viva rolled edge rose tutorial

Basic Method of Stiffening Fabrics for Flower Making

All the fabrics that are used in flower making, need be be stiffened before use. This makes fabrics more stable, gives them body and rose course kits ultimately allows petals and leaves keep their 3D shape.

There are different ways of stiffening fabrics and different stiffeners one can use. Below in a short video I am sharing a basic method of stiffening fabrics for flower making using Stiffy, a PVA glue based stiffener. With the same success you can dilute some good quality white fabric PVA glue (check your proportions on a sample first) and use it to stiffen fabrics in the same way.

To browse professionally stiffened velvets and metallic fabrics for flower making visit this section. These specialist fabrics can make a great addition to the plain silks and cottons you have stiffened yourself.

If you wish to know how to stiffen velvet and lace read this blog post.

 

make your flowers quicker

How you can make your flowers quicker

In this fast moving world, time is of the essence. We all want to achieve great results, make more beautiful pieces without wasting much time.silk parrot tulip hat Is that even possible?
The question I get asked time and time again is about the production time of handmade flowers, or how you can make your flowers quicker. If you have ever tried to make a flower from scratch it should come as no surprise just how much time every piece takes to produce.
I am afraid I have not got a magic pill to offer here. However there is a number of best practices and recommendations I would like to offer today that we can (and should!) apply to improve our production times.
Let’s have a look at what they are.
1. Invest in a set of reliable tools and a pair of tweezers if you are serious about making flowers and make them often. They will deliver great results in shorter times and you will enjoy the process as well as the finished piece in a shorter time with a better result, too.
2. Use specially designed brushes to dye fabrics for your flowers. Not only do they work quicker and deliver better results, they are such a pleasure to use, too. You will love dyeing fabrics with these magical brushes☺
3. Get yourself a decent stapler and use it to staple several layers of fabric. This will allow you to cut out petals/ leaves in 2-4 or more layers (wherever possible). I really love mine and highly recommend it (see here).
hand dyed pink leather rose on a stem4. Once you’ve stapled 2-4 layers of fabric go on and dye your petals or leaves in 2-4 layers (wherever possible). Not all fabrics will allow for that. Lightweight to medium weight silks usually dye great in 2 and even 4 layers. Other fabrics should be fine in 2 layers. Test beforehand to find out exactly how your fabrics behave.
5. Whenever the design allows you, shape your petals in 2-4 layers. Petals for most roses can be shaped in the groups of 2 or 4 petals which speeds up the process. I talk about it in the relevant tutorials. Make sure you use the right pad for shaping, soft or medium as they matter too.

6. When possible use already dyed silks (that you stiffen yourself). This can potentially save a lot of your time and can work well for some projects but not for all.

Opt for professionally stiffened fabrics if the design benefits from it.
They might cost a bit more, but your time (and the result!) is more precious. I recommend trying metallic fabrics for festive and wedding designs, as well as Rayon Satin and Cotton Velvet for the foliage.

7. Ribbons, both rayon and fine rice paper are great to use and can save you time when working on certain projects. White rayon ribbon can be dyed to match, whilst green can be easily used as is with smaller and larger flowers to helpdenim butterfly brooch you make your flowers quicker.

8. In flower making every little helps. Make sure your glue is right for the job. Normally 2 types of glue are required in flower making: a very thick PVA glue for putting flowers together and a more liquid PVA glue that  is used for backing leaves and petals. Obtaining some specialist flower glue can make a lot of difference when assembling flowers.

9. I find making 2 or 3 or even more of the same (popular) flower design works out quicker for me. Although I still have to go through all the stages of cutting out, dyeing parts, backing and shaping them, and then assembling into flowers, I’d use less time compared to when I have to make flowers one after another. Keep this in mind.

10. Good news: practice makes perfect. It really does with handmade flowers. So keep up the good work you are doing and enjoy it whilst enlisting all the best tools and other supplies that make your flower making quicker and easier. ♥

Wedding silk flower circlet

Silk Flower Circlets

Silk flower circlets aka flower head wreaths / garlands are yet another way to showcase your handmade silk flower circlets

flowers.

