Saturday, May 28, 2016

Branching out - making wedding flowers

When my sister told me she wanted peacock feathers for her wedding centerpieces, I saw a great opportunity to stock up on feathers and make some silk flowers that I could turn into hats after the wedding. Win-win right?

Sis is going to Hawaii for her honeymoon, so I wanted to make something tropical that also fit the peacock color pallet she was going for. On my last vacation to Hawaii, I gathered some plumeria and hibiscus flowers, pressed them and turned them into flower patterns. I sketched and gathered pictures and inspiration in a smash book - I'm not a good scrapbooker, but the smash book was a good way to capture all of it.

Purloined roadside flowers on the lanai...

So I used an orchid flower pattern I had already. I simplified it a bit, and used a combination of dying techniques for the petals. Even after simplifying the pattern and process, it still takes 2-3 hours to make each orchid. I made 50. How? Lots of help from my tolerant husband and my step son who made a little cash helping me out. Flower making sure beats weed pulling as a way to earn money!

After dying but before ironing and assembling, not that exciting looking, and the shading of the dye looks a bit like my 3 year olds' drawing...
My favorite part- seeing it come together into an amazing, one of a kind flower
Orchids waiting in a random mug.
Feed me Seymore! - Audrey

The hibiscus were much simpler to make, my biggest challenge was replicating their long stamens. I considered fimo clay, peacock hurl ( I may still try that, it would be a really neat effect) and finally found some very long antique stamens online that resembled miniature rock candy sticks. I wired the petals to make them easier to shape ironed them with my flower iron and viola! I tried both silk taffeta and silk satin for the flowers, I still haven't decided which I like better. The taffeta is nice and crinkly, but the silk satin is more glossy.

I even made a pattern for the double calyx, which I think turned out really cool. When I was in 7th grade, I had a somewhat unorthodox teacher, who spent months on study of wild flowers and botany. We spent a lot of time dissecting and drawing flowers. Who knew that would pay off? Thanks Mr. D'Augostini!

First batch - and of course I made leaf patterns from the hibiscus plant too!

Of course, hibiscus flowers come in many colors and shapes, but I took some liberties to keep within the color pallet.

A short stem wrapped in silk, sewn on the a snap barrette makes a nice hair flower. This will go to Hawaii with my sister for her honeymoon. And yes, I try on all on my hats, just like a chef always tastes to food - how else can I be sure it is just right? :)

Next I need to finish the rest of the flowers, trim the peacock feathers and arrange it all in vases. No, I'm not a florist. Hopefully the principles of hat design work for flower centerpieces too! Wish me luck!


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