DIY: Ribbon Rose

A couple of weekends ago I went up to London with some girlfriends.  We meet in the pub once a month and get crafty – and as several of us have birthdays within a few weeks of each other, we thought it would be a great idea to get our craft on and start our birthday celebrations in style.  It was great to be child free and carefree for the day!

I don’t get up to London very much anymore, so it was quite a thrill being on the high-speed train.  The organised among us provided orange juice and warm (yes, warm) croissants for the journey.  It was a lovely spring day, but ironically we were going to spend it indoors at the Country Living Spring Fair.  Over the years I’ve been to quite a few of these spring (and Christmas) fairs.  They don’t disappoint.

All of us were keen to have a go at the free craft sessions on offer. I learnt how to make paper flowers, and in the queue for tickets exchanged notes with a couple of ladies who were looking for ideas to share with their WI.  They’d stitched felt hearts to make a wall hanging.

My piece de resistance was a ribbon rose made at a workshop with Jane Means – such a great way of using up your ribbon scraps – just sew them together into a long snake and get stitching!  Jane has some detailed instructions on how to make a variety of ribbon roses on her website, so do check it out.

This is how I made mine

1. Stitch two lengths of ribbon together at their short ends. Jane gave use a short yellow ribbon (for the centre of our flowers) and a longer length of blue

Yellow ribbon and blue ribbon stitched together at short ends
Yellow ribbon and blue ribbon stitched together at short ends

2. Roll the end of the yellow ribbon round to form a tiny cylinder and stitch to hold it in place – this is the centre of your flower.

Roll the end of the yellow ribbon round to form a tiny cylinder and stitch to hold it in place

3. Without cutting your thread sew a running stitch close to the bottom edge of the ribbon about 5cm long. Gather it up and shape it around the centre of your flower and stitch in place.

Running stitch to gather the ribbon.
Ribbon gathered by running stitch.

4. Repeat step 3 – running stitch, gather and stitch in place. For a wider/more open flower I’d suggest stitching the gathers in place so they lie halfway up the ribbon that has already been stitched in place.

Continue to use running stitch to gather the ribbon.
Continue to use running stitch to gather the ribbon.
Continue to use running stitch to gather the ribbon.

5. Finish off the untidy workings at the back by sewing on a patch of felt. Attach to a safety pin and there you have it! 

Jean Means and Julie Davies with ribbon roses

Prefer the real thing?

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