I’m stitching brooch backs on lots of crochet flowers at the moment, in preparation for our Artists and Makers Market: Christmas Edition at Spode in Stoke – I am so looking forward to filling my stall with lots of lovely goodies for our first ever Market at our Studios!
I like the backs of the flowers to look as pretty as the front, so I make a nice sturdy wool felt base (which really helps the flower to keep its shape, long-term) with a proper brooch back. So inspiration struck for this blog post – if you’re as much of a neat freak as me, here’s my way of putting those final finishing touches to a lovingly crocheted or knitted flower.
It works particularly well with my crochet flower pattern – not surprisingly, but can be modified for all kinds of crochet or knit flowers, as long as they have a flattish back.
Making a felt back for a crochet or knitted flower
You’ll need some wool felt, stranded embroidery floss and a brooch back for this project. Oh yeah, and a crochet flower… Here’s a pdf version if you want a copy of this tutorial to refer to.
Measure the back of your flower and subtract about 1/2 inch.
You need to cut 2 circles of felt with the diameter that you’ve calculated. I use freezer paper to mark and cut out the felt – freezer paper will stick temporarily to the felt without marking it, and can be peeled off and used again to make several circles. But if you don’t have any freezer paper handy, don’t worry, you can mark a circle directly on the felt with a soft pencil. For this flower the measurement I used is about 3 inches.
Cut a circle with the required diameter from freezer paper and iron on to the felt.
Cut out. Peel off the freezer paper and repeat to make another circle to match.
Take 3 strands of embroidery floss, thread a needle and make a knot in the end of the thread.
Bring needle from back of the felt to the front to start.
Working around the flower, stitch a running stitch about 1/4inch from the edge of the felt, all round, making sure that the stitches catch some of the yarn at the base of the last round of crochet stitches, but also ensuring that the stitches you make can’t be seen on the front of the flower. You don’t need to worry if the stitches are a bit messy, they’ll be covered up later.
Take the second circle of felt and position the metal brooch back centrally, but slightly towards the top of the circle.
Mark the felt to indicate either end of the brooch back. Make a cross for the hinged end of the brooch back, and a line for the other end.
With a sharp pair of embroidery scissors, snip where you have made the marks, then unfasten the brooch back and push the hinge end and the catch end through the felt – the brooch back pin also needs to get fed through the felt. This is how it should look:
And on the back it will look like this:
Stitch into place on the back, making sure that your stitches only go through the top layer of threads in the felt, and don’t show on the front.
Here’s how it should look when you are finished:
Place over the top of the first piece of felt:
Join the two circles of felt with a running stitch (a bit neater this time, because it will be visible on the final brooch), to finish off.
And so your flower is complete, and ready to wear!
All the links in this project are to my wonderful sponsors – Cloud Craft. A great shop to go to for all your hand stitching needs, and for wool felt fanatics too.