How to Make a Stitched Shibori Flower Step by Step

Stitched shibori red flower

I am going to describe for you how to make this shibori echinacea flower design in stitched shibori.

Perhaps this one is not for beginners as it incorporates 3 different types of stitching and needs some careful manipulation. Let me get you started.

Take a look at the blog “10 Helpful Hints for Shibori Sewing” so as not to repeat the general instructions about sewing with stitched shibori. You can also look at this video where there are examples of some of the techniques used in this pattern.

If you are a complete beginner to stitched shibori you may like to sign up to my online course “Create a Collection of Flowers in Shibori Stitch Resist” This course take you step by step through some of the simplest techniques and produces beautiful results!

The 4 Steps to Making Your Own Flower

1. Drawing the Design

First you start by drawing the design on to ready for dyeing fabric with removable fabric marker. The overall design here is 42cm/ 16 ½” high as a guideline. You may want to make it larger overall. We are going to sew the central flower head with many florets or petals around it. You can print out the photo of the flower head and trace it.

2. Stitching Your Design

There are 3 different shibori stitches used in this design.

A. Stitch the central flower head by folding the fabric in half along the centre line and then sew the 8 or 9 lines of simple running stitches parallel to each other through both layers of fabric (miru shibori) with double thread and a small cotton “tag” knotted into the end of each row of double thread. (This is very similar to creating a teasel shown on one of my videos)

B. Next you create the florets or petals with a simple fold (ori nui shibori) stitching through two layers of fabric. Each long petal is made up of 2 separate rows of this single fold and running stitch technique, each row finishing just below the central flower head at the top of the design.  Please note the curved end shape is quite tricky to manipulate.

C. Then add the stem below the petals. Make the stem by carefully making a pleat (awase ori-nui shibori) along the line of the stem so you are pinching 4 thicknesses of fabric in your fingers. With a double thread and small cotton “tag” in the end sew through all the 4 layers of fabric.

3. Gathering the Stitching.

the flower completely gathered and ready for dyeing

Finally it is time to pull all the stitching up. Start with the central flower head. One by one pull up the 8 or 9 rows of threads and once pulled up separate the two threads and insert another “tag” between and tie a double knot around it securing the line of stitching.

Next pull up the many lines of single row stitching that makes the petals. One by one pull them up and once pulled up separate the two threads and insert another “tag” between and tie a double knot around it securing the line of stitching. The thread needs to be pulled up very tight easing the fabric round the corners, but without breaking it!

Finish with the stem, pull it up securing the end as described above.

4. Dyeing

You now have your design ready for dyeing. Weigh the fabric while dry and then soak in water ready to dye. If you need help on dyeing with indigo dyes or fibre reactive dyes look at my previous blogs. Once dyed you unpick all the stitching to reveal the design.

I hope you have found these instructions helpful and wish you success in making your own flower head.

You may like to buy my helenium flower download pattern, a similar design to this one but with very detailed step by step instructions with illustrations. Here it is below.

image of helenium flower digital download

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