Pantone Spring Summer 2019

Pantone colours Spring Summer 2019

Each season the team at the Pantone Color Institute creates the Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report; a colour overview highlighting the top colours fashion designers showing at London Fashion Week will be featuring in their collections for the upcoming season. With colour on the catwalk a key indicator of the colour stories we can expect to see showing up across all areas of design, the Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report is your easily accessible guide to the season’s most important colour trends.

Let’s have a look what the Pantone Team has prepared for us this coming season, shall we?

 

pantone colours spring summer 2019

How to attach silk flowers to a headband

 

There are different ways of attaching your couture silk or leather flowers to a headband.

 

 

Here's one of them that I like using in my work. This way your flower (s) is not permanently attached to a headband, therefore can be taken off at attached to a hat or used in another way.

 

 

 

First, cover the headband with a strip of velvet in the chosen colour (hand dyed or otherwise).

 

Prepare a strip of velvet about twice as wide as the headband (my headband is 7mm wide, my strip of fabric is 15 mm wide) and long enough to cover the headband + about 3 cm ends allowance.

 

Start by covering the headband with a layer of glue and glue the strip onto the headband (the headband is right in the middle of the strip).

 

 

Using a matching thread or an invisible one sew the edges of the velvet strip all along the underneath of the headband. Make sure the velvet strip covers the headband very snugly (see the photos).

 

Neatly sew in the edges, try to make the seams in this area as flat as possible.

 

 

To make them even flatter, apply a small dot of glue onto the seams and then rub it in either with your fingers or better still against the worksurface by pressing hard on the headband.

 

Next, to hide the seam and finish the headband prepare a nice ribbon in the appropriate width. I am using a golden lame ribbon here.

 

Apply thick HARD glue onto the ribbon and glue it to the underside of the headband all along its length (see the photos).

 

Leave the finished headband to dry completely.

 

Next, you need to make the 2-3 velvet covered wires that will be used to attach the flowers to the headband.

 

 

To make these velvet covered wires prepare 3 cuts of wire #24 about 15-25 cm long and strips of velvet about 1.5 cm wide and as long as the wires.

 

Apply a layer of glue onto the wrong side of one of the strips of velvet. Then, place a wire right in the middle of the strip (see the photo on the

right).

 

Fold the strip and press the edges together to hide the wire well in the fold of the fabric.

 

Then, lay the wire on the work surface and using a sharp object (tweezers or awl) press its tips along the whole length of the wire slowly but steadily (see the photo on the right).

The wire should be snugly hidden inside the fold of the green velvet fabric.

 

Next, using the line that you have just pressed with the tweezers as your guide, cut off any excess fabric in one smooth cut (the left picture). BE CAREFUL here and do not cut too close to the wire to avoid exposing it. The right picture shows the 3 ready velvet covered wires. Leave to dry completely. 

 

 

To attach the flowers curve the lily stem slightly to sit well over the headband. Using your velvet covered wires attach this stem in 2-3 places by wrapping the wires around the stem and the headband as shown above.

 

You can curl up the ends of the wires with a pair of pliers to turn them into additional decorative elements as shown in the photos.

 

 

The photo below shows the finished velvet lily headpiece from the back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To economise or not on tools and supplies for making flowers? Part II

Not so long ago we started discussing whether a flower making artist can or can not economise on tools and supplies without compromising the quality of a finished piece.

Read To economise or not on tools and supplies for making flowers? Part I here.

millinery toolsAs we saw there was no definite “yes” or “no” answer. Rather, one has to approach and estimate every aspect separately in order to make a decision.
Thus, I recommended to try and choose a really good quality set when it comes to flower making TOOLS.
Low quality tools will not last you. They will be uncomfortable to use and will leave you dissatisfied with your work and a finished item. Why go through all of this when you can have a much easier and more productive life with a decent (but probably more expensive) set of tools?
Occasionally I offer basic sets of tools for sale. If you are interested in one please let me know so that I can put one aside for you Friend when they are next available.
 On the other hand when it comes to DYES and BRUSHES there is a choice here.
I do think that liquid dyes, like water based Javana silk paints  are easier to use, especially if you are a beginner. However, they are more expensive than powder dry dyes, like Dytek Procion Dye by ColourCraft, which I mostly use myself. Powder dyes are very economic and will last you a long time. If you wish you could get several plastic dropper bottles of Amazon and prepare some liquid dyes by simply diluting the powder dyes in water. These dyes should keep reasonably well. I often store the leftovers of my dyes in tiny jam jars and have never experienced any problem with them.
As for the brushes, normal flat synthetic ones in a variety of widths will do you fine. However, if you’d like to splash out, there are specially made fur brushes for painting on fabric. Made with deer or horse hair, they come in different sizes and can be rather pricey. If you have ever attended any of my workshops you might have had a chance to see them in the flesh  and use them.
leather poppy kit

The last but not the least thing I wanted to talk about is the KNOWLEDGE.

