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Fabric flower embellishment tutorial.

One of my favorite presents to give to little girls--whether they're celebrating a birthday or their new big sister status--are fun hair clippies.  I use bits of felt, ribbon, buttons or brads to make up a flower of sorts.  Sometimes I use my embroidery machine to monogram a bloom.  I then affix the embellishment to a ribbon covered alligator clip.  Easy peasy...


I also like to use little cards filled with them as gift toppers.  Once I clipped a good dozen or so around the ribbon I used to decorate a diaper cake for a neighborhood baby shower.  And my dear friends are kind enough to let me foist these confections upon their daughters--it satisfies my need to create something frilly.

So imagine how my ears perked up when my best friend from high school, Kristin, informed me that her sweet daughter could no longer wear the clippies I've made her (cllippies aren't working with her current hairstyle)--ack!  But evidently she sometimes wears headbands.  That's all I needed to hear...

Here's how I did it.

Cut a piece of scrap fabric.  Mine was about 1 1/2 inches wide x 14 inches long and I chose to pink one edge.

Next, ruffle your strip by sewing a straight line near the non-pinked edge.  Set your stitch length to the longest setting and make sure to leave a long tail at the start and end of your stitching.  Also, do not backstitch as you'll need to gently pull one thread to gather the fabric, thus creating the ruffle.  Go slowly as you don't want to break the thread. 

ETA:  You're supposed to do two rows in case the thread breaks but I don't bother with these scraps (again, because I'm a lazy bones--see below).  Also, I received a couple of emails asking why I don't use my machine to ruffle (to do that, you set your stitch length to the longest setting and your tension to the highest setting).  I answered that I usually do that if I'm sewing big pieces (and always if I'm working with knit fabric).  But I'm always interrupted while crafting and have found I also always forget to set my tension back--so I just don't bother with these quickie projects.  But you guys should go for it if it helps you ruffle! 

Make another coordinating scrappy strip--on this one, instead of pinking, I pulled a few threads out to gently fray the edge.  Note**next time I do this, I won't be such a lazy bones and not switch out my mismatched bobbin thread.  I found out later it's a bother to hide.


Stack the strips with right sides facing down--they'll be curly and unwieldy which is why I don't have a shot of it, sorry--and wind them around a finger.  Slide it off and adjust the bloom to your liking.

Take a threaded needle and secure your bloom by sewing this way and that, hiding your stitches amongst the ruffles.  I wanted another pop of color so I glued a fun blue brad to the center, but I don't think it's vital.

I then added some scrappy green leaves with pinked edges.  I slightly pinched the leaves on the end I was attaching to the flower, to make them stand up a bit, and securely hand stitched them to the back.


I hand stitched the entire embellishment onto a handmade headband (the headband is just a strip of white t-shirt jersey folded in half, sewn along the long edge, flipped right-side out, and sewn end to end to make a loop).  I tested for fit on the closest kid-sized head.  I won't name names because that was part of the deal.  That, and a slice of freshly baked cranberry-white-chocolate blondie.

I think it could also make a pretty broach.  And even though I've never been too much of a broach-wearing sort of person, I do think it would look pretty on a couple spring-weight jackets I recently bought.  So I think more are in my future.  And can you tell by the colors who's thinking spring?


ETA:  I'm linking up to DIY day at A Soft Place to Land.

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Reader Comments (4)


September 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSolange Damasio

That is so sweet of you! The clippies and headband are all lovely. Have a wonderful day.

October 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin Backlinker

so cute :)

November 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterritadj creations

Thank you for the nice post Sandra, I love DIY's. the flowers are so lovely and so was the headband after the embellishment.

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