Welcome to my blog about Home Arts Needlecraft Magazine! I "discovered" this publication about 2 years ago and fell in love with it to the extent that I had to start collecting issues as I ran across them. The magazine began publication with its September, 1909 premier issue, and continued through March, 1941. It has been interesting to follow the changes through the 30 plus years the magazine was published. It is a great source for needlework, fashion, recipes and short stories. Through my journey of sharing my issues online, I hope to discover a pattern of what was popular in different forms of needlecraft over the 3 decades. I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I am (so far!) enjoying posting articles and projects from the issues. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Ribbon Flowers

by Anna T. Roberts
1913 08 page 11

Floral decorations or ornaments of ribbon are so much in vogue just now, so lovely and useful in many ways, that everybody is anxious to learn just how they are made.  There is scarcely any art in the realm of fancy work more readily acquired.
To begin, the ribbon flowers are fashioned, as a rule, of soft, satin-taffeta ribbon, ranging from the narrow “baby ribbon” up to an inch in width.  If larger flowers are desired, then wider ribbons are used, but the method remains the same.  For the tiny pink rose-buds, commence at the center, using either a shade of old-rose or deep-pink narrow ribbon: wind loosely around a bodkin or small, rounded stick, wind again, then twist and so on until there is enough for the center.  Now take a threaded needle and tack together through the center to keep it in place; using the next shade of pink, wind and twist as before, and again a third shade.  Two shades of pink with the old-rose are sufficient for the buds, or, if desired, but one shade need be used.  Remember, however, to tack in place with the needle, as directed, to keep it firm.
Roses are made in the same way, at starting; but as they open,  very light shade of pink rather wider than for the buds is used to shape the outer petals, which are twisted very loosely, taking care to get the turnover effect required for the full-blown rose-petals.
Yellow roses and buds are made like pink ones, starting with deep orange or yellowish brown for the center, blending into golden-yellow and then into straw-color or canary-yellow for the outer petals.  For red roses use three or four shades of “American beauty” ribbon; this color is just now the rage, and many lovely effect can be produced with it, and used to good advantage.
Each flower is made separately and sewed on to a foundation.  The best for this purpose I find (as it can be bent into any desired shape) is very find wire covered neatly with dark-green ribbon (or a lighter shade, if preferred).  This is also used for flower-stems, where they are intended to show.  To make the foundation for hearts, or other forms, take the required length of fine wire, covered with the ribbon.  Use the darkest shade of green ribbon to give the effect of leaves; make one or two loops, catch down with a needle and fasten to the wire, then throw the ribbon over the wire and make more loops on the opposite side until the length of wire is reached.  Now select a lighter shade of green ribbon in the narrow width, and continue in the same way, alternating the shades with light on one side and dark on the other.  Two or more shades may be used in this manner.
When the “foliage” is completed the buds, roses, pansies, violets or other flowers are securely fastened in the desired places, after which some long loops of green may be added to do away with any possible suggestion of stiffness.
Another method of producing the green-leaf effect is to make rosettes of loops at intervals along the green-covered wire; then sew a flower in the center of each rosette.  This is especially pretty for wreaths, single sprays or bunches of ribbon flowers, and gives a realistic appearance as the stems show in between.
Forget-me-nots, violets and pansies are made by forming each petal and sewing together.  The centers are dotted with gold-colored embroidery-silk, shaded with orange, and the pansies have dots of green in the center, and the veinings may be touched with purple water-color paint.  Once having practised even to small extent the fascinating art of making ribbon flowers a thousand and one suggestions will occur by which the worker will be able to give her productions the touch of individuality always so desirable.
As for the decorative uses to which these flowers may be put, they are so many and varied that it seems almost impossible to enumerate them.  They are, of course, very lovely as ornaments for the hair as well as for the corsage, and make a charming finish to the embroidered turnover collars and fluffy lace frills that are so becoming and popular.  The linen belt- or girdle-bags sued so much in summer would be most attractively embellished with a wreath or spray of ribbon flowers, singly or forming a more elaborate design as individual taste dictates.  Belt-buckles, heart-shaped, round or oval, are also much in favor, especially for party-gowns.  Again, these ribbon designs form a beautiful decoration for fancy articles, such as glove-boxes, veil-cases, handkerchief- and cravat-holders, opera-bags; and are extremely dainty on a pincushion and for a dresser-scarf, with mats for the different toilet-articles decorated in the same way – thus taking the place of or combining with embroidery.  Tiny ribbon roses on silk candleshades of desired color are greatly admired.  Again, as favors for the table, or for dances, nothing could be more charming; for holding place-cards the effect would be novel and pleasing.  A photograph-frame, perhaps using a favorite flower, forms a unique setting for the face of a dear friend; and flowers formed in the shape of hearts would be most appropriate for valentines, or to be given as prizes at a valentine- or “heart-party.”
As suggested, there is really no limit to the possibilities of these lovely bits of handicraft, and the work of making them is fascinating in the extreme.
(Miss Roberts will answer all inquiries in regard to her work, materials, samples, etc., if a self-addressed, stamped envelope is enclosed.)

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