Yes, you get it right, the knowledge of the craft. Do not try and save here, at least not before you have acquired some solid foundations of flower making, tried a variety of techniques and approaches, made a number of flowers. Then you can go on and experiment yourself, develop your style and invent new techniques. That of course if you are serious about flower making and wish to master it, enjoy the process as well as the result.
The good news is, there are so many flowers in the world, we can not possibly get bored making them, do you agree with me? The bad news is, once you’ve mastered one flower, that’s it, you’ve mastered just one flower. The knowledge of how to make a rose will be pretty useless if you need to create a chrysanthemum or a sunflower. Flowers differ a lot and so do the techniques and patterns. Have a look at pictures of real roses, they are soooo different. To make them look as different when made of fabric or leather you will need to use different patterns and techniques too.
 Are you overwhelmed by this or excited to learn new things?
If the latter is the case, then hopefully you’ll be glad to know that we have worked hard and prepared an ever growing library of downloadable detailed step-by-step tutorials on a wide range of flowers so you can start enjoying flower making right now. Explore the current range of our flower making tutorials HERE
how to make flower stamens

How to make flower stamens

how to make flower stamens 1

 

Did you know you could make your own flower stamens to be used in fabric and leather flowers in case you do not have access to factory made or for some reason they are not suitable for your project?
Often tiny stamens for small and blooms can be difficult to obtain. That’s why today I am showing how to make very small stamens similar to those most roses have. You can also use them for cherry blossom, apple blossom and other small flowers.

 

What you’ll require  is some PVA glue (or other stiffener), thick cottonhow to make flower stamens 3

thread and  some acrylic paint in brown , yellow or other suitable colour.

 

 

First, the thread needs to be stiffened. That will give it some body and let the stamens hold the shape in a flower once assembled. You can starch it or use your preferred stiffener. I simply cover a length of thread with PVA. To do that apply a blob of glue on your index finger and run the thread between the index finger and thumb to coat with glue as shown.

 

how to make flower stamens

 

 

To make sure the stiffened thread dries straight I like using a weight and hang it to dry (I am using a large wooden star as a weight in the photo). Because you will need to make a considerable amount of small stamens for each flower, try hanging several long threads at a time and leave them to dry.

 

 

Once the threads are dry and stiff (if you use PVA it dries rather quickly), cut them

how to make flower stamens

up into individual stamens. The standard length of a double sided stamen strand is around 5 cm, but you can always adjust the length to suit your project and make them either shorter or longer.

 

 

 

Now squeeze out some acrylic paint onto a piece of card, fold a piece of thread in half and dip the  tips into the paint. To get  enough paint onto the tips try dipping a couple of times. The thicker the thread the more paint will stick to it and stay on the tips.

how to make flower stamens

 

 

 

I am using a very thin thread here so the drops of paint on the tips are quite small after one dip. For more impact please use a thicker thread (and / or more paint).

 

 

Now the freshly made stamens need to dry. I am using an improvised rack created by placing a couple of thick wires across ahow to make flower stamens box or a box lid (pictured). Simply hang the stamens in rows over the wires and leave them to dry completely. Make sure to space the stamens well apart to prevent them from sticking to each other when the paint is still wet. In a couple of hours  you have got your handmade stamens ready to be used.

 

 

 

Now you know how to make flower stamens. However, this by no means is the only way of making flower stamens. We might be exploring other options in our forthcoming  blog posts and tutorials.

how to make flower stamens 8

 

 

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below you will find some tutorials that cover the use of different stamens in flower making.

 

schedule full subscription 2018

Flower Making Tutorial SUBSCRIPTION 2018

For the second year running we are excited to be able to present you with our tutorial Subscription packages. Much like with a magazine subscription here you subscribe to a series of tutorials, and receive a new one into your inbox on the 1 day of every month (or on the 1 day of every alternate month in case of 6 month subscriptions)
As last year, there are three types of tutorial packages:
❀ a full 12 month subscription (includes 12 tutorials  on both leather and fabric flowers + a bonus)
❀ a 6 month fabric subscription (includes 6 fabric flower tutorials)
❀ a 6 month leather subscription (includes 6 leather flower tutorials)

Here are some of the benefits of our Subscription packages:

