|I saw these Clover Flower Frill Templates hanging on an end cap a while back at the fabric store and thought I would try them out. |
The templates come in four sizes, packaged two sizes in a set. I bought the small and medium set that you see here that makes three and four inch flowers. The templates also come in a Large and Extra Large Flowersized set that makes five and six inch flowers. The package comes with cardboard templates, two of each size. The cardboard is thin and flexible, but seems fairly durable.
|Here you see the basic supplies. You need a stack of fabric squares, cut 1/2 an inch larger than your template size. Because I was making the smaller, 3 inch flower, these were cut at 3 1/2 inches. I was being lazy and cut my strips while I was watching tv so they are not very squarely cut. If I decide to make a bunch of these flowers (that pillow at the bottom of the template package is very pretty), I will use my rotary cutter and knock them out quickly. |
The template instructions recommend between 15 - 25 for each flower, depending on fabric type. I am using a lightweight pink crepe so I imagine I will need close to the maximum number of petals.
The only other things you need are scissors along with a needle and thread for stringing the petals together.
|Okay, here is the first fold. Two things I learned right away. First, read the instructions and fold the template without any fabric in it to break in the folds and make sure you understand which way to fold the template without the complication of the fabric shifting all over the place. |
Second, the first fold is kind of tricky because when you try to fold the template in half, the fabric wants to escape. At first, I thought it was just the shifty nature of the crepe, but my quilting fabric did it too. I solved this problem by folding the fabric over the end of the template package first and then folding the template over the fabric and gently pulling the package out while holding the fabric in place. The package worked perfectly because the plastic made it slip right out without dragging the fabric along with it.
|This terrible photo shows you how the fabric and template look when they are folded together before the fabric is trimmed. Boy, am I ever overdue for a manicure.|
|Here is the flower petal after it has been trimmed. I apologize for the switch in backgrounds and fabrics. I forgot to take this shot when I was working with the crepe.|
The trimming process takes a few tries before you really figure it out. You don't want to cut too close to the template, because a) you don't want to accidentally cut your template and b) it is really difficult to cut neatly when your scissors are bumping up against the template. I found that the best thing to do was to leave a small border and try to cut around the curve in one stroke, moving the fabric rather than the scissors. If you have to stop and adjust your scissors, the excess fabric you have already cut flops over and gets in your way.
Also, don't worry too much about the curve being perfect, because the raw edges will fluff slightly and you won't be able to see minor imperfections in the cut.
|After the petals are folded, they are strung together through the folded point. This picture shows ten petals folded and strung loosely. They look a bit sloppy here, but don't worry, once you pull them tight, they straighten right up. |
|Once you pull the petals tight against each other, you can see how they support each other to make a flower shape. This is only ten petals so I am only half way done here.|
|This is what the bottom looks like with the points all together. |
|When you have strung the number of petals you want, you tie the ends of your thread together and end up with your flower ball. Here is my completed crepe flower made with 17 petals, the number of squares I got out of one strip of crepe. For a full flower, it needs another 5-6 petals, I think, but I am going to flatten it on one side and sew it to a piece of felt to make a lapel pin. It is the perfect size and will make a lovely accessory for spring.|
This was a fun project and very easy to do. I also like the portability of it. Once you cut your squares, you can take them anywhere. It is the perfect tv watching project. There is a bit of mess because of the trimming (and the edges shed a little), but I did my cutting over a small garbage can. You could also just carry a plastic zipper bag to keep your trimmings in. I was worried about the durability of the cardboard, but it seems to be holding up pretty well.
Verdict: Two Thimbles Up!
If you like using sewing templates, here are some nifty ones: