This project is a quick and beautiful way to dress up your aisle. It’s an economical alternative to flowers, and you don’t need any real sewing know-how to whip these up. These large-scale fabric flowers can also be used on the backs of the bride and groom’s chairs at your reception. And don’t be intimidated by the number of steps and the fact that sewing is involved – not to undermine my own tutorial, it’s honestly more finesse than anything else!Courtesy: Zofia & Co.
- Stiff fabric. I tried two versions – linen and burlap. The burlap was easier and resulted in a more rustic look, and the linen, while slightly more difficult to work with, gave a more refined result.
- Needle & thread
- Fabric cutting wheel with a pinking blade
- Cutting surface (I use this large cutting mat, but there are lots of different sizes and options)
- Cut strips of the fabric you are using for your flowers approximately 3 yards long, and 8 inches thick at one end, and cut so there is a gradual taper down to a point at the other end. If you’re using linen, cut with the pinking wheel of your rotary cutter. This creates a nice scalloped edge (and avoids having to sew finished edges on the flower). If you’re using burlap, you can cut and pull any extra threads to give it a nice, even look.
- Sew long stitches, approximately one inch per stitch, along the strip of fabric you are using for your flower (also called a “basting stitch”).
Pull the fabric tight along the thread. This will cause the fabric to gather. At this point, start arranging in a spiral.
- Once you have the fabric gathered in a spiral, you can sew the back. My very technical technique, as you can see from the photo below, was to basically go crazy on the back and stich wherever seemed to help hold the shape I wanted. This will all be covered up, so it’s not a big deal if it looks haphazard! Plus, if you’re using burlap, you can do as I did below and stitch using a piece of the burlap. This makes the stitches disappear.
- Cut strips of fabric for the “ribbons” that fall below the flower. I made these about six inches wide. The length will depend on the height of your pews or seats at your venue. You want them to hang just above the floor. Again, if using linen for these, use the pinking wheel. I do recommend using different fabrics for the fabric flowers and the ribbons, however, otherwise these don’t have enough contrast and look very bland.
- Attach the ribbons to the back of the fabric flower – both to tie onto the pew and to hang down from the flower. I did this by covering up my stitching on the back of the flower by folding the ribbons that hang down around the piece of fabric that is to tie to the pew. Again, I liked using the pinking wheel on the rotary cutter for these pieces when using linen so that I could avoid sewing edges. It’s better to err on the side of making these long, so that it’s easy to tie. I used about a yard and a half. I sewed a simple running stitch to attach to the back of the fabric flower. You can also use ribbon; it’s just a little bit harder to sew onto the back of the flower.
Like I said above, this project is more finesse than anything else! But even with all that finessing, just keep your measurements consistent, and you’ll get a nice result between your flowers. As far as how many you need, one on each pew end / end seat is not really necessary. Every other one is fine, and even every third will look nice. Also, you only need them on the center aisle; I always feel that decorating the side aisles is wasted – first, because they don’t show up on any photos, and second, because almost everyone seats themselves using the center rather than side access. But I suppose this could change by venue?
I would love to see what variations folks come up with for this project. Taffeta, wired ribbon, all would work really well to make these!