There's a very blank wall next to my daughter's bed and so I offered to make her a decorative garland to fill it a little. I asked her what she would like on it, hoping for pom poms or maybe bunting, but she decided that she'd much rather have a garland of roses. Apparently roses are a lot more "princessy" than pom poms or bunting... I didn't fancy buying a dozen or more fabric roses, so I decided to design my own pattern and make them myself. That way it would be a lot easier to get colours to match her room and be significantly cheaper. I've also been itching to have a play with singed flowers again. There's something very exciting, satisfying and unpredictable about using a flame to shape and form fabric petals.
I had a brief play with singed flowers a couple of years ago, so I know it's a fairly simple process and you can get some very passable results with just a few simple steps - even as a beginner.
If you've never made singed flowers before, it's really very inexpensive to get started, you just need to be a little careful on your choice of fabric. You are literally playing with fire so you need to make sure that your fabric is going to shrink and melt slightly on the edges when the flame comes near it and not go up in flames. Please be extra cautious and test your fabric by burning it over a sink full of water. 100% nylon and polyester fabrics are usually best suited to making singed flowers. Different fabrics react in different ways, some will curl up and go a shade darker at the edges, while others will stay flat or leave scorch marks, so it's always a good idea to buy a few small samples before you commit.
To make singed roses you will need:-
- Nylon or polyester satin fabric. (My favourite fabric for making singed flowers is Habutai polyester that I buy from my local Boyes store. It's only £1.75 a metre, it behaves how I want it to and I can make 10 roses out of a metre of fabric.)
- A candle lighter. (Affiliate link.) A tea light or regular candle would work, but you will have much more control with a candle lighter.
- Fabric scissors
- A needle
- Pattern pieces. You can print out my pattern pieces here.
Cut out your pattern pieces and tear your fabric into strips to fit the height of the pattern pieces. I like to fold my fabric strips forward and backwards, concertina style, so that I ensure that all of the fabric is under the pattern piece.
To make 1 rose you will need to cut out 1 arc shape for the centre, 3 small petals, 9 medium petals and 5 large petals. I'm planning on making 5 roses in this colour so I've layered up as many as will fit on a width of fabric.
Now comes the fun part - unfortunately it's a little tricky to photograph the singeing process as it takes two hands and a little concentration but there are quite a few videos on YouTube that have managed to capture the process.
Light the candle lighter and move the fabric shape and lighter towards each other until the fabric shrinks away from the flame. You really just want to melt the outside edge of the petals to seal and shrink them so that the petals start to curl. When you are singeing them, try to focus the heat on one side of the petal so that it forms a concave dish shape when all of the edge has been melted.
Thread your needle with about a metre of thread and secure it at one end of the lower arc by working three stitches on top of each other. Then work a running stitch along the bottom edge.
Gather the stitches a little so that the outside edge remains relatively flat...
... then roll up the arc to form the centre of the flower. Work several stitches through the fabric layers to secure it all together at the base.
Take the 3 smaller petal pieces and stitch them evenly around the base of the flower centre, making sure that they are positioned curling into the centre.
Now take 4 of the medium sized petals and sew them evenly around the flower centre, overlapping them so that they form a single circuit around the base. These 4 petals should also be positioned curling towards the centre.
Take the remaining 5 medium sized petals and sew them evenly around the base, overlapping them. This time position the petals so that they are curling away from the centre.
Finally it's time to sew on the last 5 larger petals. Again, these ones are positioned curling away from the flower centre and they should fill the gaps between the previous layer of petals. Finish with 2 or 3 stitches on top of each other.
I'm really looking forward to putting together my garland of roses but I think that these would look equally beautiful as a hair accessory, brooch or even as an extra special gift decoration.
Copyright - I have provided the free pattern for personal use. Make them for yourself or give them as gifts, sell them to raise funds for charity but please do not sell them for profit. Thank you.
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