‘There are certain types of girls and women to whom violets seem to belong.’ (Ruth Wyeth Spears, 1920s)
In this tutorial I’ll show you how to make authentic 1920s ribbon violets and how to wrap wire stems with embroidery floss.
- lilac ribbon
- yellow sewing thread
- green embroidery floss
- thin wire
- needle and scissor
1920s Violets – Ribbon Flower Tutorial
Original 1920s instructions by Ruth Wyeth Spears: ‘To make a bunch of violets […] you will need three and a half yards of half inch wide violet colored taffeta ribbon, a few strands of yellow embroidery floss, a yard and a half of fine lace wire for stems and a bit of tinfoil to wrap the stems.
A violet has five petals – two small ones at the top, a pair of larger petals below these, then a single one at the bottom. In the ribbon violet these are all made of loops, and the loops are bound in the center with the yellow floss, which simulates the center of the flower. Make the two top loops first […]
then the next two […]
and add the bottom one […]
Cut the stem wires about four inches long. If you have not been able to get green wire, black will be inconspicuous or white may be colored green with water colors. Bend the end of the wire as at D and sew it to the back of the flower as at E. Bind the bunch of flowers together and the stems with the tinfoil as at F. ‘ (Ruth Wyeth Spears, 1920s)
How To Wrap Wire Stems With Embroidery Floss
Bend the wire into a hook and knot it to the violet with the green embroidery floss.
Twist both ends of the wire together.
Wrap the embroidery floss around the wire.
Bend the end of the wire into a hook.
Wrap the embroidery floss back around the wire till the wire is completely covered.
Tie three knots around the wire and cut off the embroidery floss.
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