Making a Fall Flower Fairy, Part One

Sorry for my lack of updates! I had my wisdom teeth out and my recovery wasn’t fun. It took me almost two weeks to get back to sewing, and then I got distracted by new projects…

But now i’m focused again and updates should be back to the regular two times a week!

A couple months ago I made a flower dress inspired by Spring and Summer, though I didn’t completely love the finished dress I did really enjoy making it. Before it was even finished I had ideas from more dresses using the same technique, so it’s not too surprising that I decided to make another very similar dress.

This time I’m going with an Autumn theme, using flowers from Ashlands fall collection.

I purchased these a few weeks ago when they were 40% off, but I had a 20% off the entire purchase coupon too. I was just in Michaels the other day and they were all 60% off which means they will be on clearance soon – if you are interested in getting fall flowers now is the time to do so!

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Fall flowers are probably my favorite, even though I dislike orange and yellow I love how the warm rich tones look together. Fall in general is pretty great, it starts to cool off, candy corn becomes available, it’s the season of pumpkin pie, and it becomes socially acceptable to wear dark lipstick.

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My original design for this dress looked like this! I wanted to make the bodice reminiscent of oak leaves, which was a neat idea in theory, but I later on decided I wanted the dress to have sleeves, so I changed it to be a simpler design. The skirt plan was pretty simple, a three quarter circle skirt with asymmetrical flower designs and a tulle overlay to create a bubble hem.

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Step one was drafting the skirt. It’s a simple three eighths of a circle pattern, which will become a three quarter circle skirt when cut on a fold.

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Then I cut the pattern out! For this project I decided to use  golden mirror organza as the bottom layer, and two tone chiffon for the top.

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Like last time, both of these layers were basted together by hand. Then I ironed them and sewed horsehair into the hem. I did a really terrible job on this hem because I decided I didn’t need to use pins. It won’t be visible in the end so I didn’t bother to redo it, but it’s pretty cringey!

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There was also a slight ironing problem which led to me burning a massive hole into the chiffon layer.

But that’s okay! I’ll cover it with flowers and no one will even know.

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Once the skirt was hemmed and pressed I laid it flat and organized my flowers around it.

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Then it was time for flower arranging! This is my favorite part but also the most difficult. I got a lot of questions about it last time, so i’m going to go a bit more in depth about the process.

I worked in ten or twelve inch sections because that’s how big my glue proof surface was. I like working in small increments though, it makes it easier.

I like to start off by laying the big flowers first. In this case that was a yellow sunflower.

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Then I pick a color scheme for that section and chose flowers with those tones – in this case I was going for orange and red. I place the medium flowers next, then fill extra space in with smaller ones. I lay every section out completely before gluing so I don’t get stuck with an arrangement I don’t like.

Also, if you are concerned about not having enough flowers, figure out ahead of time how many you can use per an increment. I counted up all my “statement” (large) flowers ahead of time to make sure I had enough to use at least three in each section.

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Once you like how they look, glue them down. Remember to press each flower into the fabric for several seconds so the glue can bond to the material.

If there are any gaps in your arrangement fill them in with smaller flowers, petals, or leaves that match the flower colors.

(this isn’t the same section as above but I think you get the idea!)

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At the very end I went through and bent each section, here you can really see the gaps.

Though things may look fine when flat that doesn’t mean they will look that way when draped over a skirt form, or manipulated in any way. The skirt is likely going to move at some point, so to make it look better I filled all of these in with more flowers.

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This is what it looked like when it was mostly finished. I went back in later and added a few more to create more asymmetrical interest.

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And on the dress form!

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Now for the tulle! The tulle layer is a huge rectangle. The tulle length should be a little longer then the size of the skirt hem, and the width should be a bit more then twice the skirt length. Mine ended up being 44″x144″, and since I wanted the colors to be a bit more muted, I decided to use two layers of tulle instead of one.

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To keep things easier to manage I basted my two layers of tulle together.

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Then I gathered one edge and sewed it onto the waist of the skirt.

Oh, before I did this I removed all glue trails and lint from both layers of fabric.

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Then the other edge gets gathered, looped over, and sewn to the other side of the skirt waist. Or if you’re like me and accidentally make the tulle layer too long, it may look like this…

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After trimming the extra tulle my skirt looked like this!

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And here it is with the matching bodice!

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I love it so much. I like the colors I used this time around way more then the red and white. I think it looks far more interesting and way less juvenile.

Thanks for reading!

Also, I did create a video that shows the process of making this dress. If you are interested it can be watched below or accessed through this link!

(videos do not show up in most emails)