Things You'll Need
- Sinamay fabric
- Wire cutters
- Floral wire
- Hot glue gun
- Floral tape
- Seed beads
Sinamay is a fabric used for making hats. This fabric is made from fibers of the abaca tree and it is lightweight and shapes well and it doesn't fray easily. Sinamay has a straw-like quality and can be block-shaped using standard steam and pin around a block. Sinamay can be finely woven or almost net-like and some types are sold with stiffeners. Sinamay hats are also being decorated with flowers made from the fabric. You can replicate almost any flower shape following a few simple tips.
A Simple Rose
Cut a piece of sinamay 2 by 8 inches with scissors. Fold 3/4 inches along the long side and iron. Cut 8 inches of floral wire with wire cutters.
Apply a bead of hot glue to the inside iron crease and place the wire in the crease and fold the fabric back together.
Cut wide 1/2-inch deep V-shaped notches along the 8-inch length opposite the fold. Roll the short end angling toward the notched side. The folded wire side will naturally form a rose shape. Make it as large as you like and wrap the notched side in floral wire and tape.
A Petal Rose
Trace the shape of a rose petal on sinamay fabric. Extend the bottom of the petal into a pointed shape. Cut out the petal with scissors. Cut floral wire to fit around the petal 1/4 inch from the edge. Fold the edge of the fabric over 1/4 inch with the wire at the fold (inside) and sew a hem around the petal. Iron or steam to remove or minimize creases. Repeat, making petals slightly larger and smaller.
Assemble your petal rose by gathering your smallest petals first. Curl the width of the petal. The wire will make the petal hold its shape. Add the next petal on top and use a bit of hot glue at the pointy bottom area. Continue adding petals until you have the size of rose you want.
Trace a rose leaf and make several leaves using the same technique. Add your leaves after the last petal. Glue. Wrap the flower (glued stem part) with floral wire and floral tape.
A Lily Flower
Select a piece of 8- by 8-inch paper. Measure 2 inches from the top and draw a horizontal line. Measure 2 inches from the left side along the bottom and label the mark A. Measure 2 inches from the right side along the bottom and label the mark "B." Draw a line from the top left corner to "A." Cut along your line. Draw a line from the top right corner to "B." Cut along your line. Draw a shallow curve from the top left corner to the top right corner passing through your horizontal line. Cut your curve.
Trace your pattern onto sinamay fabric and cut your fabric. Cut wire to fit 1/4 inch from the curved edge. Fold the fabric of the curved edge over 1/4 inch with the wire in the crease and sew the hem. Bend the fabric so the tall points align with face sides together (don't overly bend the wire). Sew a 1/4-inch hem along the long straight side. Turn your fabric right side out and adjust your lily shape.
Add floral wire and tape at the base of the flower as well as leaves to give the flower more substance. Often the flower will have delicate stamen emerging from the throat. Place seed beads on wires plus thin sinamay leaves to create this effect.
Most sinamay flowers are using the wired edge or folded and sewn edge to create the form of the flower. This allows you to shape and adjust your flower creations to look exactly the way you want. Consider adding feathers, beads and other accessories to enhance your flower shapes.
F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.