Flamenco Rose Tutorial

By Molly Hamilton
on February 06, 2020

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.  



Potpourri Sachets - from the Victoria's Boudoir

By Molly Hamilton
on December 11, 2019

Potpourri Sachets - from the Victoria's Boudoir

Here is a simple and sweet pattern from the many that are included in the 302 Victoria's Boudoir pattern from Folkwear's home wear collection.  Our pattern includes three different shapes for the sachet (we are only including two shapes here).  Optional lace trims the outside of the sachet.  And, this is a great pattern to try out those rarely-used embroidery stitches on your machine.  You can add pretty stitching along the sides of the sachet before putting it together and make this a really beautiful and special project.  You can also hand embroider initials to the sachet for a unique and special gift for someone.  Our pattern includes templates for beautiful Victorian style letters.  A romantic and easy project to sew a thoughtful gift or stocking stuffer (or host gift) for those on your holiday gift list.  Or to use in your own clothes drawers!

I made the sachets above as gifts, and even embroidered one with my daughter's initials.

All these instructions, plus LOTS more are in our 302 Victoria's Boudoir pattern (40% off all this month).  



The pattern pieces, and the embroidery designs, are found in the file Pattern Pieces 302 Sachets.  They can be printed on two pieces of regular printer paper from a home printer.  First download the file to print the pattern (we made it to fit A4 paper too).  This file also has an embroidery design and all the monogram letters.

For the Square Sachet you will need Piece R.

For the Round Sachet you will need Piece S.

If you plan to embroider your Sachet, do so before cutting pattern pieces from fabric. Trace outline and embroidery motif onto fabric before cutting the pattern out from the fabric.  Allow enough fabric around traced outline to fit into embroidery hoop.  Or, if you are using embroidery stitches on your sewing machine, it can help to draw a line that you want the embroidery to follow.  And, make sure you stabilize the area where you will be stitching with embroidery stabilizer paper or interfacing.  You should be able to tear away the stabilizer after embroidering.  After embroidering, cut pieces from fabric.


NOTE: Shading denotes right side of fabric.

Prepare scented floral Potpourri for your sachet as explained below. (Or you may buy ready-made potpourri or lavender)

Instructions for both Sachet shapes are the same. The square sachet will be illustrated here.

Right sides together, stitch two (unembroidered) sachet pieces  together as a lining, leaving an opening between boxes for stuffing.

Turn right side out and press.Fill as full as possible with Potpourri. Slip-stitch opening together.



Optional:  Baste pre-gathered lace to one remaining sachet piece, right sides together, with edge of lace on seam line, turning under first short edge of lace ½”/13mm.  (If you have embroidered your Sachet, this will be the embroidered piece.)

Right sides together, stitch remaining sachet pieces (this will be the embroidered piece if using) together, sandwiching optional lace, leaving an opening between boxes. Turn right side out.

Insert stuffed Lining into lace-trimmed Sachet. Slip-stitch opening together.


You can also make this sachet with just two fabric pieces from the pattern:  Make as for the outer layer of the sachet and fill with lavender or potpourri. 




"The drying of fragrant, natural ingredients and blending them into a potpourri became popular in the sixteenth century, when sanitation was primitive at best. Chamomile, lavender and fennel leaves were often sprinkled around the rooms of a castle to cover up unpleasant odors. In those days, herbs were also thought to possess mysterious, strange, and powerful properties. Aromatic leaves were supposedly able to cast out demons and save lives.
In the 1500's, a Swiss pharmacist theorized that herbs embody the 'quinta essentia', the fifth essence, which medieval philosophers believed was the highest element after earth, air, fire, and water. Aromatic botanical compounds commonly became known as 'essential oils.'
The term is still used to indicate pure fragrance oils such as those that are added to the ingredients in... potpourri to enhance and extend their natural scents.
Today, the herbs, flowers, spices, and essential oils...have no magic powers - they just look and smell wonderful, adding a decorator touch to any room with a delightful, fresh fragrance."
 --Used by permission of Patti Howard of Victorian Fancies.


This recipe comes to us courtesy of Patti Howard of Victorian Fancies.

1 c. dried rose petals

½ c. dried, crushed geranium leaves 1 tbsp. dried, slivered lemon rind

1 tbsp. whole allspice 3 crushed bay leaves

6 drops Rose-Geranium oil (available at many health food/craft stores)

Mix, sniff, and enjoy!

Note: The essential oil is not required, but it will prolong and enhance the natural fragrance of the ingredients. If you use the oil, it is nice to mix everything in a plastic bag, close it tightly, and place in a cool, dark place for a few days, shaking it up occasionally to blend the oil with the leaves and petals. This procedure can be repeated whenever the fragrance begins to fade.



Use this as a guide to select the right stitch for each particular motif:

  • Satin Stitch- leaves, flowers and ribbons
  • Stem Stitch-Tendrils on wreath and monogram motifs.

Use 3 strands of embroidery floss or size 8 Pearl cotton.

