Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine Inspired Velvet Ribbon Flower

Velvet ribbon flower.

Recently I have purchased a lot of new books on ribbonwork and making ribbon flowers.  The book I was looking at today is "A Passion for Ribbonry".  With more than 20 books on ribbonwork and ribbon embroidery the book repeats a lot of ideas in other books.  That is good because the book needs to show the basics.  This book inspired me today to try a technique that I had seen before but thought it made rather dull flowers.  The zinnia on page 69 of this book was so lovely, it was made sewing the ribbon in a zigzag pattern using a sheer ribbon with dense edges. 

Zigzagged ribbon.

The design calls for 1 1/2 yards of 1 inch wide organza ribbon, stamens and a square of buckram.  I didn't have buckram so I used crinoline.  I didn't have 1 inch organza ribbon so I used 3/8 inch ribbon.  The pattern called for marking the ribbon edges every 2 inches alternating the marks from side to side.  The 3/8 inch ribbon was rather small for the technique and I had to stop to rest my hands and eyes.  So I took some red velvet ribbon and started to make a flower that was easier to see.  The ribbon was 1 1/2 inches wide and I used close to 1 1/2 yards to make the flower.  I zigzagged from one side to the other and pulled the thread as I went.

Zigzagged ribbon pulled tight.
Close-up of velvet ribbon.
After pulling the ribbon I loosely spiraled it to get an idea when I had enough zigzagged.  Once I had enough ribbon done I pulled it tight and finished it off by knotting it three times so it could not pull out.  Then I cut the ribbon off the remainder.  Using the the thread I formed the first four pedals into the flower center and sewing them in a circle to the crinoline.  The ribbon has both an upper and lower petal alternating.  I sewed through the lower petal ends attaching them to the crinoline.  This causes the petals to stand up straight.
Forming center of flower.
Sewing through the petals to form the flower.
Close-up of flower center.
Next I spiraled the petals around the center and sewed through the bottom petals and crinoline allowing the upper petals to point outward a bit.  When I got to the end of the petals I sewed the cut end under the last upper petal.  Finally I cut the excess crinoline off so that it didn't show.  Be careful not to cut the sewing threads while doing this.
Finished velvet flower.

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