I have wanted to try my hand at paper piecing for some time now but always felt a little intimidated by the small pieces and perfectly matching corners. I even have several paper piecing patterns that I’ve downloaded and never sewn. If you search the internet you can find tons of free options for paper piecing patterns, ranging in all experience levels.
My daughter loves butterflies!! She probably asks me once a week if I will make her a butterfly dress. Seriously, how can you say no to mama-made requests!?! She picked out this fun butterfly fabric for me to use but I wanted something more and that’s when the light bulb went off. The bodice of Chloe is perfect for embellishing with appliqués so why not a small paper piecing project?
I found this pattern for a 5″ butterfly from Lilly Ella. When you download her file there are three different butterflies you can choose from. This one only had 6 sections instead of 8 like the other two so I felt it might be a little easier for a first timer like myself.
If you have never paper pieced before I suggest printing the pattern on card-stock for more stability. This will help your paper not to tear in case you need to rip the stitches and try again. Cutting your fabric pieces 1/2-1″ larger then the entire block ensures there is enough overlap for your seam allowance. I marked each fabric block with the corresponding number on the pattern so I didn’t get confused with it’s placement. It also helps to shorten your stitch length to 1.0 or 1.3. This will make it easier to pull away the paper from your block later.
The 5″ square worked well for this 5T bodice, however you may need to use smaller pattern for smaller sizes. This is really just personal preference. After my paper piecing was completed, I added interfacing to the block and sewed four large strips to each side. Then I cut bodice and completed the pattern per instructions.
I’m not sure why it too me so long to try paper piecing. Paper piecing doesn’t have to be just for quilts. It was such a fun project and added so much detail to the Chloe. Next time I may try adding it some to the skirt as well.
Well, that’s all folks! I hope my piecing project tips were helpful and inspired you to try something outside of the box! Thanks for taking a peek!! Xoxo. Becca.