Monthly Archives: September 2017

Valentine Heart Dresden Cushion


Free Pattern from

I did say that I was hooked on the Dresden Plate block design!
After a browse on the internet I found the pattern for this delightful 'Valentine' Dresden block free on the website.
I knew that I wanted to use stripes to radiate from the centre of the design and the only narrow striped fabric I could find in my stash was this 100% cotton which has been overprinted with some 'crazy' chickens. In the finished result I quite like the 'picasso-esque' nature of how the design has come out.
The block is easy to make providing that you ensure you keep to a ¼ inch seam allowance. Once the blades had been stitched together I backed the block with some plain White cotton and with right sides together, stitched around the outside. I turned through using the centre before applying the central heart motif. The block was then appliqued onto some plain Pink polyester cotton fabric. 
I used some bias binding to make the piping which I prefer to plain cushions. This cover has an envelope closure on the reverse.
The finished cover is 15 inches square and has a 16 inch polyester-filled pad.

In the Pink – Catherine’s Dresden Plate Block

I did say that I was hooked on this block. My sister, Catherine visited over the weekend and I took the opportunity to show her how to make this delightful design. We chose a selection of Pink/Red cotton prints together with some plain White from my stash and got stitching!

A couple of hours later we had a completed cushion cover with envelope back. Unfortunately, time was running short and we did not have sufficient time to insert a pad but Catherine has returned home with a set of templates and inspired to have a go herself.

Next step is to make the heart-shaped Dresden, the pattern for which I found as a free download on the website.

Half Dresden Peg Bag

I did say that I was hooked on this new (to me) patchwork block. Today I played around with some scraps and made a new peg bag. This project is also being promoted as a half-day class at New Threads Quilt Shop but before it is listed on the internet I need to make a ‘master’ version of the bag.

I have learned quite a few tricks by making this one and I look forward to using it. I guess that once I have ‘finessed’ the design it will be a useful project to give as Christmas presents (oops there’s that C word again!).

Dresden Plate Block with a Difference

On Monday at the Franklins P&Q class we discovered the Dresden Plate block with a difference. Since the class I have trawled the internet and found several iterations of this style. I have never made a Dresden Plate block before but now I am hooked. You can expect to see many more – in fact I have even offered to tutor a class!

This is my first attempt. The outer ring of ‘blades’ is made using scraps from a previous quilt project. The central ‘star’ is in plain Calico. The block is applied to the backing fabric of plain Calico using a neat straight stitch. The centre circle of print fabric has been lightly padded before application. Next step is to pipe the cushion cover in the Green print and apply an envelope back.


Goldhawk Charcoal Paolina Top

As mentioned at the end of my previous post, there was just enough fabric left over from Kwik Sew K3915 for me to squeeze out a Paolina top. By reducing the length of the sleeves and then adding a cuff I have even managed to get a long sleeved version. Other than that there is not a lot to say about this make. You have all seen the many, many Paolina tops that I have made. This Charcoal print will be ideal for the coming cold weather, worn with Grey Leggings or trousers and topped with a Grey print scarf. 

Having gone off plan, now I am continuing with making some samples for the workshops and classes that I will be tutoring in October through to Christmas. There I said it – Christmas is coming but I won't say any more until at least November!

Goldhawk Charcoal Top – Kwik Sew K3915

KWIK SEW K3915 View A

Back in the Summer (remember when the sun was shining?) my friend and I took a bus ride to the Goldhawk Road. We browsed several shops and bought 3 lengths of fabric. I have made up the 2 lengths that I purchased and since then this (3rd) length of Charcoal Grey printed jersey has sat in my stash waiting for the overlocker to be threaded up with dark thread. That day has dawned and so this morning I cut out version A of Kwik Sew K3915.

I have previously made up this pattern in an ‘autumnal print’ for me but this version was to be for Adrienne. Stitching was fairly straightforward. I was prepared for the ‘fiddly’ part of the gathered collar which all comes together at a V-point. Again I have omitted the decorative fabric button loops and buttons – as far as I can see they really do not serve any purpose at all other than to add even more layers of fabric in an already ‘congested’ area!

I was very pleased with the sleeve cuffs on the Elmira wrap cardigan and have therefore repeated this method on the sleeves of the top. Completion was with a simple hem of twin-needle stitching.


Adrienne purchased 2 metres of fabric and I was pleased to discover that there was sufficient left over to cut a Paolina top for me. Result!

Fortunately as the fabric is a jersey, the top stretched to fit my mannequin but I hope that it also fits Adrienne!