❀ 12 new and unique flower making tutorial designs
❀ Value for money
❀ Variety of flowers AND finishes
❀ NEW package options including both tutorials and DIY flower making kits (see below)
❀ Discounts on DIY flower making kits throughout the year
❀ Access to all the Bonus mini-tutorials automatically included in the packages
❀ Lowest price guaranteed when purchased at launch
❀ NEW dedicated Facebook group exclusively for the Subscription 2018 members
❀ NEW special offers for in-person workshops

❀ +1 more BONUS Flower Tutorial 

The schedule for the 12 month Subscription 2018 Fabric and Leather Art Flower Package is the following:

leather butterfly tutorial

 

❀ January – leather butterfly – BUY HERE 

 

Silk Apple Blossom tutorial

 

❀ February – fabric apple blossom – BUY HERE

 

 

 

fabric hydrangea tutorial

 

❀ April – fabric hydrangea – BUY HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

❀ August – fabric rose

❀ September – leather orchid

❀ October – fabric passion flower

❀ November – leather grapes

❀ December – fabric water lily

 

❀ + 1 BONUS tutorial on Fabric Iris

All the tutorials are developed and prepared by Svetlana Faulkner, the creative mind behind PresentPerfect Creations. They come in the form of detailed step-by-step photo tutorials and include short video insertions to demonstrate the most tricky points for you, too.

 

how to dye silk

How to dye silk for leaves in bulk

As you know making flowers is a lengthy process with a number of steps involved like cutting out parts, dyeing, shaping, assembling etc.
Although there is not a great deal we can do about speeding this lengthy process up, however there are a few shortcuts that allow us, makers, save a bit of time creating beautiful hand made flower masterpieces.

When it comes to dyeing, one thing you can and should do is to dye your petals in small piles (usually it is 2 or 4 depending on the thickness and stiffness of your chosen fabric). But what about foliage? Similarly, leaves can be dyed in piles, too if the fabric allows you.

Alternatively, you can use the method I am describing below, which is dyeing larger pieces of fabric to be cut up for leaves, calyxes, stems etc later on.

This method comes particularly handy when:
1. you've got a lot of foliage to make for your project
2. the leaves etc are of a small size
3. you want to dye some fabric for future projects in advance
 
This method is also useful when you want to dye some fabric for fantasy flowers (see the very end of the video).
In this video I am using 3 different shades of green from paler lime one through to dark olive green.
You will see that I also add a little purple colour to my fabric. This is done to tie the foliage with the petals of your flower and is often a very good idea to bring the whole flower piece together, but can be omitted.
I am dyeing a rectangular piece (about 20 cm by 30 cm) of factory stiffened rayon satin (see at the end of the post) which is known for its beautiful soft shine and is easy to dye. If you have not got any, feel free to use pure silk satin or dupioni silk, or other fabric that suits your project (like cotton velvet etc).
Here are a couple of points I'd like to draw your attention to before you watch the video:
 
❀ Work on old newspapers or use some drawing paper
❀ Wet the whole piece of fabric with your brush and some clean water before dyeing
❀ Apply dyes in random misshapen spots similar to the camouflage fabric and blend their edges together
❀ Avoid clearly visible stripes or circles of dyes on your fabric
❀ Repeat the process of applying the dyes for more intensely coloured fabric as shown in the video
❀ Take into account that when dry the fabric will look paler than wet
❀ Whilst drying the dyes will blend even better with each other to provide a subtle gradation of colour
❀ Use already stiffened fabric for dyeing to avoid losing any colours in the stiffening process
❀ After the fabric has dried completely use it to trace and cut out all the leaves and other parts required for your project as normal
 

Below are the links to some ready stiffened fabrics and special fabric brushes available from my online shop.
Have fun dyeing your fabrics!
 

Cotton Velvet

cotton velvet fabric

Horse Hair Brushes

silk painting brushes

Rayon Satin

tutorials for beginners

NO TOOL flower making tutorials for beginners

shaping fabric flower petals without the use of tools 8I am well aware of the fact that not every flower making artist (especially a beginning one) has got a set of traditional millinery tools to shape flower petals and leaves. Although this does cause serious restrictions with regards to the techniques that can be used and the final results that can be obtained, there are several methods that could be successfully applied without the use of tools and help make certain flowers. There are no tool flower making tutorials for beginners too.
Here on my blog I am explaining how you can shape petals using a so called cold shaping method. This method works great for such flowers as peonies, poppies, irises etc.

 

Then of course there is a whole branch of flower making that uses artificial fabrics and their qualities. These fabrics can be singed
on the flame of a candle to be shaped into petals and leaves. This technique cannot be used for natural fabrics as they simply burn in the flame. To learn more about this technique and make a bright poppy brooch please check out our Fabric Poppy Brooch Tutorial here.

