What you will need

 

  • Lightweight fabric
  • Two circular templates – one smaller than the other
  • Biro or felt pen
  • Fabric scissors
  • Needle and matching thread

Tip: try out your smaller ‘template’ on top of your larger one for an idea of how your finished flower will look. Your flower will come out roughly the size of your larger template and your centre will be half the size of original size of the smaller circle.

  • use your larger template to draw a circle on your fabric
  • cut out five of the larger circles
  • use your smaller template to draw a circle on your fabric
  • cut out two of the smaller circles
  • thread a fine needle with about 30 cm of matching thread
  • double up for extra strength – there is no need to knot the ends
  • fold one of the larger circles carefully into quarters – patterned side out
  • check that the edges of the circumference match up
  • push your needle through the fabric on the top corner of the ‘open’ edge
  • sew a running stitch to stitch the four layers together – you are sewing along the folded circumference
  • repeat the process with each of the larger circles
  • you can gather each ‘petal’ as you complete each one
  • remember to check that you are catching each layer as you sew
  • if you started by pushing the needle through the top of the fabric then aim to finish each petal with the thread coming back out of the top so that your petals sit uniformly
  • you now have a string of petals

 

  • push the petals together on the thread
  • ¬†gather up the fabric of each petal so they are a uniform shape and size
  • pull gently on the trailing threads closing the circle in the centre of the flower
  • avoid pulling too forcefully and snapping your thread (annoying)
  • tie the two trailing strings together to close the circle and cut off the excess thread
  • adjust your petals around the centre until you are happy
  • double check that your smaller circles will be bit enough to be the centre of your flower (it will come out roughly half the size once it has been stitched)
  • thread a fine needle with about 50 cm of matching thread – no need to knot
  • push the needle through the top of the fabric on (you are stitching around the circumference)
  • sew a running stitch around the edge of the circumference
  • make sure the needle ends on top of the fabric after your last stitch
  • gently pull the two ends of the thread together to gather the fabric
  • what you have made is known as a Suffolk puff (it looks like a tiny shower cap!)
  • tie the two ends together
  • if there is enough thread left on your sewing needle to sew the puff to the flower then just cut off the other thread otherwise rethread your needle
  • flatten the ‘puff’ so that you have a centre for your flower
  • position the centre on your flower to check that it is the right size before stitching it on
  • carefully stitch your centre to your five petals – pin it in place if you find it difficult to stitch and hold it together at the same time
  • try and hide the stitches under the centre for neatness
  • try starting by pushing your needle through a mountain fold in the petal (remember from origami?) and then slightly under the edge of the flattened centre
  • use small stitches to help keep the centre round
  • when you have finished, push the needle out of the back, cut off the needle and tie the two threads together to secure
  • repeat this process with the other smaller circle to finish of the back of the flower
  • make sure you are pushing under all the frayed edges as you sew

Tip: when cutting your smaller circles you might want to think about the placement of your design and what you would like to end up with in the centre. Also when folding your petals at the beginning you can adjust them before you stitch to make sure you are making the best of your fabric print and varying the petals slightly. Contrasting fabric and experimenting with sizes and numbers of petals is a good idea too!

Ideas for your completed flower

  • stitch a button on the centre to hide an imperfect circle or add detail
  • sew on a safety pin or brooch pin
  • sew onto a hair clip or hair band
  • sew onto a bag, coat or cardigan
  • stitch together to make flower bunting!