What can I make with pre-Quilted Fabric?

What can I make with pre-quilted fabric?

We’ve just had in a delivery of the most gorgeous Nani Iro pre-quilted double gauze, and already we’re wondering about all the lovely things we can make with this pre-quilted fabric!  The options are endless, but as it’s a little unusual, we decided to put together a quick run-down of ideas for you.

Quilted jacket

Whether it’s to wear indoors or out, a quilted jacket in Nani Iro is perfection.  We think the Grainline Studios Tamarack Jacket would be a perfect pattern for this.  In fact, Jen at Grainline has already put together a post to help you use a pre-quilted fabric for this.

Tamarack Jacket by Grainline Studio
Tamarack Jacket by Grainline Studio

The particular fabrics we have in would also work really well for baby clothes.  The Oliver + S Lullaby Layette Jacket would be adorable!

Lullaby Layette Jacket
Lullaby Layette Jacket by Oliver + S

Baby Booties!

Baby Booties Free Tutorial
Baby Booties Free Tutorial

We also think you could use one of our free tutorials, our baby booties!  You’ll want to bind around the edges to cover the raw edges, but I’m pretty sure it will work!

Simple quilt/ mat

Use some satin/ silky bias binding to bind the edges of a metre of this lovely fabric, and you’ve got yourself the most easy quilt in history.  Perfect for baby gift giving!

Baby Sleep Sack

You’ve only got to look at Pinterest to get inspired for this one.  How beautiful will this be in the pastel colourful pocho?

Bags

We love this Puffy Tote tutorial by Purl Soho!  Simple and easy, this effective tote will give you comfort and use – fill it up and give it a squeeze whenever you need a hug!

Picture by Purl Soho - Puffy Tote
Picture by Purl Soho – Puffy Tote

We’d love to know what you’d do with it – what ideas do you have?

Top tips on how to print, cut & tape a PDF Sewing Pattern

How to print, cut, and tape PDF sewing patterns.

Top Tips on how to print, cut, and tape a PDF sewing pattern!
Top Tips on how to print, cut, and tape a PDF sewing pattern!

If, like me, you spend your evenings surfing Instagram, Pinterest, and the other corners of the Interweb for inspiration of things to make, you’ve probably been struck by that impulse buy where a new digital sewing pattern just somehow falls into your inbox because you need to make it – like, now.   But then you’re faced with a 726 page document, that somehow you need to make into just 1 page, and somehow the inspiration fades slightly.

Is that just me?  Actually I’m much better at this now – I’ve done it often enough that the fear is more that my naughty dog will run away with one of the pages than problems putting it together.  So, just in case you need some tips too, here’s my top tips on how to put a PDF pattern together.

You will need:

Printer!
PDF File!
Tape (I like to use a cheap washi tape or masking tape)
Scissors and/ or rotary cutter
Ruler

Printing

The first thing to know is that you need to print your PDF to a certain size.  Now, don’t panic – the designer will have made their file just the right size, you just need to make sure your printer is set to print at ‘Actual Size’, or 100%.  Sometimes, you may have a little box on your print settings called something like ‘Scale to fit’ – and you need to make sure this box is NOT checked.

These days, digital sewing pattern designers sometimes throw in some fancy options, such as a layered version, where you can print only the size that you want, or a copyshop version.  We’re going to ignore all of these, and just go for the straight forward print option.

To save paper I quite often don’t print out the instructions – I can have these open on my ipad, so why waste paper?  I also, especially with children’s patterns where there’s a couple of different garment options, scroll down to the pages the precise garment I want to make is, and just select those to print.  This is easier with some patterns than others, but you do need to make sure you don’t miss any pieces.  I recently made the reversible jacket from the  Oliver + S Lullaby Layette, and from a document of 47 pages, I printed 9.

PDF Sewing Pattern

On one of the first pages of your document you’ll see a box with a size specified in it.  To save printing a bunch of scrap paper that’s all scaled to the wrong size, you might find it worth printing out that page and checking it’s the right size.  You want to measure that box, and check it’s the same size as it says it should be.

PDF Sewing Pattern
796 pages of pattern. Approximately.

So – if you’re all set up and ready to go, press print! You’ll probably end up with a chunk of paper that looks something like this.

Here, I’ve printed out the Jennifer Lauren Handmade Hunter Tank – check it, it’s totally cute.  I’m aiming to make it part of my summer wardrobe.

Cutting

This digital pattern has a border around the page, and page numbers, but you’ll find each designer uses a slightly different method, usually specifying a layout in the instructions, and/ or page numbers in the corners of the page.