Satin Stitch

This looks like the simplest of all embroidery stitches, with its over-and-over stitch, but in reality, it requires practice, patience and even tension. Stitch placement must be precise, entering and exiting exactly on the motif outline with the same distance between parallel stitches.

To fill in body of motif, work a series of straight stitches perpendicular (or slightly angled) to the transferred outline and parallel to one another.

Fig. 5 shows the satin stitch: out at A, in at B, up at C.

Where the design narrows down to a single line (as on the monograms), you will not be able to work the stitches parallel, but will have to stagger them. Fig. 6 shows an exaggerated scheme to handle the curves. (These stitches will closely resemble the stem stitch.)

Stem Stitch

Bring thread up at A- down at B- and up at C which is halfway between A and B (Fig. 7). Be sure to keep your needle on the same side each time. (Fig. 8).


For the downloadable PDF version of this pattern, go here.



Shirt-tail Reinforcements: finishing touches

By Molly Hamilton
on October 11, 2019

Shirt-tail Reinforcements: finishing touches

On old fashioned shirts (such as the 202 Victorian Shirt), as well as many well-made modern ones, the tops of the side openings are often reinforced with small tabs to prevent the shirt-tails from ripping.  As in so many of our patterns, Folkwear teaches a technique used in the era and that is still relevant and interesting today in the 202 Victorian Shirt pattern.  There are three versions shown and taught for making these tabs in the pattern.  Each version is one that we found on antique shirts in the Folkwear collection.  Here is one on a sheer blouse. 

These tabs are great for reinforcing shirt-tails or side slits on shirts or dresses.  I will show you how to make one of the versions below.  

This simplest reinforcement consists of a triangle stitched on the inside of the shirt.  Cut a rectangle 1" (2.5cm) by 1 1/2" (4cm), tuck the edges under, and topstitch the folded edges to the top of the side slit.

First, cut the rectangle from the fabric you want to use - 1" (2.5cm) by 1 1/2" (4cm).  I am using the main fabric for the tab, but you could use something bold to add fun detail.  Most of these tabs are on the inside of the garment, so they generally won't be seen.

Then, using an iron, press the first fold:

Press the second fold, folding over the top point of the first fold:

Press third fold, folding the corner of the second fold into it:

Press the forth fold, folding the corner of the first fold into it:

Press the fifth fold, enclosing the lower edges of the first and second fold:

The tab is now finished.  Press it well and make sure all raw edges are neatly tucked to the wrong side.  I made this sample a little asymmetrical, but symmetry for the tab is probably better!

Place this tab, with the pointed side toward the top of the garment, and with the long flat side at the top of the slit - inside the shirt with wrong sides facing.  Then topstitch around the folded edges of the tab. I used a contrasting thread here so you could see it better, but, if you want it to blend in and not be noticeable, use a matching thread.  




Handmade cording and knotted buttons - how to

By Molly Hamilton
on August 28, 2019

Handmade cording and knotted buttons - how to

Our 104 Egyptian Shirt pattern comes with detailed information on applying applique to the shirt front, back, and sleeves.  It also has instructions for applying soutache (narrow braid used for trim), creating your own cording to apply as trim, and how to make knotted buttons from soutache or your own cording.  Here, I am going to briefly cover how to make your own flat cording and then use it to make a knotted button.

To make self-cording, cut bias pieces at least 1" (2.5cm) wider than the cord you are using, and at least 12"-15" (30.5 to 38cm) long.  Cut cords about 5" (12.5cm) longer than your bias strips. 

Fold the bias strip in half lengthwise, rights sides together, over the cord.  Pin cord in place, butted up against fold, and using a zipper foot, stitch down the length of the strip, making a 1/4" (6mm) seam. 

Backstitch at beginning and end to secure.  Secure one end of the cord by stitching several times through cord and fabric about 1/2" (13mm) from end of fabric at one end.

Now grasp the fabric near the secured end with thumb and index finger while bulling the loose end of the cord with the other.  Ease the fabric over the secured end and continue pulling, turning the tubing so the raw edges are on the inside.  When it is all turned, you will have a piece of flat tubing.  Trim the cord off of the handmade cording.

The small knotted round button is a three-dimensional Josephine knot, tied with one piece of cord.  Soutache or a small flexible braid or fabric tubing are recommend.  In Middle Eastern clothes, soutache made of metallic thread is commonly used.

Make a loop with the cord.

Bring cord around and make another loop on top of the first.

Bring the same cord end around, underneath the first loop cord.

Bring that end over the first cord in the loops, under the second, 

over the third cord in the loops, and under the forth cord in the loops.  Creating the shape you see below.

Now pull the center loops slightly tighter, then pull gently on the cord ends to tighten.  Continue to do this until you have a fairly tight knot.

The finished button size will depend on the size of the cording and how tight you pull the knot.  You can use the "tails" of the knots to create the button hole loops.

You can print this by using this link

Here is a video of how to make flat cording and tie the knotted button.




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