english paper piecing

Please join me in welcoming Lisa to the blog today! She is from Switzerland and is here with a tutorial on how to do English paper piecing, which she was kind enough to take the time to do. Thanks Lisa for this wonderful tutorial!

English paper piecing

Hello fellow Oliver + S enthusiasts, this is Lisa from @sewwhatyoulove. Today I wanted to share a English paper piecing (epp) variation of the Ice Cream Dress I made for my daughter.

English paper piecing on the Oliver + S Ice Cream Blouse

Before I caught the “quilting virus” I did sew a lot of dresses for my girls. So one day I had the idea of combining my two loves by adding some quilty highlights into my garments. I would love you to join in and design your own piece.

English paper piecing on the Oliver + S Ice Cream Blouse

What you need:

  • Epp papers (I used “Tales of Cloth” pre-cut papers)
  • Cotton fabric scraps or fat quarters for the epp part, and yardage of matching fabric for the rest of the dress
  • Hand quilting thread pick a color that will blend in with your fabrics
    Light weight fusible interfacing
  • Glue stick (if you glue baste like I do)
  • Fabric scissors or rotary cutter, and a ruler
  • Hand quilting needle
  • Paper scissors
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine (to assemble the dress)
  • Pins

At first you need to choose what view you want to go with and what parts you would like to be paper pieced. I decided to make View C the blouse-length version of the dress with the optional matching pockets. And I decided to paper piece both the yoke and the pockets.
Select the yoke and pocket pattern pieces and get your epp paper shapes out. Now the fun of designing your own version can begin. Lay your pattern pieces flat on a table and cover them with your epp papers. I love pre-cut papers because you can just play around with the shapes until you love your layout.

English paper piecing

Once you’re happy with your layout you can start basting your pieces. I glue baste my pieces, but you can do it your preferred way. If you are a novice to the basting process, there are great videos on YouTube to help you.

Hint: Take a picture of your layout prior to the basting process. If the pieces get mixed up while basting, the picture can help you get them back into the right place.

English paper piecing

Once you are done basting you can start stitching your pieces together.

English paper piecing

English paper piecing

When you are done stitching all the paper pieces together take your pattern piece and see if it still fits on your epp piece or if you need to add a few more pieces.

English paper piecing

If it fits you can take the papers out and give it a good press with your iron. Now pat yourself on the shoulder because you accomplished the hardest part!

English paper piecing

English paper piecing

Next trace the outline of your yoke and pocket pattern pieces on light weight fusible interfacing and iron the interfacing on the wrong side of your pieced fabric. The interfacing will prevent your pieces from distortion.

Hint: When working with light weight fusible interfacing, I prefer to press rather then iron the interfacing on. I find pressing keeps the interfacing in the right shape.

English paper piecing

English paper piecing

Afterwards cut along the outside of your ironed interfacing and you have your epp highlights ready to be integrated into the dress pattern.

English paper piecing

English paper piecing

Congratulations you’ve just made an eyecatcher that everybody will absolutely love!

English paper piecing

English paper piecing

English paper piecing

If you have any questions along the way please don’t hesitate to ask!

English paper piecing on the Oliver + S Ice Cream Blouse

You might have seen the other two dresses I made with the same technique for Jodi’s Shapefamily Challenge, the Hide-and-Seek Dress and the Music Box Jumper. As you can see you can adopt this technique to a lot of Oliver + S patterns. I’m already thinking of all the opportunities for cute matching Christmas dresses.

English paper piecing on the Oliver + S Hide-and-Seek Dress and Music Box Jumper

Happy sewing to you!

Thank you so much,
xoxo Lisa

If you would like more ideas on what to do with yokes, visit our Ten Yoke Tutorials post.

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6 Comments

  1. Tamara

    Gorgeous! I love seeing the variety of ways we can utilise these patterns and with the variety of well known yet otherwise not associated with garment sewing techniques that are used to create beautiful one of a kind pieces. Fabulous work!

    1. Lisa @sewwhatyoulove

      Thank you so much Tamara, I hope you’ll join me and make one of those epp highlight dresses in the future!

  2. susan vh

    Finally a post to help my quilting friends wrap their heads about sewing for their grandchildren. I can see me having a workshop with them soon. Geesh!!! They all have grands or great grands they could be sewing for. Got to whip them into shape.

  3. Jennifer Fleske

    I just love how creative you can get with these one of a kind dresses! What a wonderful mom you are to construct such fun clothes for your children!

  4. Such a beautiful result!

  5. amanda

    Oh this is a very cute way of combining EPP. I can’t wait for a grand daughter. Thankyou for sharing

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