Rose Pink ‘Paolina’ Top

Rose Pink ‘Paolina’ Tee Top

I know that I keep saying I will change the thread on my overlocker – well now I have. But, before I did so, I made yet another Paolina short sleeved top! Those of you that read my blog on a regular basis will be well and truly sick of reading about this top but it is a quick, easy sew that takes just a bare 1 metre (in this case just 30 inches!) of wide width fabric.

30 inches was all that I had left after making the Elmira ballet wrap cardigan. Whilst the overlocker and sewing machine were both still threaded with appropriate coloured thread- why not finish using this pretty pink fabric with a top?

There is really no more to be said regarding the construction. A very, very easy sew which would have been even quicker if the twin needle stitching had been better. I did manage to resolve the issue (sort of – that particular twin needle has now been disposed of) and now with the overlocker threaded up with Black thread it is onwards and upwards for Autumn sewing!

Claret Speckle print ‘Paolina’ Tee top

I really need to change the threads on my Juki overlocker. Just before I do, I found this remnant length of Claret speckle print that I bought for just £4.92 from The Textile Centre and wondered if there was sufficient for a short sleeve tee top. The fabric is a viscose/elastane jersey, very lightweight and ‘slinky’.

Claret Speckle Viscose/Elastane Jersey

I located my Paolina (Paola hack) tee top pattern and with some very careful layout of the pieces was able to cut a short sleeve version from this length of fabric.

After an hour or so of stitching I have a new top. There is my standard neckband, twin needle stitching at the hems and a shaped hemline. A great result – a unique and very comfortable garment.

Claret Speckle print Paolina Top

Elmira Ballet Wrap Cardigan from Seamwork

Rose Pink Viscose/Spandex Jersey from Sherwoods Fabrics

Inspired by a wrap top worn by Lisa Comfort of Sew Over It, I purchased 2.5 metres of this lovely Rose Pink printed jersey from Sherwoods Fabrics. In their sale, the fabric was just £4.99 per metre and would be ideal as a wearable toile. For the pattern I chose ‘Elmira’ using my subscription to Seamwork magazine.

Elmira Ballet Wrap Cardigan

Here is the description from their website:-

If you’ve been looking for the perfect, multi-season cardigan, then look no further. Elmira is a cropped, fitted ballet wrap that has you covered in all four seasons. In a lightweight jersey, Elmira is just right for summer and spring. In fall and winter, a medium weight sweater knit or French terry enables Elmira to adapt to your changing wardrobe. With each season and wardrobe combination, Elmira has you covered.

According to the measurement chart, I fitted exactly into a 2X and this is the size that I prepared. As the front bodice and the waist ties need to be cut 4 times, I copied those two pattern pieces again so that I could lay out all pattern pieces in one go. Following the layout meant that I had approximately 30 inches x 60 inches wide of leftover fabric that I will try and use for a basic tee top or if there is insufficient yardage, a Savannah Camisole, also from Seamwork.

I followed the construction method to the letter and I am pleased with the end result, especially the double layer for the bodice fronts and the cuffs on the sleeves. There are however, a couple of things to be changed for my next make.

The overall fit of the cardigan is fine but I find the ties are too long. Next time dependent on the weight of the fabric, I will reduce their length. I found the method for attaching the front bodices to the back rather ‘clumsy’. In future I will enclose the back bodice shoulder seam between the two layers of each bodice front. Also, I do not like the internal fastening of two small buttons and thread loops. I will find an alternative for that.

My Elmira Ballet Wrap Cardigan in Rose Pink

I have a particular fancy at present for soft pink. I need to check out my wardrobe and find a dress or skirt to compliment my new cardigan so that I can wear it at least of couple of times before Autumn sets in with a vengeance!

So that is item 2 of my list completed, now onto the next.

Sewing Plans for September 2017

It is not unusual for me to set goals which for one reason or another are not achieved. In August, although things started well, unfortunately I lost my ‘sewing mojo’ when my cat of 14 years became seriously ill. However I did complete 8 projects which is not bad and I hope to be able to ‘catch up’ with some of the projects this month.

In addition to selfish sewing I have been asked to run some more sewing classes and workshops for the end of this year and early Spring 2018 so will need to spend some time making samples and preparing the worksheets.

I still have the jersey top to make for a friend and the Cobra and Corsage printed cotton lawn to make up. I have changed my mind about the project for the sewing print linen-look cotton and will now use this to recover the chair in my sewing room.

Therefore on my new ‘to do’ list are:-

1.Sewing print linen-look seat covering

2.Pink floral print jersey ‘Elmira’ ballet wrap cardigan

3.Dark print viscose jersey for Kwiksew 3915 for a friend

4.Cobra and corsage cotton lawn dress

5.Lewis & Irene dark background printed cotton ‘Mandy’ or ‘Kitty’ dress

6.Samples for sewing workshops.

All this should keep me busy!