 

Silk dandelion tutorial

 

Luckily some fabric flowers do not require tools simply due to their nature and the way they are. This is the case with Silk Dandelion Clock Brooch. Yes, you've got it right, to make a dandelion clock out of pure silk you do not need any millinery tools. We do use tools to shape the foliage in the tutorial, so if you wish you can get those tools from our website (hurry as the offer is very limited). Otherwise feel free to omit the tooling.

 

 

leather corsage tutorial

 

If you have not yet invested into a set
of tools but would really like to have a go at making flowers why not try leather blooms? The thing is, leather is such a luxurious and beautiful material to work with that often you do not need to do much before you turn it into a lovely flower. Hand shaping combined with the use of a pair of tweezers can create beautiful as well as pretty realistic flowers.

 

We are happy to offer 3 leather flower making tutorials that require no millinery tools, on Wild Leather Rose Brooch , on Leather Sunflower Headband and on Leather Poppy Choker. They are a good point to start from if you want to explore leather flower making without the need to invest in a set of millinery tools.
 leather poppy flower tutorial
shaping fabric flower petals without the use of tools 8

Shaping fabric flower petals without the use of tools

Shaping fabric flower petals without the use of tools: the cold method

shaping fabric flower petals without the use of tools 10I am well aware of the fact that not everyone has got a set of traditional millinery tools to shape flower petals and leaves. Although this does cause certain restrictions with regards to the techniques that can be used and the final results, there are methods that can be successfully applied without the use of tools.

Below I am explaining how you can shape petals using a so called cold shaping method.
To be able to use this method you will require some fabric petals (silk, rayon or thin cotton) and a piece of thin preferably silk fabric about 40cm*40 cm or slightly larger larger( I am using a silk-cotton mixed fabric here).

shaping fabric flower petals without the use of tools 9

 

 

First, moisten the cloth either by spraying it with water from a spray bottle or wetting it under the tap. Next, wring the cloth very well so it is only just about moist, almost dry. If the fabric is too wet it can ruin the dyes on your petals. It will not shape them either.
Now, fold the square of fabric diagonally as shown in the picture.

 

shaping fabric flower petals without the use of tools 8

 

 

 

Then take a petal and fold it in half lengthwise. In the photo I am using pairs of poppy petals, connected with a staple, so I am going to be shaping two petals at a time.This can work for thin fabrics. For the petals made of thicker fabrics it is advisable to shape them one by one for the best results.

 

 

shaping fabric flower petals without the use of tools 7

 

 

Place the folded petal in between the two layers of diagonally folded moistened cloth as shown in the picture. The folded side of the petal touches the folded side of the cloth (this is important).

 

 

shaping fabric flower petals without the use of tools 5

 

 

 

Now it’s high time we shaped the petal. Place the palm of your left hand over the whole of the petal (which is sitting between the layers) and press firmly onto it, especially the very bottom (the base) of the petal. With your right hand pull the right corner of the the cloth away from the left hand that is pressing down the petal.

 

shaping fabric flower petals without the use of tools 4

 

 

Pressing  the petal firmly (particularly at the very base) with your left palm pull the cloth with an effort with your right hand clockwise following the black arrows. Having done a semi-circle with the right hand ease off and let the cloth gradually go.

 

 

shaping fabric flower petals without the use of tools 3

 

 

 

 

The cloth should form a network of very fine wrinkles under your palm and in turn it will wrinkle the petal that has been placed between the layers of the cloth. The finer the lines of the shaping the better the result.

 

 

shaping fabric flower petals without the use of tools 1
You might want to practice on a spare petal first to get an idea of how to shape petals using this method. If you are not happy with the result you can return the same petal back into the cloth and shape again. But try not to do this too many times as it will make the petal creased more than shaped.

         This cold method of shaping fabric flower petals without the use of tools works particularly well with such flowers like peonies, irises and poppies. The top edge or the petal can be curled with a pair of heated tweezers or by hand, which does make  this method totally millnery tool free ☺
I hope you find this information useful and applicable to the flowers you make. If you wish to attend a flower making workshop to practice this method, please consider taking part in SILK POPPY HAIRPIECE WORKSHOP (click on the photo below for more information).
leather rowan berries

Rabbit fur pillbox hat with leather rowan berries for 2016 Hatalk hat making competition

rabbit fur pillbox hatI created this white rabbit fur pillbox hat decorated with a cluster of leather rowan berries for the 2016 Hatalk hat making competition, where the theme was Connections.

