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Ruched Silk Flower Tutorial

on Jan 19, 2011 in free spirit fabrics, pattern, sewing, tutorial | 1 comment

Welcome to the Ruched Fabric Flower Tutorial.

First- lets talk about ruching. When you say it out loud ruch sounds like “Whoosh!”? You know, the word you use when the basketball flies straight into the net and never touches the rim. The online dictionary defines ruching as:? a pleated, fluted, or gathered strip of fabric used for trimming. In this how-to, the WHOLE flower isn’t ruched, just the center of a fake/silk flower.

And off we go. I’ll show you how to make a small ruched fabric strip to replace the center of a silk/fake flower so that you can then adorn all sorts of craft and sewing projects. In the above photos, I have a flower made into a hair clip and on on the flap of my Express Mailbag. (The bag is made from a part of a layer cake -10″ cut squares- to give you an idea of the size.)

One fake fabric flower from the craft store.
1 strip of fabric 1/2″ x 10″ torn, not rotary cut (great way to use up scraps!)
Fabric glue, such as Aleene’s Fabric Glue
Hair Clip- optional

{{I’m trying something different with this tutorial. Instead of having a LONG blog post with tons of pictures, I’ve made numbered picture groupings. Lets see if this is easier for all my favorite visual learners. }}


1. Pull the tops off a bunch of silk flowers from the craft store.

2. Take apart the fabric flower part from the plastic parts. The center of the flower and the back plastic of the flower will now live happily in the trash can.

3. ZigZag stitch over the center of the flower to hold it in place while you work with the layers.

4. Don’t worry what color your zigzag thread is. It will get covered up later.


5. Tear a strip of fabric 1/2″ wide and about 10″ long. I recommend tearing so that your ruched finished flower center will have even more texture and interest.

6. Finally! A useful decorative stitch on the sewing machine!!! WOOT! Find the stitch that looks like a zigzag, but is actually made with a series of straight running stitches. (click the photo to see it larger)? Set the stitch width and length to the largest/longest settings. Sew along the entire length of the 1/2″ wide fabric strip.

7. This is what the stitch will look like. I used matching colored thread on the top, as it will still be seen on the finished project. On one end of the ruching strip, tie the bobbin and top thread together in a square knot.

8. From the other NOT tied end of the fabric strip, start gently pulling the bobbin thread to gather the fabric.

9. Eventually, you’ll have a wrinkly little caterpillar looking piece about 2″ long.


10. Here’s where it gets more crafty. I always think- if there’s glue, its a craft. Gather the supplies, fabric glue, affectionately known as ALIENS. (Yeh, you read that right.) The flower, the ruched strip and some pins.

11. Fold the ends of the ruched strip towards the wrong side. Shape the short ruched strip into a circle, covering the center of the flower.

12. Carefully remove the circle shape and add the fabric glue to the center of the flower.

13. Add the ruched center onto the glue and secure it with a pin for drying.


You can now whip stitch this from behind to any project you’ve been working on. If you want to make it removable (for items such as garments + washing machine) consider stitching the flower to a safety pin then adding it to your projects.

Here are the few additional steps if you are looking to make this flower into a hair accessory.


14. You’ll need an inexpensive bendy hair clip.

15. Open the hair clip and place it on the back of the flower.

16. Use a couple stitches over the right and left sides of the clip to secure the flower to the clip. Make sure the clip is OPEN during this step, so you don’t accidentally stitch it closed.

I really like using fake flowers in projects, but I don’t always love covering the center with a button (Which is the totally easy way to do it- the button covers the hole and the flower is attached all in one fail swoop.) This method is a little bit more work, but gives you a neat center and allows you to add coordinating fabric to your smashing projects.

If you make it, we’d love to see it over in the ReannaLily Designs Flickr pool.

    1 Comment

  1. Little girls would LOVE these!


    January 19, 2011

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