Flamenco Rose Tutorial

by Cynthia Anderson, Folkwear Creative Assistant

With Valentine’s Day literally just around the corner and the thought of spring inspiring me, my sewing aspirations have turned a bit romantic as I start to day dream of the clothes I want to make and wear.

What better project to satisfy romantic yearnings, as well as creating a nod to spring, than the Fabric Rose Accessory featured in the Folkwear Flamenco Pattern.

This project is easy to make and lends itself to so many possibilities. Of course, roses say Valentine’s Day, as well as notions of spring, gardens, weddings, parties . . . .  This project is simply the romantic touch only roses can conjure up.  Besides being easy to make with endless possibilities, you can practically make this project from scraps of fabric.

To get started you can use the pattern piece provided in the Flamenco Pattern, labeled Rose “Z”.  This pattern piece is quite large and would make a stunning statement piece be it for a dress, a purse, or even a pillow. You can make your rose any size you like. Use the “Z” pattern piece as a guide or make your own. Your rose size will vary depending on the width and length of the strips you cut. Cutting the piece longer will make a fuller flower, cut the piece wider for a larger flower.

Once you decide on the size of roses you want to make, you can cut out your fabric using a pattern as a guide or simply cut out your fabric freehand. This rose looks great cut on the fold as the pattern instructions suggests or it can be cut out as a single layer of fabric as well. Ribbon and seam binding work great too! When using mere scraps of fabric there is no excuse not to experiment. 

I chose scraps of silk dupioni left over from I dress I made for myself as a starting point for my Romantic Spring Rose Corsage. I wanted to work relatively small and vary the sizes of my roses to make my corsage. I ended up using scraps of silk haboti, linen, and silk organza to make additional roses. You can see the great effect of using different fabrics to make the different roses in the photo above and at the end of this tutorial.  

To get started, using the Rose “Z” pattern, fold fabric in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together. Do not press the fold… in order to make the edges of your rose softer. I am showing the "how-to" photos below with a blue fabric for the rose, set over a white fabric for contrast (sorry the fabric is wrinkled!).

Turn the lower corner of your fabric strip with the squared off edge (right angle) upward to create a 45 degree angle as shown.

Now sew a LONG gathering stitch (by hand or on a sewing machine) along the raw edge, about 1/4 “ from the edge. You might want to try making the gathering stitches in three of four sections, rather than trying to gather up the entire length with one thread. I did find this helpful because my thread would break when I attempted to do just one gathering thread. 

Next, start at the pointed end, draw up the gather stitches… roll the strip around itself. This is where you will want to do a bit of experimentation in shaping your rose to see what effect you like.

 

As you roll up the strip, hand sew the rose to itself, using the gathering stitches as a guide. Try different techniques with the look of your rose, pull the gathering stitches lightly for a more tightly closed flower, and pull tighter for a fuller rose. Do a little of both for a more varied look. I used a small hot glue gun to secure my rose on itself. This technique allowed me to shape my rose more quickly because I am not stopping to sew.  As with most things concerning sewing, you will find the techniques that works best for you.

Continue to gather, roll and stitch the entire strip of fabric. I manipulated the shape and edges with each small turn. Trim away any thread ends and frayed edges. 

To finish off the underside of your rose trim a bit of the fabric to make it easier to turn under. Secure the base with a round circle made of felt or fabric to create a backing. Iron a bit of fusible interfacing on the wrong side of your circle to help give it some stability. Then secure your finishing circle backing to the turned under edges of your rose with a slip stitch - or in my case I used hot glue. The idea in doing this is to cover up the rolled up raw edges and provide a nice finished surface.

You could to attach a pin, barrette, or ribbon, etc. and accessorize any number of things. I ended up attaching my roses to a piece of silk organza and adding a couple of strips of silk dupioni to create ribbons, then I pinned my corsage to a silk scarf to finish off the look of my dress.  On some of the rosettes in this corsage, I  left the outer edges raw (as opposed to folding the fabric in half so there are no raw edges exposed), and I really like the look of this as well - a bit rustically romantic.