Tuesday 8 September 2009

How to: make a ribbon rose corsage

I've just listed a new batch of Esther flap clutches in my Etsy and Folksy shops. I thought I'd feature the rose corsage from the Esther 'Laughing Leaf' series as my first ever tutorial.

Step 1: Take a length of 1 ½ “ (38mm) wide ribbon – I prefer grosgrain as it has more structure, but you could use any type of ribbon.

Roll one end over three or four times to form the tight bud like centre of the rose. Hand stitch through all the layers at the base to secure.

Step 2: Now comes the fiddly bit! Spiral the ribbon around the “bud” and fold it back on itself to create a loop or “petal”. Hold the loop in place at the base of the rose while you make a stitch or two through all the layers to secure.

Steps 3-5: To create the next petal, repeat this process, positioning the next loop a little further along the bud centre. Continue to create your rose by repeating this twist-spiral-fold process, securing every fold in place by stitching through all layers each time. You may find that you need to play about with the positioning of the folds and check how your rose looks from a number of different angles before securing each new petal – I’ve produced a number of lop-sided roses by not following my own advice!

Steps 6-8:
When your rose has reached the desired size and shape, snip off the long end of ribbon. Fold the raw edge under and stitch in place at the back of the rose. This is also a good time to make another check of your roses’ shape and make any little stitches you need here and there to adjust the petals if necessary.

You should now have a beautiful flower to gaze upon. I like to congratulate myself a little at this stage!

Step 9:
Now for the leaves. Cut out one or two leaf shapes from coordinating or contrasting felt. I’ve chosen to use some quite abstract shapes to echo the pattern on the fabric of the bag for which this rose is intended. But, you could use a more realistic rose leaf shape and perhaps make tiny snips into the edges to create a more life-like correlated leaf.

Step 10: If you wish to add some texture to your leaf, hand or machine embroider some veins in coordinating or contrasting thread, or add a more abstract pattern as I have done here.

Steps 11-12: Once you are satisfied with your leaf or leaves, add a little bit of extra shape by pinching the leaf at the base and adding a stitch or two to secure a tiny pleat/dart.

Step 13-14: If you have created more than one leaf, stitch them together in whatever arrangement you desire before then attaching to the base of the rose.

Now sit back for another moment of self-congratulation!

If you wish to attach your rose to your bag/coat/dress in a permanent position, you could do so now by sewing it in place. However, I prefer to add a brooch back so that it’s possible to play around with the position of the flower on the bag or remove it from the bag and wear it as a matching corsage.

Step 15: For this final stage, attach a brooch back to the underside of your rose by stitching it in position – it’s worth checking the best position for the brooch back by placing your rose on a flat surface and seeing if your flower has a tendency to lean a certain way. You want to position the brooch back so that it is least visible – not just from the top view but also from the sides.

Step 16: Finally, I like to make it all look as neat as possible by positioning a small circle of felt over the base of the brooch back. This adds another layer of security as well as hiding the stitching.
Et voila! Your rose corsage is now complete!

See Esther - 'Laughing Leaf Yellow' on Etsy here or Folksy here.
See Esther - 'Laughing Leaf Green' on Etsy
here or Folksy here.

Other embellishment ideas:

Felt daisy from futuregirl.com |
Ric Rac dahlias
from knick knacks & ric rac |
The flowers on this tea cosy by Cassi from Bella Dia would look great on a bag!


  1. Wow, that's beautiful! I saw this on Craft Gossip. I'd love to link to this if you didn't mind.

  2. Linda demais!!! Parabéns!





Related Posts with Thumbnails