Sunday, 25 September 2016

Tutorial - covering a button for use as a flower centre

I've been preparing for a series of workshops making various fabric flowers, so while I was thinking about tutorial sheets for flower kits, I thought I'd do a little tutorial here too.

As I prefer to sew rather than glue, the flower centres need to cover the inner ends of the petals well, and buttons are often better than beads for this. I also find that buttons can sometimes look a bit plain, depending on the fabric used. Then, there's the problem of finding one in a colour which works well and which is undamaged. Layering buttons can work well - a larger, but damaged one can go under a smaller one. But the law of the stash is that however many you have, there's never exactly what you want. Covering a button can be a good solution.

First, decide how large a centre you need and find your button, and a scrap of fabric big enough to wrap around it. I'm using a circular button, as that's easiest. So, a circle of fabric at least twice the diameter of the button. The heavier your fabric, the bulkier it will be, so allow a little more.

Here's the button (these are 1 cm squares on the cutting mat). It's not a bad colour, but has been damaged by the button machine when it was attached to the garment.
I'm going to cover it with stretch panne velvet. It doesn't fray so much as lose bits, but for this purpose, I don't really need to turn the edge under as I take small running stitches around the edge of the fabric circle.

Pull the thread to gather the edge slightly and with the fabric wrong side uppermost, put the button in the centre.

I want a 'domed' rather than 'dished' centre, so I've placed the button with what was the top towards what will be the back of the button.

Keeping the button centred on the fabric, pull the threads tight and take several stitches to finish off. I like to leave the thread tail with the knot loose, and then tie both ends of the thread together when I've gathered the fabric, then sew some stitches to keep everything secure.

There, finished!

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