French Ribbon Pansies, Step by Step

French ribbon pansy

Here is a French ribbon pansy pin I recently completed as part of a custom order. I took some work in process photos so I could show you how they are made. The ribbon is wired on both selvedge edges so it holds its shape. I’ve always been a big fan of pansies. When I was a kid, I loved to draw them.

Step one

 

 

First I cut two equal lengths of wired French ribbon and pin them together as shown. The black arrows show the direction of my hand sewn running stitch.

Step two

 

 

 

 

I pull on the thread and push all the ribbon down to the knotted beginning. I use very strong thread so it doesn’t break. I backstitch the thread at the edge of the gathered ribbon to keep it from getting loose. I flatten out the ribbon and sew this, the back 2 petals, onto a square of crinoline, using tiny stitches in the folds of ribbon.

Step three

 

 

I cut one length of white French wired ribbon 3X the length of the blue pieces. I fold the sides down at each 1/3rd mark and pin. Then I sew a running stitch as shown here by the black arrows.

Step four

 

 

 

I pull on the thread to gather the ribbon again and backstitch and knot the end. The beginning and ending knots are brought together in the back and stitched tightly. I flatten it out and now I have the 3 front petals of the pansy. I knot a short length of narrow silk satin ribbon and insert it into the center.

Step five

 

 

Next I sew the front 3 white petals on top of the back 2 turquoise petals, using tiny stitches, again hiding the stitches in the folds of the ribbon.

Step six

 

 

 

 

Step six is optional. As a purist, I sometime prefer the pansies “plain” but it seems many customers like my version with embroidery. I hand embroider some “rays” in coordinating embroidery thread radiating out from the center of the flower.

Step seven

 

 

The next task is to trim the crinoline. I sew either a bar pin or a hair clip on a circular piece of felt in a coordinating color, then sew the felt to the crinoline.  Now it’s ready to ship. It may look pretty simple, but it takes a lot of practice! My first attempts did NOT look like this.

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