I’m super excited to share with you how to make these fun bias tape flowers just in time for spring! With a little straight line sewing and a little hand sewing this is a perfect project for kids to make with a grown-up’s help or, of course, for an adult to make on their own!
I love a project that is not only colorful and scrap busting (at Hartford Stitch we amass a TON of scraps), but that is also great skill builder (and I love a good skill building project!). At the heart of this project we’re learning how to make bias tape which has so many applications from bags to quilts to garments and now… flowers!
If you want to follow along step-by-step with me, be sure to check out this tutorial video. I go into lots of detail about cutting fabric on the bias (the why and the how) and why I love the Oliso Smart Touch Iron for my students!
Ok, let's get started!
-scrap of quilting cotton roughly 10” x 10”
-button at least ¾”
-all purpose polyester thread
-a fastener. I used floral wire but you could also add a magnet, a brooch pin or use a pipe cleaner
- Fabric scissors
- Thread snips
- Seam gauge (not shown)
- Seam ripper
- Long pins (glass headed are ideal but not essential)
- Chalk or your favorite marking tool
- Hand sewing needle
- Sewing Machine
- Cloth covered ironing board and iron
- Optional: Quilter’s Clips
Step 1: Measuring and Cutting Your Fabric
- We want to find the bias grain of your fabric. The tutorial video goes into more details if you need help!
- If your scrap still has the selvage on it then find the 45deg angle from the selvage. If it’s not square then pull from side to side until you find the stretchiest part (it will be pretty stretchy!), this is the bias.
-Draw a line along the bias.
-Measure over 1.5” from this line and draw another line. Repeat until you have 4 lines drawn.
-Cut along those lines. You should have 3 strips that are 10" and longer.
Step 2: Making the Bias Tape
-Head over to your ironing board and insert one long pin into the fabric so that ¾” on metal is exposed in the middle of the pin.
-Repeat about 6” down on the board with the second pin.
-Slide one end of the fabric under the leftmost pin.
-As the edges curl into the center, make sure the two long edges are even.
-Pull through and slide that same end under the other pin.
-Carefully press the folds in with your iron-- make sure to avoid the plastic pin ball ends! -Keeping pulling the fabric through and pressing until you reach the end.
-Repeat with the other 2 strips of fabric.
We need to press the strips in half one more time.
-You can either carefully press it, or if you’re sewing with kids, set your pins up so there’s only ⅜”-½” of metal exposed.
-Fold your bias strip in half the long way again and scoot it underneath the pins again. -Press all the way done and repeat with the other strips.
Step 3- Making the Petals
-You can pin each strip before sewing if you’d like but I find it keeps the fold as long as you pressed well enough so pins aren’t necessary.
-Head over to your sewing machine. We’re going to sew down the center of each strip. -You can use a straight stitch, a fun stitch, whatever you’re feeling right now!
-Repeat for the other 2.
-Now trim off one of the uneven edges of each strip.
-Measure down 8” and cut there. If you make the strips larger your flowers will be bigger and loopier and if you make them shorter they will be smaller and tighter, but also a little tricky to sew.
-Now let’s make something that looks like a flower!
- Fold one strip in half and find the center point.
-Curve one end around until it lines up with the point. Now curve the other end in the opposite direction until it’s lined up with the center point.
-It should look like figure 8. You can clip the center with a quilter’s clip or just head right over to your sewing machine.
-Turn off your sewing machine so you don't accidentally press the foot pedal while getting the strip set up.
-Carefully place the center of the “8” under the needle and put the needle in the project. -This will keep things from falling out of place.
-Turn on your sewing machine.
-Sew forward and reverse a couple of times to secure the ends. Repeat with the other two strips.
Step 4- Assembling the Flower.
-Thread a needle with a double length of thread and knot the end.
-Push the needle through the center of each petal. It can help to use a ruler as a hard surface to push the needle against to save your fingers!
-Arrange the petals the way you want them and pass the needle back and forth through the center a couple more times to lock into place.
-End with your needle on the top of the flower and sew on the button.
-It’s helpful to just catch the fabric immediately under the button instead of going all the way through every petal again.
-Remember: this button is just decorative so it doesn’t need to be as secure as a functional button!
-Tie a knot with done.
Technically your flower is finished but now comes the fun part when you decide what to do with it. You can whipstitch a pin backing on, hot glue a magnet, or grab some floral wire/pipe cleaner and follow these instructions to make a bouquet!
-To make the flower stem, bend one end of the floral wire and wrap the end around itself.
-Center it on the back of the flower and, with a whipstitch, sew around the loop.
-At the very end you can glue on a circle of felt to cover the wire and stitches if you’d like!
And now you’re done for real! These are definitely a “more the merrier” project so dig through all those scraps and start making some more bias tape! If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out the very end of the tutorial video to see how I transformed this bouquet into a flower crown!
We'd love to see your creations! If you share on social media please tag us at @hartfordstitch and use #hartfordstitchathome. Make sure to include our friends as Oliso Home too and tag them at @olisohome and use #olisoconnects!
Until Next Time, Happy Stitching!