This is the first block in my new paper doll series. Please read my introduction to the series before starting this tutorial. You will find important information in that post entry regarding the download of necessary files and their approved uses.
First, you will need the following items to successfully complete the blocks in this series:
- Small print cotton fabrics
- Pastel fabric such as Kona cotton for background blocks
- Fusible stabilizer
- White satin 3/8″ ribbon for tabs
- Embellishments such as ric rac, ribbon, lace, etc.
- Embroidery thread
- Sharp short nose craft scissors
- Steam-A-Seam 2 Lite or other double sided fusible
- Card stock for applique templates
- Sharp thin-leaded pencil for transferring designs to fusible web
To construct block one:
Download these files from BOX in the right margin: 1_Frock Applique, 2_Low Skirt Applique, 3_Peter Pan Collar Applique
Roughly cut out the printed applique pieces and adhere them to card stock. Now cut them out true-to-shape. These are your templates.
Transfer the applique shapes to your fusible web by drawing around the edges with a sharp pencil. Follow package directions to determine which side of the fusible to draw on.
Peal away the paper side of your fusible and place the sticky side on the back of your fabric. Cut out your applique pieces with a sharp pair of craft scissors, carefully following the drawn outline. Set aside.
Cut a 7 ½-inch square from a solid pastel cotton fabric that coordinates well with the fabric prints you have chosen for your appliques. Starch and press. Partially back with a fusible tear-away stabilizer. You can find my favorite stabilizer for quilting purposes here.
Mark the center of your square background block. I also find it helpful to measure the height of the applique and place a small piece of tape at the top and bottom placement points. This insures that the applique will be centered correctly.
Peel away the paper backing on applique #1 (frock).
Position the frock on the background block.
Cut two 1 ¼″ sections from 3/8″ wide white satin ribbon. Fold in half and finger press. These are your tabs.
Place one folded tab on each side of the skirt by gently lifting the edge of the applique and tucking the raw edges underneath. Finger press the area to re-adhere the fusible.
Using back to front order, position the remaining applique pieces on the background block. For example, place the frock on the background square first, the low skirt second, and the collar third. Add embellishments as you go along. I chose to place a ribbon embellishment down the front of the frock.
You can cut away some of the frock that is under the low skirt to reduce bulk. Add any additional embellishments you would like to accessorize the outfit.
Take the block to your ironing center and covering it with a pressing cloth. Follow your fusible instructions for the setting and time in which you press the applique pieces in place.
Set up your sewing machine with embroidery thread and an open toe foot; loosen the upper tension slightly. Choose a nice decorative stitch and embroider the area where the lower skirt meets the frock. (It’s always a good idea to test your stitch on a sample fabric first to make sure the tension is correct and the stitch is to your liking.) If your machine does not have decorative stitches, this would be a good place for ric rac or some other embellishment.
Now sew a small blanket stitch around all the raw edges. I set my blanket stitch at 2.0mm width and 2.3mm length. Again, test the stitch on a sample fabric first. If your sewing machine does not have decorative stitches, simply sew a zig zag stitch around the edges.
Gently tear away the backing stabilizer.
Block one is complete! I hope you had as much fun as I did constructing this adorable block. Since many more wardrobe pieces will be offered in future block tutorials, you may want to place pieces #1-3 in a zip-lock bag for safekeeping. It won’t be long before you’ll be able to mix-and-match the pieces to create unique paper doll applique outfits.
Stay tuned for block two, which will be coming soon.