From 2014-2016 I chronicled my crafty endeavors on the site Adventures-in-Making. I’ve selected a few of those DIY’s, Recipes, and other posts to share on the site.
I’ve been in a major cleaning and organization mood, so most of my projects have been focused on “using up” materials I have around. One giant project used a bin full of old printed t-shirts (I’ll show you when I’m done!) and I ended up with so many colorful t-shirt scraps that I over-ran my rag box. I decided it was a perfect time to combine those scraps, and the May DIY Challenge theme to make some simple jersey flowers.
After playing with the fabric for a day or two, I came up with two basic flower-making methods that you can use to make a whole army of blossoms.
• T-Shirt or jersey scraps
• Fabric scissors and paper scissors
• Needle and thread
• These printed template files : Stitch & Draw-up Petal Template, Pinch & Piece Petal Template
• Shredding scissors, or other decorative edging scissors
• Straight pins
• Felt for leaves and backing. I used wide grosgrain ribbon.
• Pin-backs, bobby pins, or other clips to attach to the back
• Fabric Paints, or floss, or other decorating tools.
The Stitch & Draw-up Method
This is by far the quickest way I made flowers, and was also especially useful for adding details to the center of other flowers, or for making the smallest simplest bonus blooms to add to a flower bunch. The template includes two example petal shapes to play with, and a feathered shape that I used for a center detail. It works with basically any shape you want to use, though, so be sure to try your own ideas for rows of petals.
Cut the template shape out of a piece of jersey. (This is from the arm of a t-shirt.)
Then stitch a loose line starting close to one edge and ending close to the other.
Put a stitch through the end you started on, to pull it into a ring.
Pull both ends of the thread to gather the fabric into a round shape. Make sure the extra puckered fabric from below your stitch line if on one side of the flower.
Take a couple more stitches through the puckered side of the flower (which will be the back side, tie your favorite knot, and cut the thread.
Flip the flower over and add a button or other decoration. You can also stitch a clip or pin to the back side. I put a button in the center of this one by stitching through the middle of the bloom,
and added a couple of leaf-shaped pieces and a piece of ribbon to the back, by stitching them through the back of the petal.
Voila, a quick simple flower that I can use on a package, as a pin, or in my hair. (Or all of the above.)
The Pinch & Piece Method
This method takes a little more work, but I loved the way it makes a fuller and more complicated flower shape. I’ve given you four petal shapes to try on the template– each with a different number of petals per flower– but you can try all sorts of shapes for different results.
Cut the indicated number of petal pieces out of jersey material. For this flower, I also used the “Center Detail” piece from the other template page to create a fuzzy center for my flower (shown above in dark purple.)
Stitch a loose line across the middle of each the petal (shown as a dotted line on the template) starting close to one edge and ending close to the other.
Put a stitch through the end you started on, and pull to gather the fabric.
Bend the petal piece in half, and put a stitch in the fold. Then do the same to each petal to connect them all together. Tighten them together, and tie a knot at the first petal.
Wrap your thread between each petal section to draw the center together and fluff the petals out. Then stitch through the back of the flower, & tie off the thread using your favorite knot. For the center on this flower, I used the “Stitch and Draw-up” method on my dark purple center detail piece, and then sewed through it and the center of my bloom. I attached a leaf shape and a piece of ribbon to the back like my first flower, and used that to bobby pin it in my hair.
I’ve started flipping through my flower books for inspiration, and I love the flexibility and the whimsy of using old t-shirts like this.
Soft, sweet, flowers.
Remember that if you do this or any other flower project, send us a picture to enter the May DIY Craft Challenge.