Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How to Make A Ribbon Rose Tutorial I

What could be better than creating something beautiful?  That is probably why so many people try and create flowers, roses in particular.  But I've begun to believe that the beauty of roses are in their imperfections.  So that is how I try to create mine, with small differences to make each unique.

There are so many ribbon roses and directions on how to make them.  The books by Helen Gibb are quite wonderful and I have almost all of them.  Her book "Ribbonwork, The Complete Guide" has all the directions you will need for making ribbon flowers.  I strongly recommend her books.

Now with better pictures I hope to explain how to make a ribbon rose using different ribbon techniques.  A couple of hints first.  If you purchased wired ribbon take the wire out before sewing.  Be careful of your scissors I use an old pair or one that can cut the ribbon wires.  Even the thin wire in a ribbon can damage scissors.  When buying ribbon it can be very difficult to find both a 1 inch and a 1.5 inch ribbon that matches.  It has taken me years to collect and still I don't have some matches.  So always be on the look out and buy 3 or 4 yards when you do find what you want.  Personally I often buy the whole roll.

First I started with the red variegated ribbon and measured out 8.5 inches to created a 4 petal u-gather.  The side of the ribbon with the curve will be the bottom of the petal. 
A u-gather is when you start at one side of the ribbon sewing straight up about 3/4 of the depth and then sew in a gradual curve to the other side of the ribbon. 
Starting to make a u-gather
Making a u-gather curve.
Then you sew along the edge of the ribbon in the case for about 2 inches and then repeat the curve and straight sewing to the opposite edge. 
Sewing across the top of the u-gather.
Measuring the petal.
Sewing the opposite curve of the u-gather.
Finishing the u-gather petal.
Starting the next petal.  Notice that the thread goes around the edge of the ribbon and then back into the ribbon.
Second petal curve.
Second petal straight stitching.
Second petal ending.
Finished 4 petal u-gather.
For a 4 petal u-gather you do this 4 times on the same piece of ribbon.  I do measure the ribbon as I sew and work straight off the ribbon roll.  That way you can cut the ribbon when your finished.  Once you pull the thread it will form the petals.  You may need to loosen and tighten the thread a few times to make the petals the same size.  Then tie off the thread so the petals cannot come loose.
Four petals gathered.
Pulling the petals together. 
Notice that the ends are frayed.  You now need to sew the first petal to the last petal.  If your ribbon is easily frayed, Fray Check is good to have around.  You may want to start making the flowers by Fray Checking them first.  I usually use a button hole stitch to secure the fraying.
Stamens made of 26 gauge wire with 3mm crystals.
Take and cut 8 inch pieces of 26 gauge wire for each crystal.  Thread a crystal on the wire fold in half and twist until the crystal is secured.  Using different colors of 3mm bicone add interest.
Adding the stamens by placing them in the middle of the flower petal and then sewing and wrapping the thread around them.

This picture shows the 4 u-gather petals being sewn to the stamen creating the center of the rose.  First you sew the first and last petal together and then shape them around the stamins and sew through the bottom of the petals until they are connected together.

Another picture of the rose center being created.
Finished rose center.
Once the center is formed you will need the second row of petals.  These are also u-gathered petals but the are made separately.  For this rose I am using 1 inch ribbon.  Each u-gather starts with 3.5 inches of ribbon. Some times I use more ribbon but it could become to long and the extra ribbon makes the bottom to large and awkward. 
1 u-gather petal.
Once you make a petal cut it off the ribbon roll.  Gather the thread pulling the petal tight.  Bring the cut edges to the back and stitch the ends to the back with tiny stitches.  Then with the thread still attached sew the u-gather petal to the center so that the petal over laps two of the centers petals.  Repeat this so that 4 u-gathered petals surround the center.
Finished petal.
For interest I added two petals from two different ribbons.  One set of petals is a even woven ribbon with a flat finish. The other petals are made from the same sheer ribbon as the rose center. 
Petals added to the rose center overlapping each other.
The sheer ribbon petal is reversed in the second row so that the pink shows on the edge.  So even with the same ribbon it is very different looking.
Second row finished showing the different petals.
At this point if you want to add a long stem.  Take a floral stem and fold it in half.  Wind the stamen wires around the floral stem until they are tightly woven together.  Tomorrow I will continue with the third row of petals.

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