upcycled poppy

I love oriental poppies – the garden is full of them in shades of red and pink – and was quite chuffed when making a rose from the waistband of an unwanted sweater, I…well…screwed up…and discovered how to make a poppy. To make the rose (another idea from Elizabeth Helen Searle’s ‘fun to wear fabric flowers’) you take an old sweater – ask permission first if it’s not yours! – and boil wash it then tumble dry on a high heat. Cut off the waistband, cut each end in to a curve and then gather it up, roll it up and put through a few stitches to hold it in place. However, one time when making one the waist band was a little narrow, so I included a bit of the body of the sweater, which made the flower looser and more open. I then also lost concentration (watching Master and Commander on DVD…I do find Russell Crowe in breeches somewhat distracting) and instead of rolling the gathered waitst band up in the same direction, I accidentally turned it back on itself…and voila my rose was suddenly a poppy! I added a black button centre and now make poppies more than I make roses.

1. cut the waistband, including a small strip of the body, off a boil-washed sweater.
1. cut the waistband, including a small strip of the body, off a boil-washed sweater.
2. round off both ends of the strip of sweater and sew a loose running stitch from the top of one curved ens to the top or the other.
2. round off both ends of the strip of sweater and sew a loose running stitch from the top of one curved end to the top of the other curved end.
3. gather the strip as tightly as you can and fasten the end.
3. gather the strip as tightly as you can and fasten the end.
4. roll up the gathered waist band, stitching it in place as you go (a good long needle helps). While rolling it up change direction at least once (depending on length of waist band - two or three times is better).
4. roll up the gathered waist band, stitching it in place as you go (a good long needle helps). While rolling it up change direction at least once (depending on length of waist band – two or three times is better).
5. as with most fabric flowers made by rolling up, try to keep the base flat and level, allowing the petal side to be uneven. It can be sewn directly on to a bag or garment or you can use a circle of felt or faux sude as a bas and attach a brooch back or hair clip.
5. as with most fabric flowers made by rolling up, try to keep the base flat and level, allowing the petal side to be uneven. It can be sewn directly on to a bag or garment or you can use a circle of felt or faux suede as a base and attach a brooch back or hair clip.
6. ta da!
6. ta da!
7. if you like, complete the poppy effect with a large black button.

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