leather camellia brooch

JANUARY’19 Flower of the Month: CAMELLIA

Welcome to 2019's new monthly section devoted to the Flower of the Month.
In here, taking into account the seasonality and other factors I will be presenting you with some of my best flower making tutorials and tutorial bundles at ... the best prices. silk camellia
For the month of January I have picked out for you the Camellia flower. And, since camellias come in different shapes and sizes TWO Camellia tutorials are awaiting you this month (the offer is valid till 31 January 2019)

If there are any seasonal fabric flowers, this metallic fabric backed velvet version must be one of them.

The detailed step-by-step tutorial reveals the secret behind smoothly shaped petals arranged in a near perfect geometric flower shape.

Rumors have it that Chanel's camellias have 26 petals. My version features 33 of them. It is a little stylised version of the camellia flower with its near perfect geometric shape and a flat back, which makes it ideal in many projects ranging from jewellery to millinery. You can make it oversized like I did with the black one in the photo collage below and turn it into a hairpiece. Small camellias will look great as shoe clips, small stick pins or corsages. This flower can be made with a wide number of fabrics (think heavy satin, denim, linen, cotton, tweed etc) as well as LEATHER . In the tutorial you will learn how to work with velvet, which can be challenging if you have not tackled it before.

 

As the flower of the month you can now purchase the tutorial and the tutorial+kit bundle with a discount (-15% and -20% respectively). All discounts have already been applied on the website. Please click on the images below to find out more and purchase.

Velvet Camellia Tutorial + DIY kit

Velvet Camellia Tutorial

fabric camellia tutorial
In case if you are after a more realistic delicate looking camellia flower, my detailed VIDEO tutorial on camellia japonica might be what you need

silk camellias

Camellia flowers are beautiful but very short lived. Now you can create your own camellia corsage, hairpiece or a hat trim with these striking blooms in the colour of your choice to enjoy throughout the year.
For realistic colour combinations visit a garden with flowering camellias, go online or browse through a gardening book.
The video tutorial will guide you through the process of dyeing the fabrics, shaping all the parts with millinery tools and assembling your flowers together.
To make your delicate camellia japonica flowers use silk or rayon satin with its smooth slightly shiny surface that so much resembles the real camellia petals.
As the flower of the month you can now purchase the VIDEO tutorial and the tutorial+kit bundle with a discount (-15% and -20% respectively). All discounts have already been applied on the website. Please use the buttons below to find out more and purchase.

Fabric Camellia VIDEO tutorial + DIY kit

Fabric Camellia VIDEO Tutorial

I hope you will enjoy making your fabric (and leather!) camellias this January!
velvet for making flowers

Velvet for making flowers

velvet pansies2 (1280x939)As autumn draws nearer I want to talk about velvet for making flowers. Velvet flowers are great for autumn-winter season and make perfect trims for felt hats too.
Since velvet was introduced for the first time in the Middle East back in 9th century it has always been associated with luxury, nobility, royalty. And indeed it was so expensive in the past that only wealthy people could afford it.

So what is velvet?
Velvet is a kind of woven tufted fabric in which the cut threads are distributed in an even manner in a short dense pile thus giving a very soft and smooth feel. Traditionally velvet was made using silk. Nowadays velvet is made from cotton, linen, mohair and wool along with silk. Lately, synthetic velvets too are being produced.

velvet gladiolus flower 2In flower making we are only interested in velvets made using natural fibers like silk, viscose or cotton. These fabrics dye well with Procion and other silk dyes and can be shaped with millinery tools.
Velvet is perfect for making leaves (with the use of our Realistic Fabric leaves tutorial ), but whole flowers can be created out of it too. Think roses, pansies, gladioli, daffodils, orchids, camellias and many others.
Very often velvet is used for making flower centres or even for wrapping stems (as we did in CAMELLIA JAPONICA video tutorial)
Most of the techniques for working with velvet are very similar to other fabrics but there are some tricks and nuances that make velvet a little bit more delicate to deal with.
First is colouring. Because of its heavy weight, thickness and pile velvet absorbs a lot of water when being dyed. When left to dry on paper it will also lose a lot of water together with the dye. To achieve a brighter colour with velvet I always recommend drying flower parts on non porous surfaces like glass or plastic.
velvet fantasy flower 4Velvet is always dyed from the right side. Try to be gentle with your brush strokes not to mess up the pile too much.
As you can imagine velvet dries quite slowly too, especially on a non porous surface.
Another thing that can be tricky is shaping.
When shaping velvet take your time and do it slowly, letting the hot tool warm the thick fabric through and mould it into shape.
In most cases velvet flower parts are backed with a thin layer of fabric.
Because velvet has such a gorgeous sophisticated finish I like using lame fabrics for backing to add an extra touch.
Velvet can be backed with satin too.
Like all other fabrics velvet needs to be stiffened before it can be used for making flowers. A while ago I have already described one way velvet can be stiffened (please check out this post to find out how).

cotton velvet

 

The type of velvet I commonly use in my works is made of cotton and has a very short pile.

It dyes well and is easy to work with.
I have a limited quantity of fat quarters of this velvet currently available in my shop, so if you’d like to try it in your designs, make sure you get one now.
Ah, and the best bit is that this velvet comes prestiffened. It means it is ready to be used either for leaves, petals or a complete flower. To buy a velvet fat quarter please use the button below