Alternative for Real Buttons Make a Dior Rose

Els post on the Dior Rose reminded me of how much I love this as an embellishment. Purchased trims are often more expensive than your fabric, and these can be made from scraps. These are easy to do and they can be made in just about any size.

You can use any fabric, but of course silk makes the showiest roses. A drapey fabric like charmeuse makes a softer rose than a dupioni, but really it’s up to you. I’ve also seen them made from chiffon, wool crepe and even boucle, which is kinda cool. Here’s how to make them:

Draw a long rectangle on paper. This one is 2 inches wide by 10 inches long; a longer rectangle will make a rose with more petals. Fold the rectangle in half and mark off a curved edge using a French Curve. Mark a 45 degree angle as the grain line because you will cut this out on the bias.

Cut out the rectangle and sew a scant seam along each curved edge; then turn the rectangle out. Do not press it – a soft edge makes a prettier rose (I used china silk for the sample below). Finger press the stitching on the curved side seams (my scissors above are just holding down the unpressed folded edge.)

Take a length of knotted thread and baste along the bottom cut edge. Don’t cut the thread after basting ; just leave it in the needle. Gently pull the basting to form a circle and then begin to roll the rose into shape from the inside to the outside, gently incorporating the gathers into a shape that pleases you. Use the still-threaded needle to hand sew the rose together once you have it gathered into a shape that resembles the ones from Els’ post.

The trick in making these is to keep the shape flat like a button as opposed to a twisted cone shape. If this is a challenge you can stitch the flower onto a backing such as ultra-suede, felt or buckram. It’s also good to make a one or two extra so you can choose the best-looking ones for your project.

One word of caution – if these roses are crushed or ironed they lose all of their appeal, so it’s never a bad idea to remove them from a garment before you clean it. You could sew snaps onto them to make them easily removable, and if you’ve use a backing snaps are simple to add.

So that’s it! This is a classic embellishment you can use on gowns, dresses, bags, hats or even as a brooch.