Friday, August 10, 2012

Geeky Bout-torial

Previously, on Our Geeky Adventure,

-I'm not necessarily a flower person
-I have quite the list of DIY projects to tackle
-Sometimes, I sew things

This weekend, I was crazy productive.  I dragged out my sewing machine and knocked out a majority of two large-ish projects.  It was a good weekend. 

Reading that, it sounds less impressive than it actually felt.  Only two projects?  Well, they were large!  Ish.

You've read about the bow ties already- I very quickly finished attaching the velcro connections to the ends and was finally able to call that project finished.  I would've been even quicker, but I sewed the velcro to the wrong side on some of them and had to rip seams and start over.  Whoops.

But then there's project number two:

the boutonnieres! 

Now, I know I said I was aiming for something like this:

only with safety pins on the back // image via Martha Stewart Weddings
but then I found this tutorial at one of my favorite places for inspiration- Make It and Love It.

image via Make It and Love It
These flowers are sewn on a pillowcase, but I really like their floppy texture and decided to make them for the boutonnieres.  I made a few changes, however- I added "leaves" to the bottom, and I made them fluffier by stitching fewer circles in the center.  So far, all I've done is sewn the flowers themselves.  I still need to attach the LEGO minifigs in the center and put pins on the back, but I'd say I made some pretty significant progress!

{personal photo}
So here's everything you need- plus something to sew it with.  I did it with a machine, but if you have way more patience, you can totally do it by hand.

Here's a little secret: I was kind of lazy when deciding on sizing for these puppies.  I looked around for circular things in my apartment to use as templates.  Actually, I didn't even look around the whole apartment- since I don't have a craft room (but I will, one day, when I have a house!) I use the dining room table as my sewing surface, so I looked through the pile of wedding crap on the dining room floor, and my kitchen counters.  I found a travel coffee cup with a base that is approximately 2 3/4" in diameter to use for the tiny attendants' boutonnieres, and a spool of ribbon that I'll be using in a different craft that is approximately 3 3/8" in diameter for everybody else.  I cut out circles in scrap fabric and stuck them on my lapel to make sure the dimensions worked.  So if you're going to re-create this, be lazy like me- find a circular something, likely a glass, that can serve as a circular template.

{personal photo}
First, cut out a bunch of squares in your "leaf" fabric, slightly larger than your flower circles will be.  I arbitrarily decided on 3 3/4" for the large and 3 1/4" for the small.  You'll need 2 squares for each boutonniere.

{personal photo}
To make the "leaves" for the flowers, it's a lot like origami, only with fabric.  (Not that I've ever done actual origami before.)  Fold your square in half and run your fingernail (or a bone folder, if you've bought one for assembling your invitations and are desperate to find other uses for it) along the fold to achieve a nice defined crease.  Unfold your square, then fold it in the opposite direction using the same process.

{personal photo}
Fold your corner to form a right angle and pin it in place.

{personal photo}
Repeat with all the corners on both squares.

{personal photo}
Place one square on top of the other, so that both are facing the same way, with the top square rotated 90 degrees, and pin together.

{personal photo}
Stitch the two together in a wonky little square.  I am not apologizing for my inability to do ANYTHING in a perfectly straight line, be it draw, fold, or sew.  IT ADDS CHARACTER.

{personal photo}
Okay confession time.  This is the top of the boutonniere, though it was the underside of the assembly when I was sewing.  Now, I only have a limited number of bobbins, and I was too lazy to unwind one to wind it with the green thread, so I just used the white as my bottom thread.  The good news is that once the flower portion is stitched on top, you won't see this thread at all!

{personal photo}
Follow the directions in the Make It and Love It tutorial to create your "flower petals".  Cut each of the six circles from your template- in this case it's 3 3/8" for the big flowers and 2 3/4" for the baby ones.  Pin the "petals" to your "leaf" base.  Stitch only a couple of circles in the middle, making sure to catch each of the wedges.

{personal photo}
The fewer circles you sew and the tighter you keep them to the center, the fluffier your flowers will be!

{personal photo}
If you enlarge this photo (by clicking on it) you'll see that the stitches in the center aren't exactly circles per se...but close enough!  And once the little LEGO guys are attached you won't even be able to see the stitches!  (And if you can...screw it!  Anybody inspecting these things close enough to criticize my stitches is clearly not drinking enough at the reception and will promptly receive a glass of whiskey.)

Stay tuned for the second half of this tutorial, when I show you how to attach the LEGO minifigs and pin backs!  (A tutorial which obviously can't be written until such steps are completed.  Which might not happen particularly soon.  Consider this a tease.)

What kind of boutonnieres are your groomsmen wearing?  Would you ever consider something other than fresh flowers?

Much love,
The Geeks


  1. What a great DIY - this turned out awesome!