The simplest way to make a circlet / wreath is to create a closed circle using the stems of you handmade flowers (see the photos of the silk daisy circlet and the silk rosebud wreath).

daisy hair garland

 

For the best fit you need to know the head circumference of the wearer.
These head wreaths can be made very symmetrical or asymmetrical.
You can use small, medium and large flowers (the larger the flowers you are using the fewer you will need), anything from delicate gypsophila  and apple blossom to large roses.
Head wreaths and circlets like these are perfect for weddings (think the bride, bridesmaids as well as little flowergirls) and will become a great keepsake of the big day. My Mum still keeps the daisy circlet from her wedding 41 years on 🙂  silk rose beaded circlet
If you are familiar with beadwork, you will be able to create original flower circlets combining these two techniques: beading and flower making.
Depending on the design this type of circlet can be symmetrical or asymmetrical.
Realistic and stylised flowers both work well in these circlets, including the ones made from metallic fabrics.

Perhaps a more practical option is open circlets.

lace orchid circlet
These circlets can be adjusted on the head using a ribbon at the back as shown in detail in my Lace Orchid Video Course or other methods.
Dyeing silk ribbon in the matching colours of your head circlet will add an extra finishing touch to the piece.
Depending on the style, the occasion and the outfit you can create head wreaths / circlets with more realistic or fantasy colours.
silk iris tutorial cover new lace flower tutorialSilk Apple Blossom Tutorial
leather sunflower brooch

❀ NEW ❀ Leather Sunflower DIY kits

New Leather Sunflower DIY kits just in time for summer.

Summer is in full swing and handmade sunflowers are all the rage right now. Silk or leather, these bright summer flowers look great anywhere from a beach to a wedding reception. Talking of which, one of my latest custom orders was a collection of sunflower brooches for a weddingleather sunflower party in the New York area.
Leather sunflower is one of my earlier tutorials. Relevant today as it has ever been before the flower itself has experienced some transformations over the years. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the Leather Sunflower Tutorial , revise it  and update it to enable you to create even better sunflowers.
As you remember the original Leather Sunflower Tutorial was about making a headpiece. The new 25+ minute BONUS VIDEO I am offering today is focused more on a brooch version of this best selling flower.
I am demonstrating how to add stamens in a neat and efficient way and what to do to make them look even more attractive and realistic as well as other tips and tricks to help you achieve the best result possible.
⭐NEW⭐
leather sunflower kit stamensI have received a number of requests for Leather Sunflower DIY kits.  And for the first time ever I am happy to offer them in several finishes to go with this tutorial. They are available separately, so it is up to you whether to get them together with the Leather Sunflower Tutorial or not.
With one of these kits you will be able to create a Leather Sunflower brooch about 12 cm in diameter with (or without) stame

Leather Sunflower Tutorial

ns in the centre (as seen on a straw basket above).
Leather sunflowers are great not only for brooches or headpieces. Play with the scale of your templates and create smaller sunflowers for shoe clips or miniature stick pins etc.
The options are endless.
The striking centre, bright petals and a very recognisable look of the leather sunflower make it an ideal gift and a beautiful summer accessory.
This is a sort of flower where with minimum effort you achieve a great result and instant impact.

 

To receive access to the new BONUS VIDEO simply leave your review on this tutorial on my website here.
In case if you have not had a chance to purchase the Leather Sunflower Tutorial , you can do it now and receive access to the BONUS VIDEO. I can not recommend it enough as a beginner friendly flower.
If you are lucky enough to already own this tutorial but somehow you have not come round to actually making sunflowers now is the time! Treat yourself to one of the leather sunflower DIY kits in case you have been waiting for it ☺
Leather sunflower shoe clips
denim flowers

Denim Flowers

Denim wedding buttonholeAt PresentPerfect Creations studio experiments never stop. I try and test different fabrics, colours, shaping and assembly methods to create unusual yet wearable designs.

One of the less traditional fabrics for flower making that has always attracted me (and my customers!) is cotton denim.

shop denim collection

Robust enough for everyday wear, so familiar and loved by many it lends itself well to a variety of flower shapes, simplistic and more intricate alike. Add skilful shaping with tools, backing with metallic fabrics and you will receive a beautiful flower accessory perfectly suitable for casual wear and beyond. denim hat with roses

Perhaps, knowing my love for this material you are not surprised to learn that I have a whole 7 day step-by-step video course devoted to a denim rosebud (pictured above) which is recommended as your beginner fabric rose course.
The denim rosebud can make a perfect groom’s buttonhole. Complemented with other flowers it effortlessly becomes a more sophisticated corsage or a hat trim.

