Ribbon Flower Tutorial with Kari Mecca

ribbon flower

Welcome spring’s arrival with beautiful ribbon flowers! In this tutorial from designer Kari Mecca, learn how to stitch beautiful quick-folded roses and peonies by hand. The ribbon stitches are shown here on Kari’s Fairytale Finery baby gown and bonnet set. This sweet ensemble has a magical feel, and the stitched flowers add that extra special touch of whimsy. You’ll love stitching these flowers on all kinds of projects.

Kari Mecca

Materials List (for garment as shown)

  • Pattern
  • Fabric & Lace (amount according to pattern)
    • Ivory Swiss batiste – dress & bonnet
    • Ivory cotton batiste – slip
    • 1/2” ivory French lace insertion & 1/2” edging
  • Silk Ribbon
    • 4 mm pale pink – roses
    • 7 mm cream – peonies
  • Floss
    • DMC. Six-Stranded Embroidery Cotton in the following colors:
      • #369 lt mint green
      • #819 pale pink
  • Sewing Supplies
    • #24 chenille needle
    • General supplies for construction
    • Baby cord for piping yoke
  • Optional:
    • Seed beads


Prepare fabric blocks and trace embroidery designs as instructed in pattern. Complete all floss embroidery labeled “for hand stitched roses” as instructed in pattern.

Stitching Ribbon Flowers

Each of these dainty flowers is stitched in hand and then applied to fabric. Work with the entire length of ribbon, cutting the ribbon when each flower is completed.

Threading the Needle

Thread the needle with designated silk ribbon. To lock on, stitch through the short end of the ribbon and pull long end to slide stitch in place on eye.

Holding the Ribbon

• For best results when working with narrow ribbon, try holding it as follows (fig. 1).

• Hold ribbon in your free hand (not your needle hand).

• Put ribbon between your first and second fingers. These fingers control tension, keeping ribbon taut.

• Lay ribbon over pad of your ring finger and hold in place with your thumbnail.

Tips for Success

• Stitches will be taken through edges of ribbon.

• Keep all stitches on needle as you work.

• After each stitch, use needle to “pull” ribbon forward desired amount.

Kari’s Quick Folded Roses

With the appearance of handrolled roses, these dainty blooms are perfect for baby wear, dolls and even miniatures. Finished flowers are approximately 3/4″ in diameter.


  • 4mm pale pink silk ribbon (20″ per rose)
  • #24 chenille needle

Stitching a Rose

1. Thread needle and tie a knot in the ribbon 3″ from eye of needle.

2. Bring needle up through edge of ribbon close to knot (fig. 2).

3. Move forward 3/4″ along same edge of ribbon and bring needle up through the edge (fig. 3). Keep all stitches on needle as you work. Continue stitching along edge, spacing 12-15 stitches evenly (fig. 4).

4. Turn needle so point is facing down and push all stitches toward eye. Spin to adjust petals if needed (fig. 5).

5. Pull needle through flower wiggling if needed. Knot becomes center of rose and each stitch becomes a folded petal. Using ends of ribbon, tie a knot on back of flower. Cut, leaving 3″ ribbon tails (fig. 6).

Kari’s Quick Folded Peonies

With the softly rounded petals, these peonies are a slightly larger flower with unlimited possibilities. Finished flowers are approximately 1-1/4″ in diameter.


  • 7 mm cream silk ribbon (26″ per rose)
  • #24 chenille needle

Stitching Peonies

1. Thread needle and tie a knot in the ribbon 3″ from eye of needle.

2. Take a stitch down and back up across ribbon close to knot (fig. 7).

3. Move forward 1″ along ribbon length taking another stitch and always angling needle in same direction across ribbon. Keep all stitches on needle as you work (fig. 8).

4. Continue stitching along ribbon, spacing 12-15 stitches evenly (fig. 9).

5. Turn needle so point faces down and push all stitches toward eye. Spin to adjust petals if needed (fig. 10).

6. Pull needle through flower, wwiggling if needed. The knot becomes the center of the peony and each stitch becomes a looped petal. Using ribbon ends, tie a knot on back of flower. Cut, leaving 3″ tails (fig. 11).

Attaching Flowers to Fabric

To attach flowers to fabric, thread each ribbon tail onto needle and take through fabric, spacing stitches 1/4″ apart. Tie ribbon tails together on fabric back. Add sparkle by sewing seed beads close to rose center.

ribbon flower

Kari Mecca is the designer of Kari Me Away children’s clothing designs. Visit her website at KariMeAway.com to view her complete line of patterns, sewing supplies, kits and more!

Don’t miss Kari’s whimsical products below and click here to explore more in our online shop.

Kari Mecca will introduce you to essential tools and products to make applique fun and EASY in her Whimsical Applique video workshop!

kari mecca

Opening the pages of Kari Mecca’s More Sewing with Whimsy book is like lifting the lid of a treasure box! It’s overflowing with cute projects featuring flirty flounces, waving bias, spaghetti appliqué and more.


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