Sunday, 13 July 2014

Shabulously chic flowers - Free tutorial

Here's a flower I made for Amber's jacket, and is a really nice scale for 16" dolls, MSDs and even SD sized BJDs.  A pair of scallop - edged pinking shears are a bit of a must-have.  They're just perfect for flower petals.  You could try with ordinary pinking shears, or you could just snip into one edge of your strip of fabric with ordinary scissors to make a fringe. The only limit is your creativity. :)

I prefer to use a stretch fabric because it's more mold-able than rigid or woven. I find scraps that are not prone to fraying, and if you have a pair of scallop-edge pinking shears - they're perfect for flower making.

1) Cut a strip about 8 or 9 inches long, and just under 1/2 and inch wide.   It should measure half an inch wide once you've cut your scalloped edge.  And only cut the one long edge with the shears, the other edge needs to be straight.  (Also, I like the grain to run across the width of the strip as shown, it makes for a better flower)

The longer the strip of fabric, the fuller your bloom will be.

2) Fold over one corner and catch this down as you run gathering stitches along the straight edge. Make your stitches nice and small. 

3) Gather all the way along, and turn under the corner at the end. Catch it down with your gathering stitch as shown below:

4)  Gather the strip up, but do not pull the thread too tight, leave some room for movement in the fabric, and distribute the gathers evenly along the length.  Secure your thread with a couple of teeny stitches on top of each other, but don't cut it off.

5) Now start rolling up the gathered edge of your fabric strip, sewing it down as you go.  The strip will have twisted a bit, but you can straighten it out as you go.

6) Keep rolling the fabric over and stitching it down.

7)  Keep going.  And going... 

8) Once you get to the end, secure your thread with two more tiny stitches on top of each other, but again, don't cut it off.

9) Turn your flower over and open it out. 

10) Finish it off by sewing a bead into the centre.  I've used a 3mm bead. You can use any size you want that goes with the scale of your doll...  or you could sew a bunch of tiny seed beads in the centre.  Whatever you fancy.

Leave the thread attached for when you come to sew your flower onto your project.

All done!

I did try a couple of different ones, and they're nice enough, but the scallop edging really makes the design. The pearl bead flower was done with ordinary pinking shears, but the strip of fabric wasn't long enough to make it look very full.   For the lilac one with the gold bead, I just snipped into my strip of fabric at intervals to suggest petals. A more densely fringed one might look nice though, like a carnation.

Here's Priscilla modelling the flower on a hat. The hat is blue, but I doctored the picture to make it match her tank. Everything else, including the flower, is the original colour with the saturation turned down a little.

Lastly, here's Amber in her jacket, decorated with the very first flower I made. You can thank Amber for the free project. 

And that's it.  Hope someone can find this helpful and have a try. :)



  1. Thank you Amber lol!!! Nice tutorial I shall have a go at some point - very simple but very effective! :)

    1. Now you see it , now you don't. I have no idea why comments seem to disappear, but at least I can see this one! It is a simple project, but I wonder if not many people have scalloped pinking shears. I've seen loads of them on Ebay though. Not terribly expensive.

  2. what size are the scallops on your pinking shears? I'm going to see about buying a pair, I'm seeing 5mm width scallops on them.

    1. Hello :) Mine actually have 7mm scallops on them. I got them on Ebay years ago, so I don't know if you can still get them.


      There's lots on Ebay.

    3. Thanks Tess! I ordered a pair off Amazon. My son has a Prime account, so got free shipping. And there was a $2 coupon on them also. I'm looking forward to making some of these flowers with your tutorial.

    4. Awesome! I hope you have loads of fun with it. :)


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