However more elaborate roses can be easily achieved with denim. The rose pictured on the right is based on my popular Silk Cropped Petal Rose Tutorial.

The contemporary design of straight cropped petals together with the recognisable look of classic blue denim make this rose unusually modern and visually attractive.
The tutorial on Silk Cropped Petal Rose is aimed at artists with previous experience in flower making. You will deepen your knowledge further and learn to

denim camellia brooches

 use a soft pad for shaping petals, learn to make complex rose leaves and an unusual beaded centre for your roses.
The denim theme in weddings has been going on for a while now. Over the years I have created groom’s boutonnieres, bridal hair pieces and corsages using a range of different flower templates.
Because of the nature of denim and its thickness flowers with a smaller number of petals work best. Camellias are one of those flowers that can be easily recreated with denim.
denim flower brooch
You can simply follow myVelvet Camellia Tutorialto make your own denim version of this classic Chanel inspired flower.
Some of my tutorials on leather flowers can be adapted to be used with denim. Both dahlias and gerberas are a good example.
I will be teaching how to make these denim dahlias at the Millinery Meetup 2020 in September later this year Friend. If you are interested to book this class visit Millinery Meetup website here.
denim flowers poppy
DENIM POPPY FLOWER

Poppies have always been a very popular flower. Made of leather, velvet, silk, cotton, organza or other medium, they always look attractive and often carry a special meaning as well (think Remembrance poppies). Guess what, these flowers can also be made out of denim. In my live online demonstration on the Wild Velvet Poppies I have explained the process of creating a simple (not so simple 🙂 ) wild poppy with only 4 petals using backed petals that are sculpted in an attractive way. Plus you learn how to make a very recognisable seed box for the centre of your poppy. To learn more about this video demo and purchase you access to it visit the Wild Velvet Poppies Online Demonstration page.

I have even made my signature butterflies in denim!
To make sure the shape stays sharp and the flowers and butterflies are wearable, I do back denim flower parts with another fabric (as it is shown in the Velvet Camellia tutorialand in the Silk Butterfly Tutorial).
For this job you are free to use either some plain silks like pongee, organza, lightweight habutai. Or you can throw in a touch of sparkle with metallic fabrics if you fancy it.
Both lightweight and medium weight metallic fabrics work well with denim. Furthermore you can dye them in the right shade of blue to match your denim completely should you wish.
Denim is a popular and affordable fabric. I am quite sure you probably have some of it in your stash right now. Why not use it to create something beautiful to give as a little gift, to wear yourself or to offer to your customers?
If you wish to shop my denim designs visit the Denim Flowers section here.
denim butterfly
fabric for flower making in black

Black fabrics for flower making

black rose hair combIn fabric flower making we tend to dye fabrics by hand. This technique helps us achieve a more realistic or more unique look, match the colour of the flower to that one of the outfit, do the gradation etc etc…
However there is a number of colours that are tricky to dye and you are better off purchasing fabrics in those colours to work with.
One of such colours is BLACK.
Black dye can range from black-green-grey to black-blue-purple and it is difficult to achieve the true soot black colour when dyeing by hand.
Luckily for us some key professionally stiffened fabrics come in …black and can be used straightaway in your favourite designs and for custom orders.
They include such staples as smooth rayon satinthin rayon backing fabric as well as luxurious cotton velvet and rayon velveteen. Another great fabric is rayon organza in black.

For the rose in the photo above I have used rayon organza, thin rayon fabric and rayon velveteen. Another great addition can be black lace.

Plus these black fabrics make a perfect combination with silver and golden metallics (another firm favourite of mine!). Use them for evening and special occasion flowers and trims.

