Between Christmas and my recent work-flurry, I never posted about the Dior roses on my hat. Apparently, Dior loved little embellishments like these, and this is how he made his roses. In the past, I put fabric flowers in the “too hard” file and left it, but they’re as easy as they are satisfying. These days my silk scraps go into a little box for flower making. Linens and cottons may make nice flowers given the right cut, but my knit fabric roses looked like wadded up socks. Mostly I stick to silk for its texture and luster.
Make templates. You’ll need a small, medium and large, each about 1/2″ smaller than the last. I cut three rectangles of paper at 8″x5″, folded them into quarters and made a rough football shape. Then I set one template aside, re-folded into quarters, and drew a line 1/2″ from the edge. I cut that, set one of the templates aside, and repeated the process. Then cut one of each size from your fabric for each rose. I read Dior liked to make his in triples, though I haven’t seen this on any dresses I can remember. For triples, cut three of each. (These roses made from Burda 08-2009-117 leftovers)
Starting with the smallest piece, fold it in half end-to-end and make a running stitch along the raw edge. The folded edge will be the outer edge of the petal. Pull it up tight-but-not-too-tight, and curl it around to make a little bud.
I found it worked best to ram my thumb into the middle of the bud to help it maintain a good shape. Then repeat the folding, stitching, and curling with the second petal. It should wrap around the bud, and don’t draw the stitches up too tight. When I wrapped the second petal, I lined up the middle of the petal with the overlapping bit on the bud for the sake of symmetry and it worked. Repeat with the third petal.
I nestled three of them together and stitched them to my hat. It was a round sampan frame. I cut a circle of slubbed silk equal to slightly less than the diameter of the frame times two, finished the raw edge, and gathered it on the underside. A comb secures it in my hair.
With hats and fabric flowers, there’s not really a “right” or “wrong” way to sew it, just finding a way to make it stay together while looking halfway decent. I think that’s why I like making silly things and costumes, they’re so free.
I’m a little tempted to make one or three gigantic ones to wear on their own in lieu of a pillbox hat, just stitched to an invisible little base. Why not?