Saturday, May 14, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge: Vintage Dresses - How I Paper Piece

It's cold and overcast here this morning.  Drama Teen and I are in the big city to do some shopping today, so no stitching for me till tomorrow.  Though I do get Krispy Kreme donuts for breakfast this morning, so it's not all bad.  

I don't have much progress on the Vintage Dresses to post for today, but a couple of weeks ago Diane, who blogs at Quilting is Blissful, asked me to show how I was prepping my fabric pieces for paper piecing.  She thought it looked different than how she's seen it done before.  I've never taken a class in paper piecing, so my methods are taken from a hodgepodge of quilting books and YouTube videos.  I have no idea if it's proper or not, but the system works for me.  

Here's the starting point for orange dress number 2:



Moving left to right, the fabric for the dress, the paper piecing pattern, and "templates" cut from a "sacrificial" copy of the paper piecing pattern. I keep the colored fabric templates separate from the white background pieces using Ziploc bags.  It just makes it easier for me to be sure I get all the pieces on the right fabric. Some of the pieces for these dresses are very tiny.  

I'll lay out all the pieces that need to be cut close to the fabric I'm using.  I place the fabric right side down and then lay the templates facing up, so that I'm cutting the pieces so the right side of the fabric faces away from the front of the paper pattern pieces.  


The background fabric might not have been the best choice to show this, but it's what I've got pictures of.  You'll note that some of my templates have a seam allowance included and some don't.  I'm too lazy to retrace all these pieces (there are 4 dresses and I'd much rather sew).  So to cut each piece, I'll add 1/8" to a side with the seam marked and cut there.  


 If it is a side that doesn't include the seam allowance, I move the ruler out 3/8" inch.  



I add the extra 1/8" to be sure I've got a little extra to work with when assembling the pattern. My pieces aren't always exactly cut to the shape, it depends on the scrap of fabric I'm working on, I'm not above taking cutting off the odd chunk of fabric for one of the smaller pieces without cutting each side to fit the piece. Ensuring that the piece is big enough to cover all the seam allowances is really all I worry about.  Once all my pieces are cut, I pile them in one of my white baskets so they don't get lost on my sewing table. I keep the template with the piece until it's been added to the paper pattern.  Then the templates go back into the Ziploc bag.  



When it's time to start sewing each section of the paper pattern, I center the fabric piece on the pattern, ensuring that the fabric overlaps each seam by at least a 1/4" and then pin it in place.  Then I'll turn back the pattern along the seam to be sewn and trim the seam allowance to 1/4".  



Then I line up the next piece along the cut edge, right sides together, then fold the pattern over the new piece to be sure that there is enough fabric sticking out on each edge to cover the seam allowances.  I forgot to get a picture of that step, but I think you can get the idea.  Once I'm sure the piece is aligned properly, I pin and stitch. 

Unfortunately there hasn't been much stitching on Vintage Dresses this week.  Hopefully, I'll have a finished dress to show off next week.  I will get to sew tomorrow.  But for now I need to get Drama Teen moving so we can go get our sugar high before we head off to the mall.  

You can find lots of green scrappy goodness over at Soscrappy.  Hopefully I'll actually have some green scrap dresses to show off before we hit the end of the month. 

10 comments:

  1. Where can I find the Vintage Dress patterns?

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  2. Thanks for the tutorial! I had never thought to make the templates from a sacrifical copy of the pattern that you cut up. That probably helps to not waste so much fabric, which I definitely do when I paper piece!

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  3. Oh boy...you're doing it the smart way. The thing I find so frustrating about paper-pieicng is that I'm always cutting the pieces just a little too short. Doing it this way would eliminate that problem. Don't know why I didn't think of it myself. Nice tutorial.

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  4. Great method!! The extra work involved eliminates waste, and also gives you a nice little kit set up and ready to sew when you may only have a few minutes to stitch. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Several of the pros use a similar process so you should be proud. I'd much rather start with a similar shaped scrap than a large chunk. Thanks for the tips.

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  6. Thanks for the good tutorial. If I am tempted to try it, I will check it out again. You do such a good job with them.

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  7. Your method for paper piecing looks very much like how I like to do it. Your dresses are looking wonderful!

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  8. Thanks for sharing your process for the Vintage Dress paper piecing. I won't be joining you in those, but may try my hand at Bonnie Hunter's Wild and Goosey.

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  9. Great method, the dresses are looking good!

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  10. great tutorial. The dresses are so cute.
    I had problems with the internet, from Saturday to Tuesday morning, almost lost the RSC linky party.
    Have a great week.

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