Thursday, 20 October 2011

TALES FROM THE SCRAP HEAP #3


So here I am back again, still going on about the flaming scrap fabric.
But this time some thing to do with your fabrics.
I have got some scrap bags left, so if you missed out in the mad scramble for them over the weekend you will have another chance.
I will list them in my Folksy shop after the half term holiday.

A day late, but as promised here is the how to on making scrap bag roses.

* First things first, choose your fabrics. You don't need huge scraps for this project, but you do need to be able to cut Bias strips at least 10" long for your roses.
The background fabric should be of a sturdier weight that the flowers. I used a piece of the same silk dupion in a different colour and then ironed a rectangle of interfacing on to the back of it. If your fabric is too flimsy it will just pucker up when you are sewing the flowers on.


* Cut you bias strips.
They should be at least 10" long.
I cut them at different widths. Some were 3/4", some were 1" and some were 1 1/4".
The wider flowers will need a slightly longer length, but not much just an inch or two.
If you don't understand what the bias means then here is a quick explanation.
Bias is cutting diagonally across the grain of the fabric. See the picture.
We do this because the weave of the fabric is what gives it its stability, so if you cut diagonally across the weave you are reducing this stability and making the fabric easier to stretch and mould in to new shapes.
(Sally I hope this makes you happy!)


* It is up to you how many flowers to make.
I did 6.
Fold your fabric not quite in half along the length.
As you can see in the picture one side is about 1/8" longer than the other.
I do this because it helps to give the edge of the flowers more definition.
You will be stitching on the folded edge.










*Then press your strips in to a slight curve.
Do this as you are ironing the strip.
Using lots of steam helps!
Just keep curving the fabric round as you move the iron over it.














* Cut the end of your bias strip to a point sloping in towards the fabric.
This is so you don't have an ugly blunt end of fabric to start you flower with.
Start sewing your flower.
I do it by eye, but you may want to lightly chalk a spiral on to the fabric where you wish the flower to go.
I have never managed to make a flower with more than 3 swirls in it, so keep it simple!
The spiral should be about 1 1/2" - 2" wide.
Because you have already pressed the bias strip in to a curve it should start to naturally follow the spiral.
I use a dressmaking awl to help hold the fabric in place. But a long pin works just as well.


* Keep following your spiral round.
Always finish with your needle in the fabric.
You will need to lift the foot, move the fabric round, put it down, stitch a couple of stitches, lift the foot, move the fabric rounds, etc. This is where having that long pin or awl becomes indispensable, to tease the fabric in to position and push other parts of the spiral out of the way.
When you finally feel you can stitch no further do a couple of back stitches and cut your threads.
Then cut the remains of the bias strip off at an angle sloping back in towards the flower.






* And there you have it a finished flower.
As you can see the raw edges are starting to fray a little.
Because they are cut on the bias this means they won't fray away, but will give a pleasing organic edge to the rose.
If you have shot fabric you can achieve some amazing results with this technique.











* Start stitching your next flower.
Try to start as close as possible to your first one. This will give the impression of the flowers being clustered together.















* Here it is with all six flowers sewn on.
It still looks a little spartan but panic not we haven't yet finished.












* And so on to the leaves.
I use two colours of scraps to make the leaves.
Cut out a shape that you like in the lighter fabric.
Make a paper template if you are not confident in doing it freehand.
Pin the lighter leaf to the darker fabric and then cut out making the second leaf about 1/8" larger all the way round.
I made 4 sets of leaves. Its up to you how many you want and how large they are.








* Stitch on the leaves.
As with the flowers I like the effect of them being nestled up close to each other.
You only need to do a single line of stitching down the centre of each leaf I like to make it slightly curved or with a little wiggle, as I find straight lines quite harsh.












* Nearly nearly finished now.
You may like your bunch of roses looking like this.
In which case, you have finished!
Read no further!
However I like to flatten mine out a little.








* Take your beautiful floral display back to the ironing board.
Turn the iron up high (though be careful if you are using synthetic fabrics) and use lots of steam.
You are not actually pressing the flowers, just steaming them.
Hold to iron so it is almost touching the flowers and steam them for a few seconds.
You can then if you want poke about with a pin and arrange the flowers in to the shapes you want and steam again.



Phew!
Well I hope that all made sense.
If you feel brave enough to have a go at some roses then you can upload the results here so every one can admire your efforts.
Good luck!
I am joining in today with My creative space.
Check out what every one else out there has been up to.
Love Nora xx

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for this wonderfully clear tutorial!
    I love what you've made and I will be trying this out for myself!

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  2. love that, thanks for sharing.

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  3. What patience you have, will stick on my "have a go at this" list.

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  4. They look so pretty, but my sewing machine and I aren't talking to each other at the moment... (we had a slight argument).

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  5. Not only your buttons are wonderful but also these roses - I will make a try.

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