Monday, March 7, 2016

Sewing tutorial using a .studio free file


I have been experimenting different ways to mark fabric with my Silhouette. I've used the mark-b-gone pens successfully (the ones that disappear with water). But I was curious to see what I would get if I used the frixion gel pens. Guess what? It worked beautifully, maybe even better than with the mark-b-gone pen. I am sharing the pattern for this coaster as a .studio file, in case you would like to give it a try.

Materials used for 1 coaster (finished size is 4 3/4" x 4 1/8"):

  • silhouette cameo
  • silhouette pen holder
  • frixion gel pen
  • 1 square of solid fabric (for the back) measuring: 6" x 6" 
  • 1 square batting measuring: 6" x 6" 
  • 1 square of solid fabric (for center hexagon): 4" x 4"
  • 6 rectangles of assorted printed fabric: 1.5" x 3" 
  • coordinating thread
  • sewing machine

Instructions:

  • Open the file in Silhouette Studio. The squares and rectangles surrounding the hexagons and trapezoids represent the fabric. We don't want to mark those, so make sure you select them and choose the option "no cut". Go to cut settings and choose the option to add a material. I named mine "frixion on fabric" that way I know the exact settings that worked for me. Choose "sketch pen", speed 3 and thickness 14.

  • Now put your fabric on the mat with WRONG side up. Make sure you place each piece exactly as it appears in the file. Load the mat. On your computer click the button "send to Silhouette". And in a few minutes the fabric will be marked!

  • Cut around the marked line giving a 1/4" seam allowance.
  • Now it's piecing time! You could do this in your sewing machine, or by hand. I prefer to do this by hand because I can do it while the kids are playing. If they see me in my sewing machine they jump in and I can't get anything done. Make sure you use the smaller hexagon as the central piece (the bigger one is for the backing).

  • I know most people stitch hexies using the EPP method, but I just love the traditional hand sewing. Since all my fabric is marked it is really easy to line up the fabric and sew a running stitch along the line! I use a pin to mark the endpoint and backstitch the first as well as last stitches. I do about 1/8" stitches and bunch up about 6 of them before bringing up the needle (as though you were making a ruffle). Make a know and cut the threadI straighten the fabric and do a backstitch before proceeding. I hope this makes sense, it sounds way more difficult than it is!

  • Once the first side is stitched layer the second piece on top of the first (right sides together) and sew the seam that joins the 2 trapezoids. Backstitch the last stitch but do NOT cut the thread! 
  • Now turn the second trapezoid on top of the hexagon (refer to picture below). Make sure the seam lines are matching and stitch!
  • Repeat the process with the other four sides. Press the seams from the back like in the picture below. Did you notice the marking are all gone?!! That's the beauty of the frixion pens!
  • Now to assemble the coaster I followed this tutorial by Jessee Maloney, which I found to be very helpful. And this is what I ended up with!


This coaster is the perfect size for my IKEA mugs, however they are slightly small for a regular sized mug. The great thing about having a sewing pattern as a .studio file is that you can easily modify it and enlarge however much you'd like to. Just make sure sure all your shapes are selected as you do this. And if you do enlarge it, don't forget to review the amount of fabric you will need. It's really easy to figure that out, just check the "new" size of the squares and rectangles surrounding the hexagons and trapezoids.

Now it's your turn to tell me what if your favorite way to mark fabric! 




* This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase using the link I get a very small commission and the cost is the same to you. Thank you! 

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