Ever wonder how such delicate little pieces of fairy whimsy are made?
Synthetic fabric and fire power.
I've made lots of fabric flowers before....some with better success than others, and the thing that frustrates me every time is the fraying. Sure you can buy and spray on Fray Stop, or something similar, but it's annoying and you can't get that delicate little curl to the edges (that thrill the soul). Last week my cousin Heather sent me this clip on the Today Show and it finally unlocked the secret for me (although I realize I'm way late to this epiphany).
Nylon fabric (like organza) and a candle is the magical mix. No joke. It's like the girly prettified side to boy scout rope making. Pretty darn fun, and I'm not going to lie, the melting fabric jazz is the best part.
The tutorial was intentionally vague (since sometimes the appearance of being helpful is more the goal), so here's a newbie's first attempt. This was with some leftover Organza from the fairy skirt.
Step 1: Cut some various sized circles out of paper. Choose appropriately based on how big you want your flower to be and what style you want. I did three different sizes for this one.
Step 2: Cut two of each one out of the fabric you've chosen. Remember it can be any kind of frilly fabric you want, but it has to be nylon. If you're not sure of the fiber content...you will soon find out.
Step 3: Now the fun part. Use a candle or a lighter or any other source of flame you want. I found a candle worked best, but that's just me.
It takes some experimenting and I haven't even come close to perfecting it, but basically you want to get the fabric close enough to the flame that the edges melt and curl like petals, but not so close that you light the fabric on fire (I speak from experience). Also, do not try to snuff out said fire spots with your fingers. It's not a cotton candle wick, it's melting plastic and that stuff will try to burn a hole in your finger if you give it a chance (again...experience).
You can see the progression. The green flower turned out to be more polyester than nylon, hence all the black, mangled-ness. Polyester and silk fabrics will burn, nylon fabrics will melt, you want nylon fabrics.
Step 4: Sew a button or beads or whatever else you feel like in the center to hold it all together.
And all done!
Seriously, so much fun.
Stay tuned for Part Two where we will use these flowers to make hair pieces, necklaces and whatever else strikes my fancy.