The Free Motion Quilting Project: Lucy's Getting a Make Over!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lucy's Getting a Make Over!

It's Wednesday and time to show you what I've really been working on this week! Today I haven't been quilting much because of sorting out tax stuff (no fun!), but I do plan to get back into the studio today to work a bit more on Lucy:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
free motion quilting | Leah Day
What in the world have I done to her?! Lucy is a very, VERY old dressmaker dummy that I picked up at an antique store back in high school. She's been with me through a lot, but that doesn't mean I've used her that much.

The biggest problem was she wasn't ever exactly my size, and she was all open and gappy, so nothing ever looked that great on her in the first place.

Turns out the solution has been staring me in the face forever! I've been working through the Craftsy class The Couture Dress with Susan Khalje and she happened to mention covering an adjustable dress form with batting and fabric.

Oh man! I have batting! I have fabric! Let's cover this girl up!

So that's what I'm doing today - carefully measuring myself, then adjusting Lucy to be exactly the same size or a little smaller, then creating a puffy cover out of craft felt (I could use batting, but I have bolts of this stuff I need to use up) and then covering that with a smooth layer of cotton fabric.

So far it's mostly just a lot of pinning and fiddling, but I hope by the end, I'll have a smooth dress form I can use to successfully size clothing properly. I'm really considering the Craftsy class on Fashion Draping as well as Katrina Walker's class on Decorative Seams. Katrina was filming her class at the same time I was and we really hit it off talking about sewing, quilting, and raising sheep of all things!

Why this sudden interest in making clothes? Well, the truth is I started sewing garments long before quilting and occasionally I need a "fix" of sewing a new shirt or skirt.

Unfortunately this fix is never quite satisfying because nothing I make ever fits right or looks as good as I originally planned. I'm always hunting after that illusive "perfect" set of garments I could make again and again with gorgeous fabrics to have an amazing closet full of nicely fitting clothes.

In reality, I've never made something I really enjoy to wearing often and I'm hoping learning to fit and customize my pattern using a muslin template from The Couture Dress will teach me what I need to know about this fitting process that I'm missing. And just because I'm enjoying it so much, here's a link to sign up for this class for 20% off the regular price!

Now I hear the sound of James upstairs starting to cough again. He's caught another cold and it sounds like it's time for more applesauce, water, and cuddling on the couch.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


  1. That is great idea.
    I had signed up for that class in December but haven't watched it yet.

    Quilting seems to be my priority right now.

    I do want to make some dresses for the summer though.

    Happy Quilting!

  2. I've also enjoyed sewing garments long before quilting! I recently signed up for Craftsy's Sewing with Knits by Meg McElwee. With 5 pieces to make with variations, its a value & so far, the 2 pieces I made fit perfect.
    Best Wishes to you & all your success! You are very talented!

  3. Aw. I have sick babies right now too and feel for you. Hope he recovers quickly! Sneak Mommy time in when he is sleeping :-)

  4. How exciting - getting into sewing clothing! I have studied with Susan quite a bit and she is wonderful in all aspects of her work. After sewing tons of clothes, I have recently become fascinated with quilting. There is always so much more to learn and enjoy!

  5. Fun! I'd love to read tips from someone with your garment sewing experience if you get the chance to post more about it.

    I've signed up for Barbara Deckert's class on Plus-Size Pattern Fitting & Design which has detailed instructions for making a dress form from brown paper packing tape, but having moved here last year I don't know many people in town, so I haven't found a helper yet to help me make one. Hope to get started soon!


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