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tutorial: flower collar

so, i had a birthday yesterday. in honor of this new year and decade of my life (which i think should be pretty good), i give you the gift of a previously promised and overdue tutorial. i'm generous now that i'm in my thirties. 

here we go. how to make this collar (or something like it):


you need: lightweight fabric (i used shot cotton on the easter dresses and will be using it, in a different color, for the tutorial today), scissors, needle, thread, thimble. that's it. 

:: with fabric folded, cut a strip. the size varies depending on the size of flowers you want in the end, here i cut a 3" strip. keeping fabric folded, cut strip into squares. (you do not need to be exact with any of this).


:: trim the corners off the squares, making a flowery square. these "squares", with two layers each, will be used to make one flower.


:: making the individual flowers. pinch and gather first layer of "square" in the middle so it looks (wow, you're going to get tired of this word) flowery.


:: while holding the middle of the first layer secure, bring second layer to it, gather around the pinched part. move and gather fabric until it looks good.


:: stitch the flower through the pinched stem to hold it all in place. i usually run the needle and thread through four times or so, just enough that all the gathering/ruffling is secured. knot and cut thread.


::repeat many many times. you'll need a lot of these flowers.


:: attach flowers to fabric (shirt, dress or whatever you're making flowery) one at a time. if you have children who, like mine, are really good at pulling on things, you'll want to secure each flower very well with several stitches before moving to stitch on the next. this is where the thimble comes in handy. pushing that needle through again and again gets rough on the fingers. 


:: depending on the look you want, you can either pack them really tight (i did this for the easter dresses) or you can keep it a little bit looser and let each individual flower show a bit more. here i have 15 flowers. the first picture shows them tight, the second a bit looser. great either way. 

that's it! just stitch them on in the shape you want and you're done. so easy, right? just plan on spending a little time on it. it's one of those great projects to do while listening to this american life. especially act one of this episode. break-ups, phil collins and starlee kine. so good. 


also, there were some questions about the specifics of the easter dresses. unfortunately, other than the flowers (kaffee fassett shot cotton in blush) i don't know what the fabrics are, exactly. ruthie's light blue is either kona or p+b color spectrum while eve's yellow dress is a lovely cotton twill from my stash. 

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Reader Comments (102)

Cute AND easy!!! My favorite words when talking about crafts!!

Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to try!!

May 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAdriana

This is Beautiful!! Thanx for sharing the step by step!! I'm off to make some necklaces with your technique!!

May 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterelina

These are so simple and beautiful. thanks so much for the tut.! I am so going to make one now :)

May 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterelle moss

Happy Birthday and wow, where do you find the patience to do that? Those are really cute. I'm Amazed!! How long did it take you?
Crazy! (and cute!)

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfashiongirl

Hello katie,
you do make such a beautifiul clotings for girls. Can you tell me were I can buy those patern?


Love this tutorial flower collar!! I posted about it via www.kenziepoo.blogspot.com. :)

May 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKenziepoo

I tried this and it works so beautifully!

And I love the fact that you don't really need much to do it!

Such a great idea, thanks :)

June 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLalico

Your flowers inspired me to do some on my old shirt. Thanks for a great idea! I wrote about your tutorial in my blog. :-)

June 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAgy

Love this so much! I enjoy making jewelry out of fabric and these are just beautiful

June 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCorrie Hill

this is so cute. saw it on our whimsical world and i can't wait to make it!!

June 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjaime

That is so pretty.

July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVal

Hey, how do you keep them from unravelling when you was them? Does that "hem glue" stuff actually work?

August 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHayley

What a beautifull collar !! Thanks a lot for the much detailed tutorial !!
Can I put a picture on my blog of it with a link to your blog ??
I woudn't want French crafters to miss such a marvel !!

September 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTanpopo

thank you, I can add some of this to our flower design

October 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterflorist Singapore

So adorable!

October 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMathilda

I have admired these dresses since you posted this in the spring.
Today, Elaine at Clothed Much did something similar for grownup girls.

November 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi

Looove this and your blog...will have to repost asap...glad to have stumbled upon your site!

November 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I LOVE these! I'd like to post a link to this tutorial on my blog, www.sewwhattoday.blogspot.com on December 11!

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWhitnee

Beautiful! Thanks for showing how you did it!

thank you so much! ruffley flowers demystified! i made a cute tank already from this tut! tyvm :D

March 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkate

your blog is amazing! thank you for this tutorial it is a great help as i am completing a folio and this is exactly what i want to make to place as a sample in there.
thank you ever so much :)

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStef

Thanks very much for this tutorial!! I want to make some for my doll ^^

April 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGloria

Thank you for sharing this technique. I just added some flowers to a knit top that I made and they are lovely. I'm sure I'll use this technique again and again.

May 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkarentopaz

sweet site, I hadn't noticed katiedid.squarespace.com before in my searches

September 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteraparate etichetare

How many centimeters squared did the 15 looser flowers cover?
they look very pretty!!

June 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

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