Over the years the above mentioned fabrics have appeared in a great number of tutorials: Silk Peony Buttonhole TutorialMiniature Velvet Roses TutorialSilk Calla Lily TutorialSilk Orchid Necklace Tutorial , Advanced Silk Rose Video CourseVelvet Sweet Briar Rose Tutorial to name a few.
In case if you wish to try these wonderful fabrics in your work, I have a number of packs on offer at the moment. fabric for flower making in black
Each pack includes a fat quarters of each of the following fabrics:
❀ smooth rayon satin (black)
❀ cotton velvet with short pile (black)
❀ rayon velveteen (black)
❀ rayon organza (black)
❀ thin rayon backing fabric (black)
These fabrics can also be purchased individually (not as a pack), please see the links below.
Use the for either leaves or flower petals, butterflies and berries, anything you would make from hand dyed or white fabrics.
I hope you will find these black gems useful in your work and can’t wait to see your noir masterpieces!
dye velvet leaves

How to dye velvet leaves

Learn some tips and tricks on how to dye velvet leaves for your projects.
dye velvet leaves
Procion Dyes

I have talked so many times before about velvet and its uses in flower making, it is clear I like working with this gorgeously soft and very tactile fabric.

In flower making we are only really interested in the velvets that are made using natural fibers like silk, viscose or cotton. And there’s a good reason for that. These natural dye fabrics dye well with Procion and other silk dyes and can be shaped with millinery tools.

In my numerous tutorials I have used velvet for some parts of the designs, whether it be foliage, petals, orchid lips, passion flower coronas etc.

flower girl headband
Velvet Strawberry Tutorial
Velvet is simply perfect for making leaves, but whole flowers can be created out of it too (remember the Velvet Camellia Tutorial, the Velvet Lily Tutorial, the Velvet Strawberries Tutorial , the Velvet Sweet Briar Rose and the Miniature Rose Tutorial to name a few?).
Today I have prepared a video which shows how to dye velvet leaves using several shades of green as well as other colours for a realistic look that goes well with your flowers.

Learn to layer your colours onto the fabric to bring your foliage to life with a play of light and shadow.

In this video I am using 3 different shades of green from paler lime one through to dark olive green.

Sweet Briar Rose dye velvet leaves
Velvet Sweet Briar Rose Tutorial

I also add a little blue and purple to my foliage. This is done to tie the leaves with the petals of your flower and is often a very good idea to bring the whole flower piece together.

Because of its heavy weight, thickness and pile velvet absorbs a lot of water when being dyed. When left to dry on a paper it will also lose a lot of water together with the dye. To achieve a brighter colour with velvet I recommend drying flower parts on non porous surfaces like glass or plastic.
Velvet is always dyed from the right side. Try to be gentle with your brush strokes not to mess up the pile too much. It is VERY important to consider the pile direction when tracing and cutting parts out of velvet and other similar fabrics.
As you can imagine velvet dries quite slowly too, especially on a plastic/ glass surface.
Below are the links to the fabric section with several kinds of velvet, special fabric brushes as well as some relevant tutorials available from my website.
I hope you enjoy the little video on how to dye velvet leaves below and from now on will be able to dye your own velvet leaves ideal for your projects every time! ☺
combination flower shaping tool

Flower shaping tools, part 7: COMBINATION FLOWER SHAPING TOOL

For 2019 I have planned a series of short videos demonstrating how to works with different types of flower tools.
I believe this will help you understand your tools better and use them to their full potential achieving great shapes and lines on your petals and leaves.

This is the seventh video in the series, for which I have chosen the newest addition to the flower shaping toolbox: the combination flower shaping tool.

You can successfully use the combination tool for shaping flower parts made out of different types of fabrics as well as natural leather.

So whether you make fabric or leather flowers (or both!) this tool is perfect for you.
Basically the combination tool represents a combination of 2 tools: the knife tool and the medium sized Japanese style cat paw tool put together (hence the name).
Although you may wish to try and use the above mentioned tools separately to achieve the desired effect, it might not work as well as using the actual combination tool.
Due to its extra width the tool brings extra volume and instant shaping to large and small petals (think roses, peonies, poppies etc) and leaves (especially water lily and lotus pads, but also large poppy and rose leaves as well as others).Work with it on medium pads for best results.
Using this tool you can enhance the shaping of other tools, deepen concave petals, curl up foliage and add interest to flower parts in seconds as I am demonstrating in the video.
We have used the combination tool countless times at my workshops as well as in several tutorials on both leather and fabric flowers (Leather Butterfly tutorial, Leather Daisy and Forget-me-nots tutorial, Silk Water lily tutorial).
Currently the combination tool can be purchased separately from my online shop. So whatever set you have at the moment you can enhance it with the addition of this wonderful tool in time for your new creations.  

