Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Vintage Japanese Silk Blouse into Fabric Roses

I had a unique project request recently from my new friend Ann.  

There is quite a story that is the background to this project.  (Ann tells it better than I do, but I'll try).  So...Ann's father passed away last February, just before Valentine's Day. That Valentine's Day, her mother received a delivery of flowers.  They thought at first that they were sympathy flowers, but when they read the card, they found out the bouquet turned out to be from Ann's father.  He had scheduled the Valentine's Day delivery before he died. *tear*

But the story doesn't end there.  Every holiday since, Ann's mother has received flower arrangements.  Saint Patrick's Day, Easter, her birthday, his birthday, Christmas, even a "just because" bouquet.  He had scheduled all of them in advance!  Aww! *more tears* What a husband!

So... here's where we come to the project Ann wanted me to do.  Her father brought this Japanese silk blouse home for her mother back when he was in the Navy in the 50's and was stationed in Japan .  It had sentimental value, but it was pretty tiny and no one in the family could wear it anymore. So Ann wanted me to take this blouse and make five fabric flowers (one for her, her mother, for her 2 sisters, and her aunt).

I was SO nervous to cut into this VINTAGE blouse that had such sentimental value.  And I hadn't done much with silk before. Most of the flowers I have made before involve singing the edges of polyester fabric.  That technique wouldn't work here, since silk would just burn if I tried to singe it!   But Ann had such confidence in me.  She told me that I was the only one she'd trust with this project (no pressure, right? I found it confidence-boosting and nerve-wracking at the same time!)

When I finally mustered up the confidence and courage to cut into the blouse, I cut 5 strips and sewed each of them into a tube with a tapered end.

(A look at some detail of the fabric)

 Then, I did a straight stitch down the middle of the tube.

 After stitching down the middle, I pulled the top thread and scrunched and gathered the fabric for get it to ruffle a bit.

I folded the fabric on the gathered seam, stitched it again with an overlock stitch, and then rolled it up into a rose shape.

Then I put plenty of hot glue on the back to hold it into place.
After that, I took a circle of green felt, stitched around the edge, gathered it into a ball, stuffed it, and hot glued it onto the bottom of the flower.  Sorry I don't have photos of that process or my process of making the stems.(maybe I'll do a full tutorial at another time).  I made the stems with felt and wire.

I was able to get these finished and delivered in time for Ann to give them to her mother (and sisters and aunt) for Easter.  So Ann's mother still got her flower for Easter...and this was the first holiday a flower arrangement wasn't delivered. So bittersweet.

1 comment:

FoundProdigalDaughter said...

What an amazing story and I love how the roses turned out! Such a meaningful and beautiful keepsake. You did a tremendous job!