Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tutorial: Ruffle Hair Flower

....A very abstract flower!
I first got the idea to make this super simple hair band when my daughter wore this ruffly dress:

I just happened to have some plain pink cotton in the exact shade and weight of the dress fabric. I planned to make some rolled fabric roses, but they take so long and I was in a hurry. I wanted to imitate the style of the raw-edged ruffles of her little dress, and so the ruffle flower was born! It took me less than ten minutes to make the headband.

  • woven fabric
  • sewing machine and thread
  • button or beads
  • hair clip or headband
 You can get away with just about any length of fabric, because the strip can be cut in short pieces and sewn together if necessary. Here's why...

The edges of the ruffles on the dress are completely raw, not hemmed or serged. Why doesn't the ruffle dress unravel?
Because it's cut on the bias. What does that mean?
Woven fabric has threads that go from left to right, and threads that go up and down. If you were to cut the fabric along the length of the threads (parallel) in either direction, that would be "on the grain":

See the threads coming off at the top? There's nothing stopping them from separating from the rest of the fabric. Now if you were to cut the fabric diagonally across the up-and-down/left-and-right threads, that would be "on the bias":

See how the fabric is slightly frayed but not coming apart?

Ok now we can get started!
Cut your fabric into strips on the bias, about one inch wide and thirty or forty inches long. Like I said, if your piece of fabric isn't wide enough, you can cut small pieces and use them together as one long strip. If you'd like, taper one end of the strip into a point. That will be the center.

Next, set your sewing machine to the loosest and longest length of stitch. Run one edge of the strip through the machine about a quarter inch from the edge. Leave a long tail of the thread end.

Grab the top thread at one end in one hand and the fabric in the other. Pull the fabric down the thread to form gathers. Keep scooching the fabric all the way down the thread until it's all gathered:

Form the gathered strip into a circle with the tapered end as the top center. You can tack all the layers together with a few stitches by hand, or run it back and forth under the sewing machine a couple times in short lines. Trim the threads that are showing. Choose a button or beads and stitch to the center.

Now sew or glue the clip or hair band to the back, and you're done!

You can do one giant flower, or several small ones bunched together. Maybe even attach a pinback and use as a brooch?


janet said...

great tute and your little girl is so darn cute...Hugs!

Heather said...

Those are so adorable Melissa!!! I featured them, check it out and grab a button!

ElegantSnobbery said...


Hollie May said...

soooooooo cute!!!!!
looks like she's ready for the meeting! ;)

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Darlene Servolini said...

OH! I made one of these yesterday for the first time, but your directions are much easier! Thanks a bunch!

Can you let us know where you get your plain headbands? Thanks!

SewSweetStitches said...

Thanks everyone!
Darlene, the elastic headbands are from the dollar store. I also like to get the plain, thin, metal silver ones from Hobby Lobby but they're not pictured here...

Good Girls Studio said...

Cuteness! Your model is quite adorable too, how very accommodating of her ;) She's going to grow up thinking she's a supermodel hahaha

Jaz said...

love this! tweeted this! thank u.

hair accessories said...

Yay! I really love that cute ruffled dress and headband. I would probably make one for my girl. Thanks for the tutorial!

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