A Surprisingly Simple Shibori Flower for You to Create.

cornus flower in shibori stitch resist

This lovely little flower was decorating the garden of the holiday home I was in for a week. It inspired me to create a simple shibori flower design.

Cornus Kousa flower

I started by doing some sketches of the flower and choosing the shape I liked the most.

This cornus flower is a simple design to create using some of the most straightforward stitching. In this pattern the stitching is just through one layer of fabric and ne-maki (tying a bead in) shibori stitching. It is a little fiddly, you need nimble fingers but a design that is relatively easy to make.

Let’s Start Creating Your Simple Shibori Flower

Choose a lovely soft cotton piece 25cm/10” square. Please look at my general blog “7 Helpful Hints for shibori sewing” about useful tips for shibori sewing before you get going.

You may want to find print it out at A4 to draw around. The size of the design is 20cm or 7 ½” measured diagonally across the petals. If you made it slightly larger you could achieve a similar effect but it would be easier to manipulate.

 Transfer the design with washable fabric marker pen to the organic cotton fabric.

1.-drawing-outline-for-Cornus-Kousa
Drawing Outline for Cornus Kousa

Here Are the Step By Step Instructions.

Each row and line of stitching is sewn in double thread and has a small tag inserted at the end to stop the thread pulling through. See my video for how to do this.

1. Create the outline

shibori-stitching-Cornus-Kousa-flower
Shibori Stitching Cornus Kousa Flower

Two single lines of running stitches forms the outside shape of each of the four petals. Start the stitching from the centre of the flower. The two lines of stitching come together at the point of the petal. Complete the outside stitching of each petal.

Before starting on stitching the inside of the petals, in a contrasting thread stitch a running stitch around the circle in the middle, leaving a long thread for pulling up later, this will help with creating the flower centre, step 3.

2. Stitching Inside the Petals

There are two irregular curvy shapes inside each petal made up of two lines of stitching each. Starting just a little away from the centre we begin sewing using two needles, both threaded with a double length of thread and treating all four threads as one, tied to one single tag. This puts less stress on the fabric at the centre of the design, as you can see there are still many tags, but not as many as there could have been!!

shibori-stitching-Cornus-Kousa-flower

Do this stitching inside each of the petals.  

The two fatter petals then have a single line of stitching going up between the two curvy irregular shaped stitching.

All the thread ends are at the outside edges of the design for ease of pulling up.

3. The Flower Centre

Bead sewn onto reverse of fabric
Bead sewn onto reverse of fabric

 Finally turn the fabric over and sew a small bead with just a couple of stitches into the centre on the underside of the fabric. Here you can see the circle of contrasting stitching around the centre.

Turn the fabric right way up, gather the green thread up and using that as a guide, bind the bead into the fabric using a light weight but strong thread like linen thread avoiding catching in any of the tags!

4. Gathering All the Stitching Up

Now pull up all the stitching. Take each petal one at a time and ensure you pull the thread all the way up from the beginning of the stitching. And tie a tag in the end of each pair of threads to secure the stitching.

Your final piece will look very scrunched up!

5. Finally..

madder dyed shibori flower

Soak the fabric prior to dyeing to ensure it is really wet. I have dyed my design with madder root dye but you can use Rit or Procion. This design may not be so successful in indigo as the stitching is so tight but if you do use indigo I would love to see what result you get.

Hope you enjoy experimenting with making this pretty simple shibori flower. I always love to see what you do.

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