Friday, June 8, 2012

Embellish with Petals

Sewing Level:  Easy

Here is the July 2012 cover of In Style Magazine.  The hem of Salma Hayek's dress is covered with rows of pleated trim.  The embellishment and soft pink color look like hundreds of delicate flower petals to me.  To recreate the look, you could purchase numerous yards of pleated trim; 40 or 50 yards looks right to me given the minimal spacing between rows.  To lower the cost you could pleat the trim yourself but that would take the better part of a weekend.  In addition, you would need to dry clean the finished garment to hold the pleats, and if the fabric is natural fibers, the pleats are likely to release anyway.

I created a similar look by creating simple flower petals.  My technique creates a lovely embellishment with a reasonable amount of time and fabric.

The front bodice of this ivory embroidered cotton dress is covered with rows of "petals" that I made from a half yard of scrap fabric.  The petals add interesting texture and increase the size of the bust which is a good thing in my case.

The hem of this maroon silk twill dress is embellished in a similar manner.  Since a hemline is larger in circumference than a bodice front, I needed many more petals for the maroon dress, close to 1.5 yards.

To create the petals, make a circle pattern from the kitchen glass of your choice.  My circles are 2" in diameter.  You could make petals of various sizes for an interesting look.  Cut out circles from your fashion fabric without regard to grain line.

Determine where on the garment you want to apply the petals and mark with tailors chalk and a ruler. 

Fold a fabric circle in half, then in half again.  Cut across the fold removing 1/4" - 1/2" of fabric.

Unfold the quartered fabric circle so it is again a half circle.  Pin and stitch the folded fabric circles to your garment varying the spacing.  Your petal seams  may all point up or down. 

On the ivory dress, the seam points down meaning the petals drop down to cover the seam.

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The petal seams on the maroon dress alternate direction.  Here the top row is placed with the seam pointing down.  The next row has the seam pointing up.

It's probably best if the top row has the seam pointing down.  Below the first row you can experiment with placement to achieve maximum volume. 

Have fun with this easy technique and be creative in the placement of your petals!

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