My fantasy rabbit fur pillbox hat for a millinery competition: the why

The theme Connections is very broad; however the first connection I immediately thought of was a cultural connection, connection with my roots and traditions.

I live and create in the UK now, but I grew up in a small town in the Far North of Russia, lost somewhere between permafrost and the Northern lights. The climate is so harsh and cold locals have to wear clothes and boots made of fur in order to survive severe frosts and snow storms. I chose white rabbit fur for my hat thinking that it would represent snow of my childhood so very well.
Rowan is a meaningful symbol in the Russian culture. Numerous proverbs and poems, paintings and even recipes are dedicated to this symbolic tree that is so dear to the hearts of Russians. Touched by the first frosts rowan berries unlock their potential and become sweet and delicious to eat. They can be used in a variety of dishes and drinks. It is not uncommon to see clusters of rowan berries covered with heaps of fresh snow as part of winter scenery throughout Russia. Those snowy clusters of bright red berries were the vision I had in mind when I was working on my First Snow Fur Pillbox hat.

rabbit fur pillbox hat

My fantasy rabbit fur pillbox hat for a millinery competition: the how

To make First Snow Fur Pillbox hat I blocked 2 layers of buckram, rabbit fur pelt and silk satin over a pillbox block (each material at a time). Then I wired the buckram base, put the blocked fur on top of it and stitched the two together around the bottom edge. After that I sewed in the lining and the petersham ribbon.

The cluster of rowan berries and leaves are made of genuine leather or several colours. All the leaves are backed with golden metallic lame fabric and shaped with millinery tools.I joined the berries in the cluster with hand dyed rayon pongee strips. The rowan berries and leaves are finished with a brooch pin. They can be removed and used as a separate brooch.

The result?

Alas, the white rabbit fur pillbox hat has not taken any prize in the competition, but with hope in my heart I am planning on taking part in other forthcoming hat making (and other!) competitions. Watch this space for more details.

3 ways to dye silk petals to achieve the intensity of colour

silk painting brushesLet’s talk about the ways to dye silk petals to achieve intense colours.

If you, like me, do a great deal of custom work, you are
constantly presented with an issue of matching colours. Whilst mixing dyes to match colours is a task in itself, today I wanted to talk about the ways to achieve an intense colour when dyeing petals/ leaves. If you prefer to use natural hair brushes specially designed for dyeing silks and other fabrics check this horse hair painting brush set.

how to dye silk petals
The FIRST, probably the most obvious way, is to prepare a very concentrated dye. If you work with powdered dyes, use more powder and less water to dilute it. For liquid dyes, again, add a small amount of water or none at all to achieve a deeper colour. When you colour match it is always a good idea to prepare some fabric swatches (using the same fabric that you are going to dye).After you have mixed the dye apply some on them. Then let the swatches dry before comparing the colours. Remember that a wet swatch will invariably be more intensely coloured.how to dye silk petals

 

 

THE SECOND way is good to use when the first one has not quite worked out. You simply paint your petals again to achieve the intensity of colour.

You can do it whilst they are still slightly wet, i.e. have not dried out completely. If they are completely dry, you need to moisten them again and paint as normal.
how to dye silk petalsTHE THIRD method is the one I probably use more often than others. The trick is to let petals or foliage dry on a non porous surface like glass or plastic. This method works especially well for velvet and similar thick fabrics that absorb a lot of water and dye and then lose the dye drying on a newspaper. I paint my petals and leaves as normal on a newspaper. Then I transfer them onto a piece of plastic with a pair or tweezers careful enough not to ruin the colouring work (see the photo on the left)
Once the fabric parts are on plastic, I often add some more dye with a brush where it is most needed and then leave them to dry completely. Please note that drying this way will take considerably more time (especially for velvet) than drying on a newspaper. But the result is worth it.

There are a couple of other ways for achieving intense colours when dyeing fabric, but we will talk about them another time.
I hope you’ve found this information useful and applicable to your projects. In case if you need more information on dyeing parts of fabric flowers I recommend you watch my detailed video tutorial on Silk Camellia Corsage . In it I explain the whole process of dyeing different parts of a silk flower step by step.
For more detail on this silk camellia video tutorial  simply click on the picture of the cover to the right.
Have fun creating!
Introduction to fabric flower making ebook
P.S. 

If you have not got a copy of our Introduction to Fabric Flower Making ebook, you can purchase one HERE. The ebook will introduce you to the materials and tools you will require for making flowers. You will know what dyes and brushes are good to use, which silk to buy and how to prepare the fabric for flower making.

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