Making a layer flower pendant

I thought it was time for another look at how I make one of my pendants – this time I’ll be taking you through the steps to make one of my layer flower pendants.  You can click on any of the tiled images if you want to see then full size.

I really love this design, it’s so pretty and so versatile.  Because it uses 5 thread changes, it can be made in a fabulous variety of colours.  For this one, I’m using five different shades of purple.

As always, I start off with my cotton thread and hook – for these flowers I use a 1.25mm hook.Image00001

I make a circle to begin and start to stitch around it for the centre of the flower.

That’s the first colour done.  Now it’s time to add the first set of petals.  I make each petal by stitching into the loops I made with the first thread.

Image00004Once I’ve finished making the petals, I turn the flower over and make loops in the back – these are where the next layer of petals will attach onto.

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Here it is so far, with the penny to show size.

Image00006Time for thread number 3 – I make a second layer of petals, and another set of loops on the back.

Then it’s the same thing again with thread number 4 – another set of petals.  The second image shows the back of the flower so you can see how I’m stitching the petals into the loops.

That’s the third set of petals finished – it’s starting to take shape now.

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Onto the last thread now for the final set of petals.

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Here’s the back – quite messy with all those different thread ends!  It looks better once I tie off the ends and cut them.  I leave one long thread to sew on the backing.

Now it’s time to sew a back on the flower to make it nice and neat.  I use soft acrylic felt for this which I cut out to the right size using a handy card template that I made 🙂

I sew the felt onto the back of the flower.

Finished!

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Now I need to put the finishing touches on the flower – it tends to come off the hook a wee bit squiffy (like cotton when it’s just out of the wash) – so I pin it out and use some fabric stiffener to get it to the right shape.  For most of my designs, I stiffen the whole thing, but where this one is more 3D it doesn’t need stiffener on the whole thing, just the bottom set of petals.

I use wax paper and a printed template to get it symmetrical.

I use a mix of fabric stiffener and water which I paint onto the bottom petals with a paintbrush.

I leave this to dry, usually overnight.  Then it’s time for the finishing touch and my least favourite job – glueing the cabochon gemstone to the centre of the flower.  I love the way the gemstone looks, as it covers up the wee hole in the centre of the flower and makes the pendant look so much better, plus it ties in the flower with the gemstones I use to finish off the pendant and chain.  But it’s such a fiddly job!  It’s easy to go wrong by using too much glue or getting the stone slightly off centre – in which case all the hours of work up to this point are ruined!  Also, I have to press down quite hard on the stone while the glue dries which hurts my finger (sob!).  So you can see why it’s my least favourite part of the whole process 🙂  For this flower, I’m using a beautiful amethyst cabochon.

Done.  Whew!!!!!!

Now I need to make the chain for the pendant to hang on.  I’m using cotton thread in silver, this time with a 1.5mm hook.  I accent the chain with 4mm amethyst beads.

The finished chain:

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I use sterling silver end clasps to finish the ends of the chain.

The sterling silver lobster clasp goes on one and, and the extender chain on the other.

I use another silver jump ring to attach the flower to the centre of the chain.

Now I need to make the gemstone drop to hang underneath the flower.  To go with the different shades of purple in the flower, I’m using two shades of amethyst.

Finally, I attach the drop beads to the bottom of the flower.

And the pendant is finished!  Here it is with some other colours.

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On a completely unrelated note, I love that the whole time I worked as an accountant I never had a filofax and now I do have one, and it’s bright turquoise with butterflies on it 😉

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