During the design process, I have often spent hours and hours searching for suitable floral components to use in my designs, I know what I want, but finding it has proved impossible. Once in a while I would find a picture of a gorgeous, 'handmade' flower that I thought looked perfect to use in my designs, only to buy it and be bitterly disappointed when the package finally arrived - mass produced, glued together flowers with plastic components - more often than not just heads cut from the inexpensive bunches of artificial flowers you might find in a garden centre.
So the next step for me, being a creative soul, was to make my own flowers. This process started not months ago, but years - and although I never thought it would be easy, it has taken much longer to perfect the skills needed than I first thought - but when something is worth doing, its worth doing well.
I have learned about fabric - chiffons, silks, organza, satin, velvet and all the variations thereon. Some fabrics drape better than others, some are softer, the processes of stiffening and preparation, bias cutting and which fabrics are suitable for tooling.
I have learned about shaping fabric - using heated tools, crinkling, curling, cupping, and even using a flame.
I have learned about sewing - one thing I was determined to avoid was using glue on any of my flowers - so through trial and error I learned about sewing - and a surprise to me was that a past hobby of cross stitch came in very handy for some of the methods I use!
So every fabric flower I now make has every petal prepared, cut, tooled, shaped and sewn individually - a long process indeed, but in my opinion, worth it. Finally I have the flowers I wanted.
|White Silk Rose|
|Ivory Chiffon Bloom|
|Silver Double Headband|
|Red & Black Hair Flower|
It never fails to amaze me what can be done with a piece of fabric, and some sparkly bits and pieces. The following is a preview of some of the flowers I have made recently for bespoke items, and as part of bigger pieces..
I now suspect that my life-long love of flowers has blossomed into a rest-of-my-life-long love of making flowers.
Rose Garden Accessories