Meanwhile watch the video I have prepared for you today (see the button below) where I am demonstrating how to use this cool tool with petals and leaves, and (hopefully) discover something new for yourself.

combination flower shaping tool
Combination flower shaping tool
handmade eco-friendly fabric feathers

Make eco-friendly fabric feathers

A tutorial on a fabric feather has been on my to-do list for a while now. Today I am happy to present my tutorial on handmade eco-friendly fabric feathers to you.  handmade eco friendly fabric feather tutorial
I feel quite excited about it and I think you should, too. Although I do not see handmade feathers replacing natural ones completely any time soon (but who knows, right?) there are definite advantages to this handcrafted feather that I am so pleased to share with you. It is always good to have options. Well, now we have one for feathers too.
So, WHAT makes these handmade eco-friendly fabric feathers SO good? Is it the fact that it’s handmade? Realistic? Cruel free? Versatile? Fragile? Or all of the above?
Yes, there is no mistake, a rather realistic looking feather, this amazing nature creation, can be made by hand using fabric and a sprinkle of knowledge. I won’t hide, the process is a teeny-weeny time consuming, but all the good things come to (s)he who waits.And the result is well worth it. What’s more is you can create a bespoke feather or two for your design and they will be an absolute match and a perfect fit.
handmade eco-friendly fabric feathers
❀ NO millinery tools are required for making fabric feathers
❀ you can use different types of fabric for different results (I am showing 3 in the tutorial)
❀ the tutorial is suitable for all skill levels
❀ bespoke designs to match your projects every time
❀ video of me talking through best practices in feather making
❀ suitable for all skill levels
❀ bespoke designs to match your projects every time
❀ learn to dye your feathers and make a neat quill
❀ cruelty and allergy free feathers
Imagine what you feel when you are holding one in your hand? Are the barbs soft?Are the feathers stiff enough to stand on their own? How fragile is the fabric feather? Can you steam it? Can you curl it? So many questions… The answers are waiting for you in the HANDMADE FABRIC FEATHER TUTORIAL.
For more information on this detailed step-by-step fabric feather photo tutorial click on the button below.
If you wish to explore the specialist fabrics we offer visit the fabrics section on our website HERE

 

tube making tool

Flower shaping tools, part 6: TUBE MAKING TOOL

For 2019 I have planned a series of short videos demonstrating how to works with different types of flower tools.
I believe this will help you understand your tools better and use them to their full potential achieving great shapes and lines on your petals and leaves.

This is the sixth video in the series, for which I have chosen the rare but intriguing tool: the tube making tool.

In fact in the video I am showing 2 styles of this tool, a European and a Japanese. You can also come across it in other shapes but the principle of use will be exactly the same as I am demonstrating in the video today.

You can successfully use the tube making tool for making tubes out of different types of fabrics (feel free to experiment here) as well as natural leather.

tube making tool

 

I prefer to work with stiffened materials and recommend you [[name]] do the same for neat and consistent results. 

Although the process is pretty straightforward, to achieve nicely looking smooth and even tubes some practice will be required.

In case if your fabric has the right and the wrong sides make sure your tubes display the best side of the fabric on the outside (think of satin).
 
Use these tubes in your brooches, corsages and headpieces to imitate grass, stems and add interest to flowers alongside foliage, berries etc. The tubes have been featured in one of our previous tutorials, the Leather Cornflower Tutorial.
 
Currently the European style tube making  tool can be purchased as part of the 14 pc European set of tools or the more extensive 22 pc set of tools. The Japanese tube making tool is sold on its own and can be acquired to enhance the set of tools you already own.
 

To purchase the tube making tools, either as part of sets, or on its own use the links below the video.

Meanwhile watch the video I have prepared for you today (see the button below) where I am demonstrating how to use this mysterious tool with fabric and leather, and (hopefully) discover something new for yourself [[name]].

flower shaping tools
14 flower shaping tools incl tube making tool
flower making tools 22 piece set
22 flower shaping tools incl tube making tool
tube making tool
tube making tool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 2 3 4