Late last year I sent my daughter on a reconnaissance mission to find out which storybook character her teacher loved when she was a little girl. The intel came back: it was Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
So I set to work making an end of year thank you gift for the teacher. It was one of my signature-customised cloth doll designs, loosely inspired by Belle, with a rockabilly twist. Quite coincidentally at this particular time the world was hyping up for the next Disney installment of this beloved fairy tale classic.
Now, when I make dolls I like to accessories them, not wanting to send them out into the world empty handed. In the case of Rockabilly Belle she came with a handmade book titled “Embrace Your Inner Beast” and a single stem rose. Today’s tutorial is all about that felt and wire crafted flower. So let’s begin.
Felt Craft: How to make a Stitched Felt Flower
You will need:
- Wire – 9cm
- Thread – 1x green, 1x red
- Felt squares – 1x green, 1x red, 1x pink
- Sewing needle
- Fabric scissors
- Fabric marker [air drying]
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1/ Print template at 100% and cut out the pattern pieces.
2/ Using a fabric marker, draw an outline of pattern pieces onto felt [1 green stem, 5x green leaves, 4x red petals, 4x pink petals].
3/ Using pliers bend one end of the 9cm wire piece, creating a small loop [as pictured].
4/ Wrap a pink petal piece around the wire loop. Using red thread stitch closed the bottom point of the folded petal into the loop.
5/ Wrap a red petal piece around the first pink petal, mirroring it. Stitch the red petal piece closed at the bottom point, into the wire loop [just like we did in step 4]. The flower is beginning to take shape and now looks a 2-colour way love heart.
6/ Wrap a red petal piece half around the pink petal and half around the red petal piece. Stitch the red petal into the other petal pieces near the base.
7/ Wrap a pink petal piece half around the red petal and half around the pink petal piece. Stitch the pink petal into the other petal pieces near the base.
8/ Repeat steps 6 and 7 until all petal pieces are sewn into the flower base.
9/ Knot off the red thread in the flower and cut thread.
10/ Using pliers bend the bottom end of the wire stem.
11/ Thread needle with green thread. Wrap green stem piece around wire stem and stitch the edge closed using a blanket stitch. Stitch the end closed, tie a knot and cut thread.
12/ Position a green leaf piece to the base of the flower. Stitch the leaf into the stem and flower with a few basic stitches.
13/ Repeat step 12 placing another three leaf pieces in a quad formation.
14/ Position the last leaf piece midway on the stem and vertical edge stitch together.
15/ Gently bend the stem to give it a natural shape. Most things in nature do not follow sharp, straight lines.
16/ The flower is lovely on it’s own, and would look amazing in a bouquet. It would also make an elegant brooch, or even a hair decoration. In this instance you can stitch a pin to the stem just behind the stem leaf, or even hot glue the stem to a hair clip. You can even try mixing up the flower petal colours.
Raiding her mum’s craft box Melissa made her first fabric doll when she was seven. Decades later her passion for making dolls rebooted and she has been making mermaids, fairies, armature dolls, girls, boys and mythical computer game creatures. Experimenting and mixing her mediums Melissa likes to make dolls using a combination of sewing techniques, painting, cloth, felt and wire, and any new material that falls from the crafting heavens and into her lap.