Boutonnieres using fabric with a large-scale pattern
July 25, 2017 10:53 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to make a matching set of boutonnieres, using leftover scraps of a large-patterned fabric. How?

The fabric is a gorgeous wax print cotton (fabric is culturally matched to the people who will be wearing it, no appropriation).

Similar fabric print to this, although the colours are more harmonious.
The design is made of large-scale repeating panels, each about 1 foot square.
Each repeat of the pattern has 3 main colours in large "zones", like the orange, blue, and green zones in that photo.

100% cotton, medium weight, slightly stiff and satiny from the wax; cut edges will fray.
I will have lots of small scraps left over from constructing a garment.

Need to make 10 matching boutonnieres.
Some will be pinned on suit lapels, some tied as wrist corsages.
They can be fairly large, even flamboyant.
Maybe flower-shaped, but that's flexible.
I want them all to match, so I probably need to include swatches of all three colour zones in each one.
The wearers are all dressed in vivid solid colours that will coordinate beautifully with the print.

I'm crafty, and can use: simple hand-sewing, glue gun, pinking shears, anything from Michael's.
I can add other materials, like coordinating fabric, feathers, ribbon, beads, silk flowers, etc.
No sewing machine & don't like embroidering.
Planning to do some trials with similar fabric to avoid wasting the real fabric.

I was imagining a few possible ideas-
- Giant poppy shape, perhaps incorporating a pre-made silk poppy
- Fairly long strip of fabric folded in a pretty bow/ribbon shape
- Thin strips of fabric folded into little angles, arranged like a structured origami donut
- Pompom made from thin strips of the fabric
- Leaf-shaped piece of fabric, twisted like a calla or peace lily... edges pinked, or treated with Fray-check or similar?

I'd welcome any suggestions, tips, or inspiration photos you may have!
Thank you!
posted by pseudostrabismus to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I think given the big pattern design, I would try and go for a flower design that layers a long ribbon of fabric to present the general colour scheme. This tutorial is no-sew and hides frayed edges. And it has enough layers (if you make the rosette big enough) that I think most of the colors represented in your pattern will show up. At least worth an experiment I think?

I think frayed edges could work in a sort of rustic charming way.

Alternatively, do you have pinking shears? That could also reduce fraying and add a bit of interest to the edges of a flower petal.

That kind of approach will not be exactly matching as the flowers themselves will slightly vary depending on how the colors lie, but to enforce the matchiness could you use 'garnishing' like feathers, bead tipped pins, twigs, leaves, etc to attach to the flower in the exact same arrangement for each one?
posted by like_neon at 6:01 AM on July 26, 2017

The corsages at my wedding were made out of kanzashi flowers, which is a lot like the "Thin strips of fabric folded into little angles, arranged like a structured origami donut" that you describe. They are easy to make with the instructions here. That is a basic ten petal flower, but you can do any number of petals you want. If you search for kanzashi, you will see tons of variety and lots of options. A heavier fabric will not be as forgiving, but if you are careful when folding the initial petals, you should be fine.

Since you have a larger print, I would try to cut 10 squares or circles from the same section of the pattern. Then cut another ten from another section, and so on until you have as many cuts as the number of petals that you want. Each flower gets one of each cut so it has all of the colors in it.
posted by soelo at 7:51 AM on July 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

I think this starched treatment might work for your poppy idea, and it looks pretty easy to mass-assemble. You would just use the outer petals on the pattern, maybe altering the flare a bit, and the innermost core in a dark or contrasting color, or a pompom or something.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 9:21 AM on July 26, 2017

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