Dresden Placemat Tutorial
This is my first sewing tutorial, so I hope it's ok and easy to understand. If anyone gets stuck, or I've missed out something vital, please let me know and I'll help as much as I can.
I've assumed you have the usual cutting mats, rotary blade and other sewing type equipment, but you'll also want to get the following bits together.
To make a set of 8 mats you will need:
- 160 of 5" high dresden 'slices' in various fabrics, I used 20 different fabrics and cut 8 slices from each 15" x 5" piece of fabric
- 8 central circle pieces 5" x 5" in various fabrics (circle templates are included in my Dresden Placemat Templates file, link below)
- 16 backing fabric pieces 13 x 7"
- Enough wadding for 8 circles approximately 13" diameter
- A dresden ruler (although if you don't have one, you can try searching for templates online)
- Placemat template with scalloped edges, you can download mine here: Dresden Placemat Templates
When I've done that, I take my first pile of 20 and lay them out, again just so I can check which fabrics will be sitting next to each other and so I'm happy with how it's going to look. Then I start sewing them together, pressing as I go. First into sets of 5, then two halves, and finally the two halves together.
Take two of the back fabric pieces, and placing them right sides together, sew a 1/2" seam from each side towards the centre, leaving a good 4" gap between them. (see the arrows in the photo) Then, open up the two pieces and press the seam to one side. This leaves us with a nice square-ish shape with a hole in the seam, which we'll use for turning later.
Next you'll need to cut your wadding to size, I cut around my scallop template, but as you can see from the second picture it meant that my wadding was only just big enough, so you'd probably be better cutting approximately 1/2" bigger than your actual dresden size. Take one piece of wadding and lay the first dresden plate face up on top it it.
Now you'll need the scallop template. Lay this on top of your placemat sandwich and mark around the scallops so that you have a sewing line to follow. Beware though of how you place your scallops. It looks best if the 'dips' of each scallop to line up with either the centre of a scallop blade or on the line where two blades meet. In the photo's above, you can see by the arrows I decided to line the scallop 'dips' up with the centre of a dresden blade. This bit can be a little fiddly, you might need to lift your backing up to check that things are lining up correctly. I even cut a little of my excess backing fabric away so I could line my scallops up more easily.
Then, carefully cut the excess fabric away, following the shape of the scallops and making sure you leave 1/4" seam. Then, very carefully, make a little cut from the edge of the fabric up to, but not through that sewing line in each of the scallop 'dips'. This will make sure your beautiful scallop shapes come out properly one you turn the mat around.
slip stitch (also called ladder stitch.)
I really, really hope I've made it clear enough and explained myself well. You know you can just ask me if you ned to though don't you?
Good luck making your placemats everyone and if you'd like to share the results, please come and post them on the 'Your Cherry Heart' Flickr group. I'd love to see what you've been up to and coo with delight!