Gia creates beautiful handmade flower accessories, bags, bracelets and more which she then sells in her Fairytale Flowers and One Perfect Day shops. Gia is based in Athens, Greece and blogs at OnePerfectDay, where she shares inspiration for her designs and her latest work.
We were excited when Gia offered to share her flower design expertise with a Peony Fabric Flower tutorial; peonies are a wedding trend this year and they’re always lovely in accessories. Gia shows you how to make the flower today, and she’ll be back next month with different ways to use the fabric flowers you create to make accessories and more. Be sure to stop by Fairytale Flowers to see the many lovely ways Gia uses fabric flowers to make weddings, parties and every day a little more special. You can also learn more about Gia in her introduction.
This is a how-to for making organza fabric flowers that look like peonies, one of this year’s major wedding trends.
Today we will learn how to make the basic flower and in another tutorial we’ll look at some of the many uses for your brand new handmade flower.
First of all, here are the items you will need to make the flower:
- Organza (in your choice of color)
- Stamen (in your choice of color)
- Thread (matching your organza colour0
- Candle or other low flame source
- Matches or lighter
- Cardboard circle templates in two sizes (my circles are 7cm or 2.8 inches and 8.5cm or 3.4 inches across, and the flower they make is approximately 6.5cm or 2.5 inches)
1. Use the diameter of your circle template to cut strips of organza.
2. Then use your circle to cut out organza circles from your fabric. Don’t worry about making them super neat and perfect. This will not affect the end result of your flower.
For each peony flower you will need three petals from the smaller circle and seven from the larger circle.
3. Singe each petal carefully by bringing it close to the candle flame and rotating it until the whole flower has been singed and the petal has gone from a flat piece of fabric to a thoroughly organic concave petal. This can be quite tricky until you find the rhythm to it, so if it’s your first time trying this have some spare petals to practice. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a cinch!
Tip: Organza is a very delicate fabric and extremely flammable. Do not take it too close to the flame too fast. Once it flares up, it goes up in flames quick.
Exercise caution if this is your first time trying this and experiment with how close you can bring your petal to the flame. Be prepared to extinguish fire. A lightning quick fanning of the petal is usually enough to put out the flames. (Be sure to plan your workspace accordingly.)
WARNING!: Molten organza can give you nasty burns! When the organza melts you don’t want those droplets touching you as they will burn.
4. Take three of the smaller petals in order to make the basic flower petal shape. At this stage you want to make a pretty tulip shaped flower. Find where these three petals fit well together and pin them together at the base where they meet.
It’s time to fill it with more petals! But before you do, take time to prepare the stamen.
5. Preparing the Stamen: Take one of the larger petals and the stamen you have selected, folded in half and secures with thread. Fold the petal in half. Place stamen cluster in the middle and fold one side of the petal over it. Fold the other side of the petal over the first. Secure by sewing it with thread.
6. Take six of the larger petals and fold them over just like the petal in Step 5 but without the stamen. Secure them with a pin or sew them together if you find it easier to manage. We will need to sew two layers of three petals each to get the fullness of the peony flower pictured.
At this stage you should have everything you need to finish your flower:
- Skeleton petals
- Stamen petal center
- 6 of the larger petals, folded
7. Take one petal, secure it with a pin and sew the pointy corner of that petal into the middle of the base of your flower.
Tip: Because you will be sewing two tiers of petals, one on top of the other– and because these petals expand if you let go of them– it makes it easier to sew in the petals if you pin them flat.
It helps further if you pin the folded petal to the basic flower shape petals. There will, however, be a lot of pins accumulating as the six petals are successively added so watch out for them; they will as prickly as a porcupine and bound to prick your fingers.
8. The aim is to sew in the first layer of three petals in a clover-like fashion, fanning them out to cover the entire space. Find where the second petal fits and sew that on too.
9. Position the third petal in the space remaining and secure it with your thread and needle.
10. The first layer of three petals is finished. Now you’re left with three more petals for the next layer and the petal and stamen center.
Tip: If you wish for a flower that is less full than the resulting flower (pictured at the top and bottom of this post) you can skip Step 11 and proceed to Step 12.
11. One by one attach the second layer of petals just like you attached the first layer, watching out for those pins!
12. Now it’s time to sew in the petal with the stamen. This needs a bit more attention than the other petals because you want it to hold an upright position as much as possible. It will be held up by the pressure of the petals around it when the flower is finished but as it has much more weight than the other petals, due to the stamen which weigh a lot compared to the lightness of the organza; sew it on more securely.
Tip: Sewing the stamen petal onto the petal base from three different sides makes it more likely to stand upright than sewing it only from one.
13. After taking out the pins you need to work the flower a bit with your hands so that it can regain it’s peony shape.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to sqeeze and manipulate it to get it to look like it should. Organza may look ethereal and delicate but it is surprisingly hardy and durable when singed properly and it can most definately survive some primping and preening. In my experience, organza flowers look much better once you fluff them up with your fingers.
Success! Your flower is now ready to take it to the next level and make some lovely accessories with it.