Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Tuesday Tutorial: heart rosette brooch

I've been wanting more sweet accessories, especially brooches and hair accessories, and since receiving a rosette at work (my team won the trivia quiz and got a shiny yellow rosette AND a trophy!) I've been a wee bit obsessed with rosette-style brooches. While this is on a brooch pin backing, I suspect I'm also going to play with pinning it into my hair (maybe on a headband).

This tutorial is aimed at those who have around a beginner to intermediate sewing level. You might find some fiddly things like gathering lace a bit tough if you're 100% new to sewing, but other than that it's a fairly straightforward project. If you don't have a machine, you could probably even sew the whole thing by hand, but I don't really recommend it because your wrists might break. (I used to do a lot of hand sewing, and I now struggle with wrist pain. It's really not good for you.) Protip: you can also use the 'making a lace-trimmed heart' side of this to make slightly larger hearts for a heart-pocket skirt like this. (Oy, that's a lot of sweet right there.)

As always, click the pictures for a larger view!

Things you will need: fabric, ribbon, lace, iron-on interfacing, trimmy bits (that's a jug full of glass pearls in varying sizes), a sew-on brooch pin backing, and a heart template. I do have a pattern envelope of them, yes :D I also have an iron-on applique left over from other projects. Not shown: thread and an iron, because you can't iron-on anything without one.

Draw yourself up a heart template and cut out your fabric (two pieces, one for the front and one for the back). Remember to include seam allowance when making your template! It's a good idea if using a patterned fabric to try and get the pattern centered prettily, though the back isn't as important. Those heart templates are actually slightly larger than the one I used here - they're for the aforementioned heart pockets.

Cut out the same again in iron-on interfacing and iron it onto the back of your fabric pieces.

Put a gathering/basting stitch along your lace (it has a raw edge because it was pre-gathered onto a wider band which I cut off since I wanted it a bit narrower). You'll need a strip of lace about twice the length of your heart outline.

Gather your lace, then pin, baste and press it along the edge of the front heart piece, with the right side of the lace facing down and in towards the heart. This is a bloody fiddly bit, especially if you're machine-basting, so you might want to hand-baste it instead since you have a bit more control that way.

Pin the back heart piece to the front piece, then sew them together using your lace basting stitches as a sewing guide. Leave a wee gap along one of the straight sides so you can turn it right-side-out in a few minutes.

Trim the edge, notching around the curves. Notching into the curve is really important to get a smooth curve, so remember to use it whenever you're sewing a curve (such as on a scalloped hem). Make sure not to snip into your stitching, because I've done it before and it's a fucking hassle to fix.

Turn it right-side-out and wrangle it into shape (a bit of pressing and tugging to make the heart sit correctly is always useful here). Top-stitch around the edge of the fabric to sew up the hole on the side. Cut two pieces of ribbon to length (I didn't really measure, just held it up and decided how long I wanted them to be), clip the ends by folding the ribbon in half and then cutting diagonally, and pin them in place on the back of the heart. It's best if you fold over the edge of the ribbon a couple of times to avoid fraying edges. Sew in place.

Sew your brooch backing pin onto the back, then add any embellishments on the front such as glass pearls or crystals. If I had tiny pink Swarovski crystals I probably would have added them for a bit of glitter, but pearls are pretty too.

Now your rosette is done! Pin to a pretty sweater or cardigan, or add to a plain blouse for a bit of lolita sweetness. My flatmate's a bit meh over super-sweet accessories like this, but she said that it "looks like you've been given the Prize for Cute!" 

This is another rosette without lace, using my leftover iron-on applique. I have plans for a grey wool houndstooth blazer and pencil skirt, and I think that pinning it to the lapel will give a very pleasantly twee lolita-school-uniform vibe. Ribbon rosette <3.


  1. i saw this on egl, such a beautiful tutorial! ill definitely try at some point!

  2. This is gorgeous! It's such a cute idea! I've added it to my big list of tutorials!

  3. This is adorable!! I'm totally going to be trying it. I have a dress that I'm stumped on accessories for, and this would go perfectly!

  4. Haha, I still love those crown appliques on my skirt <3. Totally awesome!