What to do if Your Dresden Plate Won’t Lie Flat?

Help is at Hand!

You’ve followed the directions to the letter and cut out you Dresden blades using the special template / ruler and rotary cutter. The quarter inch foot was on your machine and you’ve sewn them together ever so carefully and STILL your finished plate won’t lie flat?

It’s enough to throw the patchwork away once and for all and many people have discarded a lot of work (and fabric) because of these annoyingly wavy blocks. It doesn’t matter how much you iron it, you’ll flatten one side and the other starts to ripple instead and the more you try to iron it you’ll probably be stretching the fabric, which will make the matter worse.

But Dresden plates can give the most pleasing results and are very versatile with the variations available that can be incorporated into your projects, if you can only figure out the problem? But they are almost impossible to applique onto background fabric if they just won’t lie flat!

So what can be done instead?

There is a lot of information out there on how the angles all have to add up to 360 degrees of course and how accuracy at every stage is needed, but nothing on what to do with the wavy block in your hand and how to fix it, so I looked at the problem for a while and came up with this:

Wherever a fabric blade appeared to naturally rise or want to overlap another, I gently finger pressed it first. Then when I was happy with the position I pressed it with the iron.

You need to do this in one or two areas around the plate to even it out gradually around the whole piece. The crease lines are going to be the stitching lines. I stitched mine in red so that you can see more easily where I made the adjustments. It is only a matter of taking in the blades (by millimetres), here and there and not down the whole side of the blade, but only partially if that’s all it needs.

Your blades might need taking in near the outer edge of the plate, or they may need taking in near the inner edge, at the centre circle. Just work with where your blades needs adjusting. I have added two pins in the photo below to show where the overlapping fabric is. By taking in blades a little at both sides, it helps to keep the points of the blades central too.

Once sewn and pressed it is hard to tell that the adjustments have even been made.

The plate will flatten out and you can now attach it onto your background fabric.

I found this method great for solving the initial problem. Obviously it is best to get to the route cause of the inaccuracy for future Dresden plate making, but I hope this helps to keep your sanity in the meantime and to carry on creating?

Let me know how this works for you if you were having the same problem?


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