Emily’s Dresden Foot Stool tutorial

We have such a treat for you this week! Emily from Strawberry Patch Ramblings whipped up a delightful Dresden foot stool with the cheerful, sunny new Lotus Pond collection by Rae Hoekstra. Emily’s tutorial is full of handy tips and the project features lots of lovely details. Yet another make that we just hate to send back!


Fabric Requirements:
½ meter for side of stool
½ meter for top and base of stool
Four fat eighths for Dresden blades
1 meter of underlining fabric
16” invisible zip
Scraps/stuffing for filling

Helpful notions:
Point turner
505 basting spray
Invisible zip foot

Make a Dresden blade template by drawing a line 3 ½” and mark the centre (1 ¾”) this will be your top line.

Make a mark 5 3/8” down from the top centre mark, draw a line 1 3/8” long centred over this mark, this will be your bottom line. Join up the top and bottom lines with diagonal sides to give you a blade!

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I like to transfer my template onto heavy card or plastic to make it more durable.

Make Dresden Plate

Using the template cut 16 blades from your fabrics.

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Fold the shape in half with right sides together and stitch along the wider top edge with a ¼” seam allowance.

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I like to chain piece mine to save time. Turn right way out using a point turner and press. Repeat for all other blades.

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Using a ¼” seam allowance join the blades first in pairs, then join these to make quarters and then halves, then finally join the two halves to complete the Dresden plate. Press seams open.

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Make Top Section

Using a compass or a ruler, draw a circle on paper with a radius of 9” (I used my quilting ruler and rotated it around making a series of small marks which I then joined up to make my circle).

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Cut out the circle to make your template, use this to cut one circle from your top fabric. Press the circle in half and then in half again to find the centre, then use this to line up the Dresden plate centrally on the top circle piece and pin/basting spray into place. Place on top of the underlining fabric and roughly cut around the circle. (Here you might like to use the 505 basting spray to hold all the layers together).

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Topstitch the Dresden plate in place.

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Use a basting stitch to secure the top fabric to the underlining.

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Trim away excess underlining.

Make Dresden Centre

Measure the circle in the centre of the Dresden, adding ¼” overlap all around. Mine measured 5 ¼”.

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Draw a circle of this size onto heavy card using a compass, cut out the template and cut a circle from fabric roughly ½” bigger.

Place the fabric on a piece of foil right side down with the cardboard template on top.

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Fold in the foil and press around the edges with an iron.

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When you open up the foil you will have nicely turned under edges. Pin in place in the centre of your Dresden and topstitch to hold down.

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Make Base Section

Take your large paper circle template and cut in half. Use one half to cut two semi circles from your base fabric, making sure that you add an extra ½” along the straight edge for the zip seam allowance when cutting out (I find it easiest to add this on with my quilting ruler than adjust the template). Roughly cut two semi circles from underlining.

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Baste the half circles onto your underling and trim excess. Using your preferred method insert the invisible zip along the straight edge in the centre, then close up the seam at either end.

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At this stage I like to tape the paper pattern back together to check my base section piece is the right size after inserting the zip, if you have used a ½” seam allowance when putting the zip in it should be fine but its good to check so that everything fits together well when assembling the foot stool.

Make Side Panel

From side panel fabric cut a rectangle 13” x WOF then subcut the remaining piece into 13” rectangles by whatever width you have left, I was able to cut three 13”x7” pieces as my half meter cut measured 20”.

Join all the pieces along the 13” sides, I finished with a piece 13” x 61 ½” approximately. Baste this onto underlining (you may need to piece your underlining also).

We have made a piece longer than required so we have plenty of ease to get around the circumference of our circle, and we will trim away the excess at the assembly stage.

Optional – Handle

Cut a rectangle 13” x 8” from fabric and underlining, baste together (I like to use spray baste) Fold in half along the length, then open out and fold edges in towards the centre crease and fold in half again, giving you a handle 13” x 2”, press well. Fold the short edges in by ½” and press.

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Topstitch around all four sides to enclose raw edges.

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Position the handle in the centre of the side panel and topstitch into place. I used a Box and X stitch pattern which I double stitched for strength as there will be quite a lot of weight in the foot stool when full.

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Pin the side panel in place around the edge of the top section.

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Sew in place using a ½” seam allowance and leave the first ½” of the side panel unsewn (to enable us to finish the side seam later). Sew all around until you near where you started, then fasten off leaving an inch or so unsewn.

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Bring the remaining unsewn edge up to meet the beginning edge, mark.

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Open out the unsewn edge and cut away the excess, ½” from where you made the mark. (The extra ½” will be the seam allowance.

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Finish the unsewn seam around the curved edge until you reach where you started (take care not to catch the side seam allowance)

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Bring together the side seam and sew with a ½” seam allowance. Take care not to catch the top seam when sewing near the top edge.

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Sew the base circle in with a ½” seam allowance, make sure the zip is open before doing so. I then triple stitched all my seams for security.

Turn the right way out and fill with stuffing of choice, I used a big piece of poly wadding in the top for shape and then filled the remainder with a black bag full of fabric scraps and trimmings which gave it a nice firmness. You could put these inside a pillowcase or similar for easy removal should you ever wish to wash the foot stool.





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