Wednesday, February 26, 2014

FREE PATTERN TUTORIAL: How to use fabric flowers with crochet and knit items!

I love crochet flowers, don't get me wrong, but I have absolutely fallen in love with the shabby/vintage style flowers that are so popular. When you combine the two, and add them to a hat, a create a clip for a scarf, shawl, or headband, they are luscious! In my opinion, they take your designs up a notch, add an extra touch of chic, and stand out from the "standard" adornments on handmade yarn items.

Are they appropriate for everything? NO. But they have their place. So here is a little tutorial with a simple free crochet flower pattern, and how to add layers of fabric flowers and rhinestones to finish the look.

Now - I'm not referring to the yucky fake kind of flowers that are trying to hard to look real, mind you, made of vinyl and fake silk looking junk. I'm talking the chiffon, the real satin, and the various prints and textures you just can't do with yarn.

Yes, these are all available in both The Gimpy Hooker for smaller quantities and mixes, and the Shabby Peacock Shack for bulk orders at a discount. The reason I started supplying these is because I love them so much, and my clients do to!


Materials: You need any worsted weight yarn, a fabric flower (or two), a rhinestone button (either with a shank or flat back), thread and a needle. If using a flat back rhinestone, you will need hot glue and a glue gun. I used a 5mm hook and pink Red Heart Soft. The baby beanie is a free pattern from The Dainty Daisy that I embellished a bit.

Notes/Abbreviations: MR = magic ring, dc - double crochet, ss = slip stitch, ch = chain. US terms. Work in the round, no turning. For great tutorials on sticthed used in this pattern by other people, see my Beginner and Crochet Resources Pinterest board.

1. Make the "Easiest Flat Flower EVAR":

-MR, dc 8 into ring, ss join
-Ch 3, dc in same, dc 2 in each around, ss join
-Ch 3, DC in same, 2 DC around, join
-ch 3, DC x 4 in same (5 DC in same, ch 3 counts as first dc), *sk 1, sc next, 5 DC in next*, repeat around, ss into base of beginning ch
 -Leave a long tail for sewing
Now! Gather your other materials: crochet flower, shabby/fabric flowers, rhinestone, needle, thread, and glue/glue gun if needed.

2. Stack your flowers:

3. Follow these steps to invisibly attach the flowers, and then attach to the hat:

a. Stack the flowers so they are centered.
b. Sew through the middle of the flowers (leave a tail so when you loop back down you can knot the thread by hand to secure).
c. Once through the middle, thread through the rhinestone, loop and sew back through all the flowers
d. Hand tie the tails to secure. Thread color does not matter, since it will be hidden. I sometimes repeat and re-sew to be safe, especially when using a larger rhinstone.
e. If your rhinestone was flat backed (no shank), then just sew the flowers together, and hot glue the rhinestone in the middle.

You now have your hat/scarf/headband at the ready, and it's time to attach the flower. You could glue it, but the actually leaves a stiff section, and especially when making baby items or items for the head, this can be uncomfortable. If you do use glue, be sure to add a felt circle to  the underside to make it soft against the skin.
f. Attach the flower. Use the yarn from your crochet flower to make it soft and hidden. Tie off and weave in ends.  Sew all the way around the outside of the crochet flower, then a few stitches towards the middle, only sewing through the crochet flower.

And you are finished! EASY, gorgeous IMO, and adds a bit of "upscale" to your designs. You could do this with your knit items as well, or anything really - I've added these to purses, made hair clips, pillows, etc....

Find a collage of other embellishments available in The Gimpy Hooker below! Enjoy!

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