How to Make Dior Roses

(I think the hat looks like dessert)

Between Christmas and my recent work-flurry, I never posted about the Dior roses on my hat.  Apparently, Dior loved little embellishments like these, and this is how he made his roses.   In the past, I put fabric flowers in the “too hard” file and left it, but they’re as easy as they are satisfying.  These days my silk scraps go into a little box for flower making.   Linens and cottons may make nice flowers given the right cut, but my knit fabric roses looked like wadded up socks.  Mostly I stick to silk for its texture and luster.

Make templates.  You’ll need a small, medium and large, each about 1/2″ smaller than the last.  I cut three rectangles of paper at 8″x5″, folded them into quarters and made a rough football shape.  Then I set one template aside, re-folded into quarters, and drew a line 1/2″ from the edge.  I cut that, set one of the templates aside, and repeated the process.   Then cut one of each size from your fabric for each rose.  I read Dior liked to make his in triples, though I haven’t seen this on any dresses I can remember.  For triples, cut three of each.  (These roses made from Burda 08-2009-117 leftovers)

Starting with the smallest piece, fold it in half end-to-end and make a running stitch along the raw edge.  The folded edge will be the outer edge of the petal.  Pull it up tight-but-not-too-tight, and curl it around to make a little bud.

I found it worked best to ram my thumb into the middle of the bud to help it maintain a good shape.  Then repeat the folding, stitching, and curling with the second petal.  It should wrap around the bud, and don’t draw the stitches up too tight.  When I wrapped the second petal, I lined up the middle of the petal with the overlapping bit on the bud for the sake of symmetry and it worked.  Repeat with the third petal.

I nestled three of them together and stitched them to my hat.  It was a round sampan frame.  I cut a circle of slubbed silk equal to slightly less than the diameter of the frame times two, finished the raw edge, and gathered it on the underside.  A comb secures it in my hair.

With hats and fabric flowers, there’s not really a “right” or “wrong” way to sew it, just  finding a way to make it stay together while looking halfway decent.  I think that’s why I like making silly things and costumes, they’re so free.

I’m a little tempted to make one or three gigantic ones to wear on their own in lieu of a pillbox hat, just stitched to an invisible little base.  Why not?


  1. Hey, thanks for sharing your knowledge they, hats are one of my obsessions and you are great, the flowers give an elegant touch to any hat but the hat, white silk is wonderful!

  2. Oh this is very timely! I'm thinking of making a dress to wear to my friends wedding – just a simple wiggle cut but embellishing the U-neck with fabric flowers and leaves so this tutorial is going straight to my bookmarks. Thanks!Would be lovely to know how to make pretty looking leaves too – not just felt ones, which are all I've found on the web.

  3. Pingback: Moving Time Giveaway! « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

  4. Pingback: I’m totally going to make these! « Wanda B Victorian

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