Book review: Fun-to-wear Fabric Flowers

I realize that I haven’t posted in a while, and I feel kind of bad about it – but work and the rest of my life has just been so busy lately! In fact, I picked up a few books on ribbon/fabric flowers a while ago, and other than flipping through them, haven’t really had much time at all to read – or for that matter, review – them!

So, am I back on track now? Not really.  I don’t anticipate having a lot more spare time in the near future, but in the meantime, at least I can prepare a FEW little posts!

Image linked from Chapters - sorry if it breaks in future! Click to purchase!

First up, Fun-to-Wear Fabric Flowers by Elizabeth Helene Searle.

The cover art is deceptive – in the sense that it really doesn’t do the rest of the book and the rest of the photos justice.  It seems a bit dated to me, while the book is only from 2006, and other interior photos don’t have that same vaguely 1980’s vibe… Take a look at the back cover instead to get a better sense of it!

Like most crafty/sewing books, the book starts out with a substantial section with the basic how-tos.  Good for those who might be picking up a needle for the first time in a while, but I’m getting to the point where I just skip this section entirely.  From there there are several individual projects, but many of them very, very similar, with variations only in fabric and size.  The types of flowers the book covers includes:

  • Free-motion flowers (not unlike my silk poppy)
  • Gathered flowers
  • Yo-yo flowers
  • Five-petal flowers (if you have more sewing in mind)
  • Roses
  • Ruched flowers
  • Individual petal flowers (again, more hand-work, very much like my “more felt flowers“)
  • Pansies
  • Folded-petal flowers
  • Loopy flowers (not something I’m attracted to personally)
  • Bias strip flowers (again, not really my interest)
  • Poppies
  • and finally, felt flowers.

I found the first half of the book a bit too simple, and a bit too “this doesn’t really look at all like a flower” – or, so highly dependent on having the perfect fabric, as to not really be do-able for what I have these flowers in mind for (millinery of course!).  However, I really liked the look of the poppies (using six strips of fabric for the petals, a black yo-yo for the center and purchased stamens) and there is a good section on folded roses which might be useable.

(From the book, in my own words)

Folded fabric rose

  1. Take a long strip of fabric (the book recommends 4×45″) and fold the long edges together so they meet in the middle.
  2. Fold the strip in continuous 45 degree angles – like twisting it flat.
  3. Stitch one short side and one long side using a gathering stitch
  4. Gather and roll, then stitch to foundation and add folded-fabric leaves.

So… I would love to have some photos to show off in this post of flowers I’ve made from this book. But, alas, I haven’t had hardly any time to sew at all (one alteration and one quick robe that was already cut out pre-renovation…) so there’s nothing to share! 😦


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