They change colors in autumn, accompany the beauty of flowers and rustle in the wind, but are arguably one of the last places you might look for creative inspiration. Fabric leaves, however, make a fitting simple sewing project for beginners, as well as those looking to use up fabric scraps. The completed leaves can mimic the real ones not only in looks, but also in role when you attach them to fabric flowers, use them as fall decor or hang them as a mobile to sway in the wind.
Things You'll Need
- Tailor's chalk
- Sewing machine
Measure the diameter of the flower the leaves will accompany to determine the size of the leaves. If the leaves aren't to accompany a flower, but for use on their own, then you can determine the size yourself.
Fold your fabric in half with the wrong side facing out. Draw a leaf shape on the fabric, with the length of the leaf equal to the diameter of your flower, and its width a third of the flower's diameter at the widest point of the leaf. For a simple leaf shape draw an oval with pointed ends.
Cut out the leaf shape through both layers of fabric, so you have two identical fabric pieces. Put the two fabric pieces together with the wrong sides facing each other.
Set your sewing machine to its zigzag stitch setting. Adjust the width of the stitch to 1/8 inch, and the stitch length to its lowest setting to keep the stitches as close together as possible.
Sew the two fabric pieces together around the perimeter with the zig of the stitch on the fabric and the zag falling just over the edge. Sew down the center of the leaf starting at one point and stopping two-thirds of the way to the other point to create the vein of the leaf.
Tips & Warnings
- You can make fabric leaves of any shape if not using them to accompany a flower. Just trace the outline of a leaf from your yard. Then, use a copy machine to either enlarge or shrink the leaf to the desired size. Cut out the resulting copy, and use it as a template for cutting the fabric pieces.
- Clip fabric leaves made with fall-colored fabrics to a strand of twine with miniature clothes pins, and hang up the homemade garland as festive fall decor.
- Attach fabric leaves to the stem of a fabric flower by placing a short piece of floral wire half on the top of the leaf and half off while you stitch the center seam -- the vein -- to attach the wire to the leaf. Then, wrap the part of the wire hanging off the leaf onto the stem with green floral tape.
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