The shibori snowflake is a simple design to create using some of the most straightforward stitching. In this pattern we use ori-nui and ne-maki shibori stitching. A design that is easy for a beginner to shibori to make. In searching for inspiration I found out about Wilson (snowflake) Bentley the first person to photograph snowflakes. An amazing collection of photos in the Buffalo Museum of Science. Have a look and get inspired!
Firstly choose a lovely soft cotton piece 30cm/12” square. Please look at my general blog “10 Terrific Tips for Shibori Sewing” about useful tips for shibori sewing before you get going.
The next step is to save and print the design at 17cm or 6 ½” across. This is quite fiddly to sew, you can make it slightly bigger if you want. Trace the pattern on to your fabric with a water soluble fabric marker pen.
How To a Make Shibori Snowflake Pattern Step By Step.
Generally start all stitching form the centre of the snowflake and work outwards. The design is made up of a repeat of two distinct stitch patterns. 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.
First, working on the reverse of the fabric, attach a tiny bead (2 to 3mm or 2/16”) with a stitch at the 6 points of the snowflake. And another slightly larger bead in the middle.
The 6 long spines are made from simply folding the fabric in half along the line of each spoke of the snowflake. Sew 3mm / 1/8th inch from the fold in simple running stitches through both layers of fabric with double thread and a small cotton “tag” knotted into the end of the thread. Next is to stitch 3 short rows through both layers of fabric starting at the fold. Finally tie a fingering weight/2 ply thread twice around the bead you have sewn to the underside.
The central 6 arrow shapes are made by folding the fabric along the line. Then stitching through both layers of fabric to the end of the shape. Next stitch another line to follow the outer pattern line. Ensure you do not catch the first thread when starting the second thread.
The final part is to tie a fingering weight/2 ply thread twice around the bead in the centre of the design.
Once all the stitching is done each row of stitching needs to be pulled up. Ensure you pull all the way to the end of each short row. It is a little fiddly!
If you enjoy making this pattern you may like to sign up for my online course “Create A Collection of Flowers in Shibori Stitch Resist” This will give you many more patterns and ideas to follow with video instruction.
Hope you enjoy experimenting with snowflake shapes and patterns. There could be thousands of variations as in real snowflakes. Do let me see what you do.