Embroidery is hip again! With artists such as Jenny Hart creating cool embroidery kits and patterns, I’m starting to see embroidery everywhere!
The sample flower I did for this piece is very simple…freehand petal pattern with an easy embroidered star in the middle. This project can be as simple or as intricate as you want to make it…you can use different colors of felt for each leaf layer, you can embellish with more embroidered designs or add beads and buttons…make it as wild and Carrie Bradshaw as you want!
Felt (pre-purchased or homemade)
Embroidery thread and needle
Jewelry grade adhesive to attach pin backing (unless you would rather just sew it on!)
First of all, felt is cheap. You can get a sheet of craft felt in just about any color under the rainbow for about 20 cents a sheet. However, felt making is an easy project and a great way to recycle old wool.
If you have any pieces of wool clothing that are beyond repair (scarves, coats, sweaters)…this is a perfect way to recycle them. Take out any linings and remove any buttons or embellishment, then drop the in the washing machine and set the cycle to HOT. If you have ever done this with a wool garment on accident you know what happens next…the whole piece shrinks down and becomes hopelessly matted. No longer wearable…but a great, thick piece of 100% wool felt!
Making The Flower Pin
I cut out simple ,five petal flowers free hand from my homemade felt. You can also use a pattern for a more controlled design. If you freehand, I suggest making the SMALLEST layer first. Then you can lay it down on the next piece and freehand the next biggest size around the parameters of the first piece. If you choose a pattern beforehand, the easiest way to make your three flower shapes is to start with the LARGEST layer first. Then shrink the pattern by 50%, save that size as your medium layer pattern, then shrink again by another 50% and use that for your smallest layer pattern.
You can, of course, make as many layers as you want…the sample pieces has only three.
Trace or sketch your flower directly on the felt using a fine tipped pencil or a seamstress marking pen (the kind that rinses off with wet water).
Cut out your shapes, and layer them one on top of the other. You can use more than one color felt for a vibrant effect. I turned the petals in each layer about 10 degrees from the first layer so the petals didn’t overlap each other…this is a good way to create a fuller look with less layers.
Starting from the back, pull your embroidery thread up through the top. Use you thread to create a star pattern (which also does double duty drawing the petals slightly inward to give it a more 3D look) or any other pattern you please. You can use the thread to embellish around the the petals themselves, add on small beads, a funky button, sequins…anything that catches your eye!
Glue a pin back to the back part of the flower and let dry completely. You can also use a pin back with holes that allow you to actually sew the pin back in place while doing the embroidery work.
Wear with flair!