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Thread: Beginner Dresden Attempt Question

  1. #1
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    Beginner Dresden Attempt Question

    I think I'd like to make a giant Dresden as a Christmas tree skirt, but I've never sewn one before.

    Should I start at a more "regular" size to get some practice, or will a giant version be easier?

    (It doesn't connect all the way around for a tree skirt pattern - you leave one seam unsewn to get it around the tree, so I think that's already a little easier than the regular pattern).

  2. #2
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    I think the larger would actually be easier. They aren't hard at all. Are you following a pattern or winging it?
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

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Size:  838.8 KB I made a Dresden Table Runner using three plates. I had no trouble getting it to lay flat following the directions on the plastic template for how many "blades" to use. I think if you get the angles correct you should have no trouble with it laying flat since the blades don't have to meet. Good luck!

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    Find a free Dresden Plate blade template on the net and use a sheet of wrapping paper to extend the lines to make a longer blade template. If you want wider blades, just put 2 templates together.

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    This isn't a dresden but a free pattern that might work for you too.

    https://www.patemeadows.com/Tree-Ski...11_ep_106.html

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    ​Rhonda, that is a very interesting way to do a Dresden type tree skirt. The finished petal could be quilted and attached for an interesting look.

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    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    From the Dresdens I have made I have to use a full 1/4" seam (a few seams have to be a thread over) to have a flat one.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Find a free Dresden Plate blade template on the net and use a sheet of wrapping paper to extend the lines to make a longer blade template. If you want wider blades, just put 2 templates together.
    With this excellent idea, I think I’ll wing it. Thanks, Tartan

    I’m still deciding about colour scheme and pointy vs. curved edges. This is why I have to start planning in December!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
    From the Dresdens I have made I have to use a full 1/4" seam (a few seams have to be a thread over) to have a flat one.
    Thank you! I’m still not the most accurate with my piecing, and usually have to ease things a little when I put rows together, to make my points line up. (I should do the washi-tape trick and mark my seam line). I’ll keep this in mind and do my best not to get smaller-than-scant-1/4” seams.

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Because you will be sewing on the bias, I highly recommend heavily starching the fabric before you cut the pieces. This will help stabilize the edges, making them less likely to stretch and ripple while you sew.

  11. #11
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    I'd use a 9 or 10 degree ruler and make it like a circle quilt, with one spot open.

  12. #12
    Super Member Maureen NJ's Avatar
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    I did a 48” tree skirt with a 9 or 10 degree ruler. Easy to do. I cut the binding on the bias. Like how it turned out. I like the thin blades because it can be overlapped in the back and it is not noticeable. Mine is the red one. I made it after the beautiful gold one which was posted here years ago.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhonda K View Post
    This isn't a dresden but a free pattern that might work for you too.

    https://www.patemeadows.com/Tree-Ski...11_ep_106.html
    Ronda K, I think a smaller version of this tree skirt would make a wonderful candle mat but use a filled in center.
    Thank you for the link.

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    This is my favorite tree skirt to make and sell. I vary the size of my 'plates' to allow me to use a different number of prints. I also do them large (36" - 40" across) and a smaller one (24") for a table top tree. I pillowcase stitch them all the way around only leaving the center unsewn. Then I turn it, topstitch the edge and do whatever quilting it asks for. I bind the center hole and leave about 20" tails to tie it around the tree. I have family members who have used my tree skirts for years, not washed them carefully (!), thrown them into boxes to store and have everything laid on them and they show no sign of wear! BTW - if you make the small one, you can always change your mind and applique center circles on it and have a centerpiece for your table.

  15. #15
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    My first Dresden was a huge one. What I learned-
    1. Use a start and stop fabric to keep your stitching smooth from one end to the other.
    2. If it does not lay flat, figure out where the adjustment is needed, and add a narrow seam to make the “volcano” problem disappear. Sew from the wide end to the narrow end, so you are not stretching your blades.
    3. Pin, pin, pin, pin! If your ends are not matching up, as long as they are just a little different, they can be trimmed even when you are finished with the plate. If they are way off, you are stretching too much as you feed the blades into the needle. Take the time to carefully remove the seam and try again. Starching well before beginning to cut the blades does make things easier.
    Good luck.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    Because you will be sewing on the bias, I highly recommend heavily starching the fabric before you cut the pieces. This will help stabilize the edges, making them less likely to stretch and ripple while you sew.
    Okay, thanks!

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    Maureen, your tree skirt is gorgeous, and I love the idea of letting it overlap.

    klswift, I'm not sure what pillowcase stitching is ... I tried a quick search here and on google, but the words are so common that I can't figure it out ... is it like a french seam?

    madamekelly, thank you so much for sharing what you learnt but I have to check, what is a start and stop fabric? Is it one that has a pattern repeat? or is that when you put some fabric through the sewing machine first, and don't cut it off, so the threads are all contained?

    It's such a joy to be a part of this forum, thanks everyone for your assistance and suggestions

  18. #18
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Put a little piece of doubled fabric through the needle first, and at the end. For long seams I use two, one at the beginning, and one at the end, or in between if I am “assembly line” sewing. To see how assembly line sewing works, go to YouTube and search for “Eleanor Burns, assembly line sewing”.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

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