to singe the edges- carefully.Thank you Kenneth!
Posted: 4:56 pm on August 11th

megadeb megadeb writes: Seriously, HOW do you singe the edges wihtout going up in flames.... seems to me that silk is highly flamable??? Any instruction would be great, would LOOOOVE to try this flower!
Posted: 12:41 pm on August 11th

LaBarge LaBarge writes: Many thanks for sharing such clear directions for a lovely accessory.
Posted: 8:09 am on August 11th

Sophia_M Sophia_M writes: This flower is gorgeous and I would like to make it.
Please can you tell us how to singe the border without raising a fire. Sophia
Posted: 3:41 am on August 11th

clothingeng clothingeng writes: Love it!
Posted: 9:31 pm on August 10th

pooh715 pooh715 writes: Love it! This and the flowers for the article in Threads are just fabulous!
Posted: 8:44 pm on August 10th

plusfabricsss plusfabricsss writes: Kenneth is a blessing to me. My daughter wants one of these for her wedding dress and I have been hunting for a pattern for a few weeks now. Now to try and make it larger!!!
Thanks again.
Posted: 8:22 pm on August 10th

DrOllie DrOllie writes: Just finished this lovely flower in silk dupione, very elegant and very easy to work. A question for decoratice: can you be specific about the heat tool you use? It sounds like something I could use in my workroom.
Posted: 8:17 pm on August 10th

costurita costurita writes: hola, gracias por tu aportacion justo en estos dias tengo que confeccionar un vestido de novia que lleva flores en el corpiño y no sabia como iba a hacerlas pero con tu idea creo que tengo resuelto el problema, gracias
Posted: 7:47 pm on August 10th

dynomite dynomite writes: Absolutely beautiful! Will definately try. Thank you.
Posted: 7:37 pm on August 10th

decoratrice decoratrice writes: Beautiful! Instead of singeing the edges with a flame, I'm going to try cutting out the units with my heat tool (a stencil burner/soldering iron/pyrography tool, depending on the tip used)
Posted: 9:57 am on August 4th

kapnoel kapnoel writes: I have been reading a number of instructions about making fabric flowers and this is by far the BEST. Thank you so much, dear Kenneth, for sharing this with us!
Posted: 7:12 am on August 4th

Mamapicklejuice Mamapicklejuice writes: LOVE this. Would probably go for $48 at Anthropologie if styled as a brooch.
Posted: 7:27 pm on August 3rd

sashacatgrl2 sashacatgrl2 writes: This is absolutely beautiful! I can't wait to try this.
Posted: 1:25 pm on August 3rd

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