If a pattern has a border around it, I usually trim 2 sides of the page.  I make sure it’s the same 2 sides on each page, so I can use the other non cut bit as a base for the overlap between pages.  You can see if you look closely, you can see the shadow below here where I’ve cut the right side and overlaid it on the left side of another.

PDF sewing patterns
Overlapping pattern pieces.

I do this to all of my pages to start off with, before laying them out.  It makes the process smoother later.

I use a quilter’s ruler and rotary cutter to cut these straight lines out – it speeds the process no end, although if you have a guillotine, that’d work too!

PDF Sewing Pattern
A rotary cutter is a good way to ensure you keep your lines straight!

Taping

Other people have favourite methods as to what sort of tape they use – my personal favourite is actually a washi tape.  The reason I like this, is that it’s fairly re-positionable.  If I stick wrong, I can just peel it up and start again.  It doesn’t hurt that it also looks pretty. You can pick up fairly cheap bulk packs on ebay.

You might find it useful to anchor your pages down with a weight – I use anything I have to hand – my phone, a mug, my rotary cutter.  It just stops me accidentally knocking one of the pages when I have my fingers covered in tape.

PDF Sewing Pattern
Use a weight to keep your pages from flapping!

Start taping your lines.  It’s best to look at the pattern lines and tape the actual pattern pieces rather than the blank space – that’s just a waste of tape! However you might need to sometimes tape blank space as an anchor for the whole. Concentrate on pattern piece edges, so you don’t have any loose flaps.

It’s wise to use your ruler – especially on trim pieces and grainlines to check they’re still straight

PDF Sewing Pattern
Use your ruler to make sure straight lines are still straight!

Try to stick your tape on straight.  See this tape below is a little wonky?  A bit of wonk like that can throw off lines massively a bit further up.  The reason I like the washi tape comes into play here – I can peel it off and stick it on straight.

PDF Sewing PAttern
If your tape gets wonky…

PDF sewing pattern

I like to put a tab of tape on the back of each place in a pattern piece where 4 pages intersect.

Once all your papers are stuck together, you can cut out the actual pattern.  Figure out your size – not from the size number, but from your measurements! – and either trace or go straight to cut out the size.

PDF sewing pattern
Cutting a PDF sewing pattern

Again I use a rotary cutter to cut out the pattern. The smaller the cutter the easier it is to get around the tight curves.  I’m using a 45mm blade here, but I often use a 28mm and it’s just so much easier!

pdf sewing pattern
Cutting a PDF sewing pattern

Once you’re done, you’re ready to go.  If I’m putting it away for a later use, I like to fold all the small pieces and tuck them into a bigger piece, store them in an envelope, and write the name of the pattern and size on the envelope.  I also write on the envelope how many pieces the sewing pattern has, so I don’t lose one along the way.  pdf sewing patternI’d like to know how you guys store your sewing patterns?  What’s your preferred method?

Outback Wife – Gertrude Made Barkcloth

A gorgeous dress made in Elaine Purple - Outback Wife - Gertrude Made
A gorgeous dress made in Elaine Purple by Gertrude Made

Outback Wife – Gertrude Made.  Outback Wife is the debut collection of Cathi Bessell-Browne, the hands and heart behind Gertrude Made.

Outback Wife - Gertrude Made
Mary dress – we think the Christine Haynes Emery Dress would work perfectly for this!

I was lucky enough to spend some time with Cathi back in February, and listen to her story. Cathi lives in the rural Australian outback, and started making dresses from vintage barkcloth to help pay for her daughter’s healthcare. The support that the online community gave her led her to create this gorgeous collection with Ella Blue, due in to us in May 2017. This fabric is inspired by the beautiful floral barkcloth fabrics of the 1940’s and 1950’s, and each detail of this collection has been meticulously and seriously considered to create a range with an authentic vintage voice. Cathi wants to create fabric that’s not throwaway – you’ll love it today, and you’ll love it in years to come. Continue reading “Outback Wife – Gertrude Made Barkcloth”

Denim Roll Top Backpack Tutorial

I’ve been pondering for a good while over this Robert Kaufman Selvedge Denim – ever since it came in late last year.  On the one hand, this denim is thick, sturdy, durable, gorgeous colour, and has that awesome selvedge.  On the other hand, it’s super thick and sturdy, and has that awesome selvedge that you definitely want to keep – and it’s quite narrow.  What on earth could I make with it?

Continue reading “Denim Roll Top Backpack Tutorial”