Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fabric Flowers...Learning the Fundamentals

I've wanted to make a bib-style necklace for some time now. It's the fabric flowers that call to me. The differing textures and color combinations make my visual senses react in a way that is comparable to the heightened sense of smell. The "fragrance" of the fabrics is almost always overwhelmingly delicious!

I guess that's why I actually enjoy making the flowers more than making the necklaces themselves.

Over the holiday, I learned a few important things about making fabric flowers that I thought I'd share.

1. Buy your fabrics by the bolt (in the remnants section of the store). Once I got started, I found it easier to work w/one fabric at a time. Each tulle, netting, cotton, satin, etc. has it's own little "trick" and cutting strips of fabric by the yard all at one time just made more sense to me.

2. Beacon is the Best! I repeat: Beacon is the Best! I tried nearly every tacky, fabric, (and non-fabric) glues and adhesives I have (or didn't have until recently) and I LOVE Beacon's Fabri-Tac. WARNING: You may loose a layer of skin though. It is VERY adhesive and will coat your fingers if you're not careful. (But then again, when I began to sew the necklaces, I built up my "quilter's calluses" again anyhow.) You can find it here:

Don't go crazy w/the glue though! Just a dab will, you might want to be able to sew through later and a thick application will stop the needle.

3. Find color-combo inspirations! I really like paint swatches but then I Design-seeds website:
I use to collect my "swatches" and then "pick" my flowers based on the color-combos I really like.

4. Limit your number, not your fabrics/sizes/or textures. I hate flower arranging. I'm too "symmetrical" about the entire process, which can make my arrangements for the bib necklaces difficult. For mine, I decided upfront that I would place no more than eight, no fewer than five fabric flowers on any necklace. (That includes tulle flowers.) Then, I picked from my "swatch-box" (see #3 above) blindly, and took it from there.

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