After my last attempt at a cute holiday dress for my daughter (it took a while for her to warm up to it), I went a little more traditionally girly with this one and decided on flowers made of ribbon, to go on an otherwise plain burgundy velvet dress. Here’s what it looked like to begin with:
I bought several different kinds of ribbon flowers on eBay– you can get 10 of the same kind for a dollar or two (free shipping) from countless sellers, as long as you’re not too picky about the flowers maybe not being exactly the same color as the photos on your screen– and collected them together to figure out how best to arrange them.
The first thing I did was cut off the random button panel in the back of the dress (I think it was meant to help adjust sizing?) and replace it with a sash made of two yards of 1 1/2″ wide burgundy satin ribbon. I tacked down the ribbon at one side seam of the dress, and let the rest remain unattached, figuring that stitching down the flowers through the ribbon and the dress would keep it in place.
Then I moved on to the real embellishment.
I knew I wanted to make an array of flowers at the side of the waistline, focused on a few large roses. I tried a couple of arrangements before deciding on the one I liked best, using flowers of all different sizes and colors. I also stitched some tiny moss-green leaves out of grosgrain ribbon to fill in some of the blank spots.
Then I took a photograph of the finished design, just to make sure I remembered what it looked like as I worked, and hand-stitched the flowers individually to the dress. I started with the leaves, since they would have to be under everything else, and then worked counterclockwise around the design to get everything in.
Annoyingly, somehow during the stitching process I managed to shift my ribbon upwards about half an inch, which doesn’t seem like much but which made the waistline higher than I wanted it. Still, rather than re-do all of the flowers I just left it as it was.
While my daughter doesn’t always agree to wear hair accessories, I also did another arrangement of flowers, this time hot-glued to a piece of black felt, which I then hot-glued to a black headband for her to wear. I didn’t bother sewing the flowers this time since flexibility wasn’t as important for the headband as it was for the sash. I used another piece of black felt as backing to sandwich the headband in the middle, and presto– instant embellished headband!
She’s told me she won’t wear the headband and will NEVER wear a headband, but we’ll see when the time comes… if nothing else, I’ll wear it myself and we’ll match!
- No, I didn’t make the ribbon flowers by hand. I could have, I suppose, but I’d have needed to buy ribbon and spend the time learning how to make them, and it was just cheaper and easier to get them ready-made. Leaves, on the other hand, are just simple loops of green ribbon, so I made those myself.
- I used black felt for the headband because my daughter has dark hair. If you have a different color hair, feel free to use another color so it’ll blend in better.
- I used double-faced satin ribbon for the sash, since double-faced ribbon is more finished-looking than single-faced ribbon. It’s only a little more expensive, but it’s definitely harder to find. Internet is probably your best bet.