Fabric Flowers as Detachable EmbellishmentsMake a fabric and ribbon flower accessory that's easy to add to or remove from a garment.
Making a detachable flower embellishment, a sort of fabric flower corsage, is simple.
Instead of attaching the blooms directly to the garment, I affix them to a backing (ribbon layers, in this case) and use snaps to attach the backing to the garment. Below, I’ll show you how to make the two types of flowers. I hope it inspires you to make rich and removable details.
There are several reasons why detachable embellishments are an excellent option for a garment:
- If the embellishment is large and three-dimensional, it could be stored separately and avoid being crushed in a closet or garment bag.
- You can clean the garment without fear of harming the embellishment.
- Instantly change the mood of your garment by adding or removing the adornment.
Fold a ribbon flower
The sheer ribbon rose is based on the free-form folded rose technique described by Helen Gibb in The Secrets of Fashioning Ribbon Flowers (Krause Publications, 1998). With a little practice, this flower is easy to make. I made mine with wire-edged ribbon.
Start with a ribbon at least 12 inches long. You may wish to leave the ribbon long and just cut it when the rose reaches the size you wish. A folded ribbon flower can be made with wired or unwired ribbon. For the example, I used 1½-inch ribbon. For that width of ribbon, I usually use a ribbon piece 15 inches long.
Fold the ribbon at a right angle about 4 inches from an end.
Roll the vertical ribbon to form the flower center and stem. This is the tightest part of the flower. As you fold and form the petals, remember that a natural rose has larger and larger petals as you move out from the center.
Stitch through the flower center base to secure it.
Turn the ribbon away from the flower at a 45-degree angle. Keep the angled fold soft and roll it loosely around the center with the fold perpendicular to the stem. The diagonal fold forms the edge of the petal. Stitch through the base to secure the petal. Repeat folding, wrapping, and stitching until your rose reaches the size you want.
Craft a modified Dior rose
I call this modified because I use two short petal sections to form the flower center. I like the fullness they add to the center.
I made this flower from silk charmeuse. Cut three 3-inch-wide bias fabric strips. One strip is about 12 inches long, the others are each about 4 inches long. Taper the strips’ ends to a point, as shown.
Fold the strips in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Machine-baste 1/4 inch from the raw edges.
Take a short bias strip and pull the basting thread to gather it into a roll.
Keep the bottom of the roll flat. When the roll is shaped to your satisfaction, hand-stitch the bottom of the flower to secure it. Repeat with the second short bias strip, gathering, wrapping, and stitching it around the first to form the center bud. Then wrap the long bias strip around the bud, stitching as before to make the flower ready for its backing.
Keep the base of the flower flat as you wrap and stitch it.
Don’t pinch or press the petal edge fold, but keep it soft and full for an attractive rose.
Back and attach
You may decide to keep the backing inconspicuous, but I chose to use layers of sheer wired ribbon, making the backing part of the embellishment itself.
I tacked the bases of the blossoms through the ribbon layers.
After checking the placement of the embellishment on the garment, I added two snap closures to attach it. The ball snaps are not visible on the garment and provide a secure hold for this relatively lightweight piece. If you prefer, try covered snaps.
This post is an extra to Susan Crane’s article, “Lace Adornment,” from Threads #150, Aug./Sept. 2010.
Learn more techniques for fabric and ribbon flowers: