This is one of the offerings on my etsy store. Half boho/half punk…all modern. Support small business and handmade design by picking one up-for yourself or as a great holiday gift! Or, support LaLove Designs by just browsing my Etsy store. I love interaction from my blog readers!!! I’ve been pretty “off the grid” lately, but I’m trying to make a comeback so please show a little L-O-V-E in the comment section, you wonderful people, you!!
As a closer for my mini-series on quick, easy flowers, I’m showing you guys the quickest and easiest of them all. (It’s okay to talk about flowers that way-they have no feelings. Girls on the other hand, well. . .)
This gray flower is one I already had made up. It’s attached to a little alligator clip, which is really the best type for these kinds or flowers, I think. Since this is a bonus post and none of the previous posts in this series had step by step instructions, I went ahead and made another one up to show you just how easy they are.
How to Make It
Step One: Find fabric- select a jersey knit, which won’t unravel. This is a great way to upcycle old t-shirts! In fact, I used the sleeve of a shirt my daughters had outgrown that I’d already used for doll clothes. When I pulled it out, I was amused to see I had also used it as a test piece for some of the hand sewing techniques I learned from my Alabama Chanin book.
OK, On to the Good Stuff!
Cut a strip that tapers off. This one was about 16″ long and goes from about a half inch on one side to a little over an inch on the other.
Since this came from a sleeve, I had two layers, which I cut in half to make two separate pieces. Pay no attention to my ironing board. Or the man behind the curtain. (You have seen the Wizard of Oz, haven’t you?)
Grab some thread and a needle. Knot the end.
Begin to sew a running stitch through the skinny side. To do this really easily, keep your needle still and pile your fabric back and forth onto the needle. It goes so quickly that way!Keep sewing in that manner until you reach the end. Knot off your thread, or do like I did and use the same piece of thread to sew your piece into the flower shape.Spin the fabric around so you have a few layers, keeping the skinny end on top.
Once you have the desired shape, begin sewing through all the layers. Just sew from the back straight through to the front and vice versa, making sure to connect all the layers all around. Knot it in the back once you’re finished.
Here’s the front.And the back.
Couldn’t be simpler, right? This would be a great place to start for kids (and adults) who want to learn to sew. I think my kids are big enough to let them try to tackle this project now. If we do that, I’ll be sure to let you all know how it goes!
“Oooh La La La! That’s the way that we rock when we’re doin our thing.” Remember that song? If so, you’re getting old, but that’s ok. I am too. Need an explanation? Flowers make me think Oh la la, which made me sing the song in my head, and presto change-o, I’ve shared it with you for your enjoyment. That is, if you were a Fugees fan. If not, this is one paragraph you’ll never appreciate, but don’t worry…it gets better.
On to the Flower!
Supplies You’ll Need to Make It:
This one is made using jersey knit (t-shirt) fabric, hand sewing, and a cute little silver bead left over from the time I made wrap bangle bracelets.
Remember that? If not, check out the post and tutorial Here.
How You Make It:
Cut a rectangular piece of knit fabric. (I made these flowers months ago, so I don’t remember the exact dimensions I used. 3″ X 12″ should do it.
Cut that rectangle into two scalloped strips by cutting lengthwise nearer to one side in a wave motion, creating one thin strip and one thick strip. (I hope that makes sense. If not, hit me up in the comments section. If you want, I’d be glad to re-do some of these flowers and get step-by-step pictures for a bona fide tutorial! Just let me know-I love your feedback.)
Gather both pieces separately by sewing a hand running stitch down the straight edges and pulling until they are long enough to wind around 3 or 4 times.
Once they are both gathered, put the thin piece on top of the larger one and spin both pieces around until you’ve got a flower shape. (If you want, you can sew as you spin. Stitch each new round in place before making a new layer.) The two sizes layered together give the flower more dimension and texture, which you can see in this picture.
This fabric is super easy to sew and thin enough that I made the flower shape first and then sewed through all layers. If you didn’t sew along as you were forming the flower, do so now, holding the flower in one hand and you sewing from back to front, front to back through all layers, making sure that all areas of the flower are in place and attached. Knot off in the back of the flower.
Run a line of stitching in the back to attach the very end of the fabric strip to the rest of the flower. You can see that in the picture below. Kind of. The fabric curled around the stitch line so the thread itself isn’t visible, but you can see where I sewed it together. Point is, you don’t want that piece in the back to be flopsy.
Add your little bead, a button or other embellishment using needle and thread. Make sure it’s really securely attached, especially if you’re making it for a small child!
Attach it to a clip using felt and hot glue like my previous two flowers, or sew it directly to a garment. This flower was sewn on to a children’s dress I made a while back in This Tutorial. Check it out if you have time and let me know if you like it.
The Moral of the Story:
If you can’t get a song out of your head, write it somewhere on the internet- that’s what everyone does on Facebook now, right?
And if you need a really quick flower for a last minute DIY emergency, (which may seem unlikely, but the more you craft, the more it can happen) always go with jersey knit! It’s quick to sew and it never frays. A WIN-WIN!
As always, thank you for reading and stay tuned for tomorrow’s bonus post on the simplest of all the fast fabric flowers! (Hint-they can also be seen on the gray dress above.) Happy Thursday!
Here it is. . .part two in the series of easy-peasy flowers to make. Today’s flower is this little pink polka-dotted number in the picture above.
How to Make It:
For this flower, you can use just about any fabric. All you need is a rectangular length of whatever kind you choose. I used some “Quilter’s Candy” fabric from Connecting Threads, a website with tons of really economical quilting fabric and an amazing selection of thread. Catch them during sale time and you can really stock up!
You can experiment with the length and width, but I believe I used something like 2 1/2″ X 12″.
Fold it in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew down the side.
Turn the tube right side out and stitch the ends closed so the raw edges aren’t visible.
Sew a machine gathering stitch or a running stitch by hand down the edge with the seam and gather the fabric by pulling one side of the thread.
Begin to roll up the flower, stitching the bottom together at each new round. I suppose you could use hot glue for this step instead of sewing. I’m not sure how well it would hold up. . . now I’m curious. If you try it, tell me how it goes in the comment section.
The last step is to attach the flower to the clip. For this step, I know hot glue works! Ask my children who wear these clips out, and my dog, whose mouth I have wrestled them from numerous times.
Ok, so I admit it. I’ve never actually read any Marvel comics (or any comics for that matter.) I’ve never even watched the Captain America Movie. I’m a nerd, but not in that way, how’s that. Like, if Chaucer, Hawthorne, or C.S. Lewis were super heros, then I’d read the comic books! (Chaucer would make a terrible super hero, wouldn’t he? It would be like a 1400 page graphic novel on someone who describes places and people’s physical characteristics for so long that all of his enemies fall asleep and die. His name would be Canterbury Fail. Hawthorne wouldn’t be much better. 40 pages to describe a tiny fishing village in The Scarlet Letter? Really?)
But let’s face it, superheros are fun! (I’m a batman girl myself…gotta love the dark side.) Between making this shirt and the Captain America trailer I’ve watched over and over on my copy of Guardians of the Galaxy, (I think that’s the movie I keep seeing it on.) I’ll probably break down and rent it soon. And yes, that is a copy of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the background. It’s just the best. Bam! I’m not sure if you guys care, but I’m still salty because in kindergarten, I was always the only girl who wanted to play Turtles instead of house, so they ALWAYS made me be April. I just wanted to be Mikey or Donnie. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
These are just pics of the process and tips on how to add fabric if your pattern is bigger than the fabric you have to work with.
For more posts on upcycling T-Shirts and hand stitching check out these posts:
Make Your Own Yoga Gear (A step-by-step tutorial on how to make a sports bra)
The Original T-Shirt
How to cut up a t-shirt for upcycling the most efficient way.
Oops! Not enough room. (I had to use the bottom for binding for the neck and arm holes.) Not to worry. Just make a separate piece for the missing part of the strap! Be sure to add enough for seam allowance. I love how this turned out, anyway. It’s a cool decorative seam now because I did the contrast top-stitch. Happy Accidents! I’m tellin ya.
Leave it in the Comment Section:
Who’s your favorite Super Hero and has that ever influenced your style or designs?
This tutorial is on how to make an interior waistband using decorative bias tape or fabric. I’ve seen this a lot lately in jeans and some trousers, but I didn’t realize how much easier it could make waistband sewing until I used it. I’m making a pair of green palazzo trousers and once I get them finished, I’ll post the whole process and let you see how this waistband looks once sewn in place. I may also do a post just about the pockets, which are out of the same brown striped fabric. (One day I’d like to do a sew-along with you guys. I have to perfect grading my patterns to fit different sizes and learn how to make them into PDFs for purchase. Let me know what you think.)
When asked what people dread most about sewing, the pretty universal response is “zippers,” but I’ll take a zipper any day over a waistband or a collar stand. Not that they are hard to sew by themselves…it’s just that I hate flipping them over once the first side is sewn and turning up just the right amount of fabric and hoping that I catch both sides and it doesn’t look too uneven. I’m definitely getting better at it, but it had been a long time since I sewed pants so when I made the test pair to make sure my pattern fit correctly before using my good fabric, the inside waistband was a little bunched up in places. Nothing horrible, but enough to make me think, “I have to find a better way!” I was just about to YouTube it when this method occurred to me. Easier and decorative? A two-fer, right up my alley! (To see my practice pair and and a tip for sewing on buttons easily, click Here.)
1. Take bias tape or a strip of fabric 1″ wide by the length of your waistband (I had to join two pieces) and pin it to the part of the inside waistband that will be at the bottom. Make sure you’ve already attached your interfacing.
2. Sew or serge the contrast fabric onto the waistband at a scant quarter inch.
3. Flip the fabric over, tuck it under on the back so the raw edge isn’t showing, and pin in place. (I wish I had gotten a pic of this from the back. Sorry, guys!)
4. Stitch it into place.
That’s it! 4 simple steps and you’re done!
The next part of the process will just involve sewing the top of the outer and inner waistband and attaching it to the pants. Once you attach the bottom of the outer waistband to the pants, flip this part inside and pin the waistband in place. Sew from the front, using the waistband seam as your guide. Here are two pictures of jeans I own that use this method. Isn’t it pretty?
My Related Posts:
What do you do when the rad concert t-shirt you turned into a one of a kind, hand-sewn, work of strappy-backed art gets a hole in it? You make due with what you have, that’s what! One of my favorite sayings is “When life hands you lemons. . . you freeze ’em and throw them back so it really hurts like heck.” Or something like that.
What is design but making something where there was nothing before? So why did I let myself get all bent out of shape when the shirt I had just made ended up with a hole in it? (Stupid Cat!!!) I was just about to list it on Etsy when I noticed the anomaly, and I just let it hang in my sewing room for months. (Thanks to that lack of decisiveness that creative people are often plagued with.) I didn’t want to darn and mend it and then sell it. I didn’t want to list it with a hole in it. I felt like a flower over it may be too out of place. So I just left it. Ever been there?
But I did the brave thing and finally got it out. A flower was my only option for true repair that didn’t look awful, so that’s what I went with. It may not be part of my original design or intention, but aren’t happy accidents the part of design that I’m always touting, anyway? So now I have a kick-arse (Can I say that?) Led Zeppelin shirt that, yes, has a flower on it, and I love it. It’s edgy and pretty. Together. And because of that, in a happy accident kind of way, it embodies my whole design aesthetic. Thank you, fate. (I don’t actually believe in fate. That was a literary device lest you think I’m totally naive. I do like to personify ideas and attributes to sound like I’m talking to them. I also like to over-explain what I’m doing. You’re welcome.)
Luckily, I had some scraps from the fabric I used to make the godets for this shirt. (The little triangles I added to the sides.)
I cut out a shape that would work for a flower-It was already there. I just tidied up the edges a bit. If you’re using this post on a tutorial to make an easy flower, take any jersey knit (t-shirt) fabric and cut it between 6-12 inches and taper it so one side is wider than the other. I liked the curved edge for this flower.Using a running stitch, sew near the bottom edge of the fabric all the way across. Don’t worry about the stitch being perfectly even. Unless chaos kills you inside. Then you can be perfectionistic if you want to.
After you’ve stitched the edge, pull the thread to gather the fabric so your flower crinkles up. Cute, no?Using the same length of thread, sew the flower together. Just take the needle in from the back and out the front and vice versa. Make sure your stitches aren’t noticeable and don’t sew down that cute fullnes in the middle of the flower! Once it’s sewn together adequately, secure it with a knot in the back.
You’re done with your easy flower! Now you can sew it onto a garment or accessory, or you can hot glue a piece of felt with a safety pin to the back so it’s detachable. I used black thread for this flower so you can’t see any stitching and since there are so many flower options, I’ll probably do a whole post on easy flowers and break down exactly how to sew them together for newbies.
And here are some of the details I love about this top.
The braided binding. Boy, this stuff takes forever to make, but it’s so versatile, strong, pretty, and unusual! Plus, this shirt was entirely hand stitched and it lends itself to that medium.
Also, if this 2 for one post wasn’t enough for you, here are some other ridiculous and fun lemons quotes. Enjoy:
If life gives you lemons, keep them, because, hey, free lemons!
When life hands you lemons, slice those suckers up and grab some vodka.
When life gives you lemonade, make lemons. Then life will be all like…What?!?
When life hands you lemons, make grape juice, and sit back and watch everyone wonder how you did it.
If life gives you lemons, sell them and buy shoes!
Unless life also hands you water and sugar, you’re lemonade is gonna suck.
When life hands you lemons, freeze them and throw them as hard as you can at the people making your life difficult. (Okay, this was the one I was thinking of earlier. I got it totally wrong!)
When life hands you lemons, it’s time for tequila shots.
When life gives you lemons, make bacon. Discard the lemons.
Like dresses for the most part. But we did end up with a couple legitimate sweaters. I didn’t go all out and nothing lights up, so my best friend’s is still my favorite. (She had twinkling stars poking out from holes all around her sweater. She’s so stinking creative.) We didn’t win any best sweater awards at church, but they were fun to wear and pretty fun to make.
This dress was just so adorable the way it was. Both of my girls wanted to keep it for every day wear. Neither of their names start with a C.
So I admit, I kind of threw the dresses together at the last minute. I ran out of steam a bit after the sweaters, but the girls enjoyed them. They both had jingle bells on them, so it was a pretty loud church service. Fun.
Mine was pretty silly. It wasn’t as extravagant as I was gonna go for, but I just couldn’t resist this cute ugly puppy! I did manage to add really big jingle bells to my right shoulder so I could do a little festive shoulder jig every few minutes to make sure everyone at the party was still awake and merry.
This is the hubby! That’s the nicest thing I can think to call him since he often calls me his “ole lady.” Flattering. I’m still proud of our Goodwill crochet score. I’m extra super proud that there are jingle bells in each of those wreaths. I totally made him jiggle for everyone who complimented his sweater. The man can shimmy.
I feel like I have a lot of explaining to do about this picture. I didn’t get any pictures of myself in the hat and the sweater together, but this is the magnificent hat I found to go with. I think I may wear it throughout the year when I have diva moments. Try arguing with a woman in that hat!
Merry Christmas, guys!!!!