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Old 04-11-2012, 11:00
patjnj's Avatar
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Red face I'm pathetic. Need help with ruffled ribbon flower.

For the life of me, I can't figure out what length of 7/8-inch ribbon to use for a basic ruffled ribbon flower--the kind made by sewing a running stitch along the edge of a piece of ribbon (I'm using grosgrain), then pulling the thread to gather the ribbon into a circular shape. You sew the cut edges of the ribbon together and you're done.

You're done if you're normal, which I am not. No matter what I do, the ribbon either comes up too short or too long to create the look I'm shooting for. I've even tried leaving the ribbon uncut and cutting it at what seems to be a good length (after sewing the running stitch), but even after anchoring the end of the running stitch with a few backstitches, the last inch or so won't stay gathered, so the flower is too "flat", and you can even see the (running) stitches.

Is there some Magic Formula for determining a good length based on ribbon width? Or am I just doomed to failure with this flower? Maybe there's a gene for it that I didn't get? Is there some trick to how spaced apart the stitches should be?

I'll be grateful for any suggestions. Or even just sympathy. Thanks.
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:29
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Default Re: I'm pathetic. Need help with ruffled ribbon flower.

Do you have a pic of the flower you are trying to make?
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:01
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Default Re: I'm pathetic. Need help with ruffled ribbon flower.

The link in the first post (link to thread below) will take you to some lovely ones made by a HG. A few who posted in the thread mentioned 12 inches as a good length for 1.5-in ribbon, but I imagine that it would be less than that for 7/8, which is what I'm using.

http://hipgirlclips.com/forums/hairb...n-flowers.html

Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:08
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Default Re: I'm pathetic. Need help with ruffled ribbon flower.

Well you've got my sympathy BC I have never made one. Wish I could help I hope you get it figured out.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:26
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Default Re: I'm pathetic. Need help with ruffled ribbon flower.

if you have some satin ribbon or lace . . . that works up easier/gathers better than grosgrain and i'd suggest using this 1st to get the feel/hang of it . . . and keep in mind it does make a difference as to the thickness and bendability of the material.

and at the end i go thru the 1st stitch & have the raw ends together . . . and then gather - look at it to make sure i like it - and then secure the two ends together and then cut the ribbon/heat seal them together. if i don't like the way it looks . . . i just cut the thread and start again. haha - no more wasted lengths of ribbon!

if i'm gonna make a lot from that particular ribbon - i stretch out the ribbon/ungather it and measure . . . and then just pin mark the next one.

for the length . . . i typically double the outer circumference = length - but, again, it depends on how stiff/floppy the material you're using!

if your stitches are showing - that usually means you've got to take smaller stitches so there's more gathers in the center to hide them.

crap - i hate writing the way i do stuff cause i usually leave something important out . . . but given this a try.

edit . . . just doing some more thinking (that could be dangerous) and i remember reading a post somewhere on here that said using elastic thread makes a big difference in how it gathers. i keep on meaning to buy some of the thread & try it.

no sympathy from me . . . i'm still working on perfecting the tbb!

edit edit - forgot one more thing - an old quilter's trick . . also move the ribbon when gathering . . . now this one needs a video to explain - and before you ask, i'm not video savvy !

Last edited by prleaf; 04-12-2012 at 07:42.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:30
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Default Re: I'm pathetic. Need help with ruffled ribbon flower.

I make mine using 7/8 ribbon and when I want more ruffle I cut it at 18 in or 14 in for less ruffle. Also I don't sew mine when I'm done gathering I just tie the ends of my thread together, I also use embroidery thread to do the running stitch, normal thread doesn't hold very well for me . It does depend also on the ribbon. HTH

Ill try to post a pic of mine later today.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:34
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Default Re: I'm pathetic. Need help with ruffled ribbon flower.

I use 9 inches for 7/8 and 15 inches for 1.5" The picture isn't great but there's a quick shot of what they look like. If you can't get it down I'll sell ya some
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:22
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Default Re: I'm pathetic. Need help with ruffled ribbon flower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prleaf View Post
if you have some satin ribbon or lace . . . that works up easier/gathers better than grosgrain and i'd suggest using this 1st to get the feel/hang of it . . . and keep in mind it does make a difference as to the thickness and bendability of the material.

and at the end i go thru the 1st stitch & have the raw ends together . . . and then gather - look at it to make sure i like it - and then secure the two ends together and then cut the ribbon/heat seal them together. if i don't like the way it looks . . . i just cut the thread and start again. haha - no more wasted lengths of ribbon!

if i'm gonna make a lot from that particular ribbon - i stretch out the ribbon/ungather it and measure . . . and then just pin mark the next one.

for the length . . . i typically double the outer circumference = length - but, again, it depends on how stiff/floppy the material you're using!

if your stitches are showing - that usually means you've got to take smaller stitches so there's more gathers in the center to hide them.

crap - i hate writing the way i do stuff cause i usually leave something important out . . . but given this a try.

edit . . . just doing some more thinking (that could be dangerous) and i remember reading a post somewhere on here that said using elastic thread makes a big difference in how it gathers. i keep on meaning to buy some of the thread & try it.

no sympathy from me . . . i'm still working on perfecting the tbb!

edit edit - forgot one more thing - an old quilter's trick . . also move the ribbon when gathering . . . now this one needs a video to explain - and before you ask, i'm not video savvy !
I love the way you write!

The method you describe in your second paragraph sounds scary, but I'll give it a try!

How do you measure the outer circumference before it's made?

Thanks again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by elysasmommy View Post
I make mine using 7/8 ribbon and when I want more ruffle I cut it at 18 in or 14 in for less ruffle. Also I don't sew mine when I'm done gathering I just tie the ends of my thread together, I also use embroidery thread to do the running stitch, normal thread doesn't hold very well for me . It does depend also on the ribbon. HTH

Ill try to post a pic of mine later today.
I would love to see a pic of one of yours when you have a chance! Does 14 inches make a "flat" circle, or do you spiral the gathered ribbon to create more of a 3-D effect? It sounds long to me for 7/8, which is why I'm asking.

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwestmommy574 View Post
I use 9 inches for 7/8 and 15 inches for 1.5" The picture isn't great but there's a quick shot of what they look like. If you can't get it down I'll sell ya some
Thanks so much for sharing your lengths and pics... yours are perfect--just the look I've been shooting for! I was going to hide the alli clip completely under the flower, but I think that the way you have assembled yours is adorable! I've been working on three bows for my baby granddaughter (my first three besides the tuxedo I made for her big sister's Minnie Mouse party hat a couple of weeks ago)--a small pinwheel, a small one-layer flower loop, and this darned thing. I'll post pics when all three are done (assuming I ever make the third one!)

Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:22
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Default Re: I'm pathetic. Need help with ruffled ribbon flower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwestmommy574 View Post
I use 9 inches for 7/8 and 15 inches for 1.5" The picture isn't great but there's a quick shot of what they look like. If you can't get it down I'll sell ya some
I would like to buy some I don't have the time and I need store fillers!!
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:58
midwestmommy574's Avatar
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Default Re: I'm pathetic. Need help with ruffled ribbon flower.

Aww thanks Glad you like them even with a horrible picture They are one of my favorite things to make now! Another tip of advice and sorry if it's a repeat. Once I finish my running stitch I pull tight and slide the needle through the end I want to join to. Pull tight... it'll look WAY too tight at this point but don't leave any slack. Go through both layers and knot, and repeat once more. Flatten out, put a dab of glue to join the edges together, attach to a dlip, add center (that's waht really flattens it out) TaDa
Quote:
Originally Posted by patjnj View Post
I love the way you write!

The method you describe in your second paragraph sounds scary, but I'll give it a try!

How do you measure the outer circumference before it's made?

Thanks again!


I would love to see a pic of one of yours when you have a chance! Does 14 inches make a "flat" circle, or do you spiral the gathered ribbon to create more of a 3-D effect? It sounds long to me for 7/8, which is why I'm asking.

Thanks!


Thanks so much for sharing your lengths and pics... yours are perfect--just the look I've been shooting for! I was going to hide the alli clip completely under the flower, but I think that the way you have assembled yours is adorable! I've been working on three bows for my baby granddaughter (my first three besides the tuxedo I made for her big sister's Minnie Mouse party hat a couple of weeks ago)--a small pinwheel, a small one-layer flower loop, and this darned thing. I'll post pics when all three are done (assuming I ever make the third one!)

Thanks!
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