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Shirred Fabric Flowers {made from knit fabric scraps}


I have piles of fabric.  Some of it’s purchased with a specific project in mind, some is purchased because the fabric hollered at me to buy it, and the rest is old clothing that I have cut up to use for something else.  And sometimes I only needed one little chunk of that old piece of clothing… the rest of it goes into a pile.  Most of that clothing pile is knit fabric……so it’s hard for me to throw scrap pieces away because good knit is sometimes hard to find.  So I can’t get rid of any of it.


Well, yesterday morning, my kiddos found my knit scrap stash and dumped it all out on the floor while I finished tidying up my craft room.  (Okay, I was doing more than tidying.  I was digging through the absolute chaos that has piled up in there.  I should have taken a picture because you’ll never believe me when I say it looked like a garbage dump.  And took me about 3 hours to clean up the floor alone.  Not kidding.)  Stinker-Pants Chloe started it all by pulling a cut up shirt out of my pile and putting it over her head and then walked around with it half dragging behind her on the floor.  Connor and Elli thought that was so funny.  So they started piling anything and everything on their little bodies, giggling themselves silly.




While watching them, I realized I needed to use up some of that knit.  And what better way than to add more summer to my girls’ heads.  Yeah, they have a zillion hair clips and headbands……..but what harm is there in making just a few more?  None. :)




These little knit scrap flowers are simple.  Like 2 minutes simple.  Okay, maybe 4 minutes because you have to load your bobbin with elastic thread. Okay, realistically, maybe 10 minutes.  Haha!  But whatever it takes, they are easier than trying to manipulate the fabric yourself.  The shirring idea actually worked.  Yay!


Little Chloe will never ever, not in a million years keep a headband on.  So I turned her flowers into clips. (Using this tutorial for the no-slip grip.)




And whew, good thing she’ll keep clips in her hair.  Because that swoop of hair in the front is getting long.  And is always in her eyes.  And a little shirred flower sure adds a bit of pretty to her head!




And yes, we adore Chloe’s smile.  Sometimes we try and get her to laugh, just for fun…….so that we can get a glimpse of her little Madonna smile.  I’m sure she’ll disagree with me one day but I hope the gap stays.






These little shirred flowers really will save you time.  There’s no special twisting or folding (like these flowers).  The shirring does it all for you.  Pretty simple.  (Unless shirring scares you.  Go here to get un-scared.)




Now my girlies have a few more pops of color to add to their hair.   Man, I love summer!





Keep in mind, these flowers can be made in any size and can be used on anything; hair, bags, pillows, clothing, wall hangings, etc. 


You know you need a flower or two for something. :)




Want to make a few flowers too?


To get started, I used a variety of knit fabrics from my stash.  They were all a jersey knit type of fabric (cut from ladies shirts and one skirt) and were all relatively thin.  Whatever you use doesn’t really matter but just be sure it’s not too thick and make sure it’s knit… that it won’t fray.


Then start cutting your fabric into strips.  Your strip size will depend on how big you want your flower to be.  For my bigger flowers on the headband, the strips were about 2.5-3 inches wide and were about 20 inches long.  The smaller flowers on the clips were strips of fabric about 1.5 inches wide and maybe 15 inches long. 


Then, load up your bobbin with elastic thread and get ready to shirr (or smock) your strip of fabric.  (Need help with shirring?  Go here.)  Start at one corner and start making zig-zags all the way down your strip of fabric.  The seam should all be one continuous line.  You’ll have to use your fingers to keep it stretched out as you sew…….


………because once you let go, it will shrivel right up.


If your zig-zags are too narrow, your fabric will most likely just roll up.  But if you keep the zig-zags wider and more spread out, you will create a nice scallop along each side of the fabric (which is what you want).  Go on and practice a few times to get that scallop look.


Then, heat up your hot glue gun.  Start at one end and tuck your end under and glue it in place.


Then begin winding your fabric around that center tuck and glue as you go.


Keep winding around the center, making sure to not pull too tight.  The scallop of the shirring gives the flower shape and dimension.  So just go with it.


Once you get to the end (or you have a flower that is big enough), cut off any excess fabric, add a bit of glue to the end, and tuck it under to the bottom.


And then make a few more.


If you want a cluster of flowers, glue them to each other and add a few leaves (made from green knit scraps).


Then cut out a piece of felt that will cover most of the back and then glue it down.  This will anchor the flowers down a little better.


Then, you can hot glue a headband to the back.  If the headband and glue are bothersome, glue another piece of felt down to cover the headband.


Or if you’d rather, add clips to the back of your flowers.  (Don’t forget to cover your clips with ribbon.  Or the no-slip-grip on your clips.  Go here for more info.)


And that’s it.


Pretty and textured and ready to be worn.









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Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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