Thursday, September 12, 2013

Guest Post: HATalk e-magazine

How to Make Burnt Organza Flowers

Looking for a cool new way to decorate your hats? Why not try making your own burnt organza flowers with this tutorial from HATalk e-magazine...

You will need:
·         Organza
·         Sewing Machine
·         Embroidery Hoop (to fit under your sewing machine)
·         Matching Thread
·         Soft Pencil
·         Soldering Iron (with a small pointed tip)
·         24 Gauge Jewellery Wire

1) Place a piece of organza in your embroidery hoop and tighten the screw on the outer ring to hold the fabric firmly in place. Using a soft pencil, draw some petal shapes on the fabric inside the hoop. Remove the presser foot from your sewing machine and cover or lower the feed dogs. Thread the machine and place the hoop under the needle. Before lowering the needle into the fabric, slide the hoop around to get a feel of how you will move it. You need to be able to do this steadily, without jerks, to get an even stitch length.

2) Lower the needle onto the fabric and start stitching around one of your petals shapes, moving the hoop so that you follow the pencil line all the way around. There is no need to turn the hoop around - just hold it firmly and move it backwards, forwards and from side to side as required. You don't need to stop and finish off stitching either - simply move the hoop as you start stitching another petal shape. As you get used to free stitching, begin to fill in the shapes with more stitching. As you can see from the photo, we've added extra loops and lines to make our petals more interesting. Once you've finished, remove the embroidery hoop from the sewing machine.

3) Cut a 6 inch length of wire and bend one end 1/4 inch back on itself, leaving a small loop. Place this on one of the petals from point to point, like a central rib, with the loop at the top. Set the machine to zig zag and stitch over the wire. You will need to move the petal steadily forwards as you sew, as there are no feed dogs to guide the fabric. The remainder of the wire which is unstitched will form the stem of the petal. Wire the rest of your petals in the same way.

4) Turn on your soldering iron and wait for it to heat up. You are going to be burning the organza, which is made of polyester, so there will be fumes. Please remember to work in a well ventilated area and to be very careful not to burn yourself on the iron's hot tip! Once the soldering iron is ready, grasp the embroidery hoop and the petal you want to cut with one hand. With the other hand, 'draw' around the outside of the selected petal with the tip of the hot iron. The fabric will melt where the iron touches it, creating sealed, non-fraying edges. Cut out the other petals in the same way.

5) When all of the petals are done, you can begin to create a flower. To make the center, push one of the petals up the wire towards the loop at the top. The fabric will bunch up, forming an attractive focal point. Select five or more petals and hold the wires together in your hand. You can shape them by bending them outwards and changing their position until you're happy with the look. 

6) Put your finished flower onto your favorite hat and wear with pride!

This project was taken from Issue 20 of HATalk e-magazine . The HATalk Digital Archive contains instructions for over 100 fun projects like this and you can have instant access to all of them by subscribing to HATalk e-magazine at the special Red Hat Society price of $19.95 a year - that's over $40 off the normal price!! To subscribe, visit 

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