How to Add a Quilted Border Print

Girl wearing quilt dress

A lot of times I like to use an all over quilt design on my clothing.  But this time I decided to mix it up by creating a border on a dress.

I chose to use the Maggie Mae pattern by Shwin Designs partly because it comes with separate pieces just begging to be created into a quilt design, but mostly because I love everything about Shwin Designs patterns.  They’re trendy and unique and go together so well.

I had this gorgeous floral print on hand that has quite a few colors in it that I could easily match.

I went with a quarter square triangle quilt design.

Basically, I took my two 5″ squares and placed them right sides together.


Sew around the entire outside using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Cut in half vertically, horizontally and both ways diagonally.

Press seams open.

You should have half of a square (a triangle) with two triangles in it.

I wanted to place mine to look like diamonds, but you could get creative and arrange them whatever way looks best to you.

Arrange them on your design wall.

Sew the two halves of a square together.  Be sure to press your seams in opposite directions to reduce bulk.

Square up your blocks.  This part is so important.  It really helps each of your blocks fit together.

I sewed them into strips diagonally.

Then sewed those strips together, making sure to match your seams.

I needed three quilt pieces for this dress.  Two for the front and back bodices and one more for the trim along the bottom of the dress.

The pattern piece for this dress is made to be cut on the fold, so I traced it, flipped it over and traced the other way so that I had one complete front bodice.

Lay it over the quilt design and cut it out.

Trace the back bodice piece so you have two opposite pieces and cut those out of the quilt design as well.

Now cut those same pieces out of your regular fabric.

This pattern only lines the upper bodice and then has you fold the back bodice piece over before adding buttons.  I changed this slightly by lining the entire bodice and trimming the back bodice by 1/2″.

Cut out two lower front bodice pieces and four lower back bodice pieces (mirrored images).

Now sew the upper bodice to the lower bodice on both the outer (quilted) and lining pieces.

After that assembly is pretty basic.

Sew the front bodice and back bodice pieces together at the shoulder.  Repeat for the lining pieces.

Now place the lining over the main bodice matching shoulder seams and pin around the neckline and down the back.  Pin the armscye.

Sew along the areas you just pinned.  Clip curves.  I like to use a pinking blade in my rotary cutter.  It makes this so quick to do.

Turn right side out and press.

Line up the sides of the bodice and sew together.

I chose not to add any additional quilt stitches to this design because I thought it was so busy on its own I didn’t want to distract from that with additional stitching.

I used some KamSnaps in place of buttons on the back.

Let’s move on to the skirt.

This size calls for 2 pieces 25″ wide, so I needed approximately 50″ of this quilt design.  Fortunately, the skirt is just rectangle so I only needed to get it close to this width.

This was a little trickier because I didn’t want a big seam right in the middle of the quilt design.

Basically, I got it as close to 50″ wide as I could while having the diamond edge on opposite ends so that when you fold it in half, it should all match up.

I didn’t get an actual photo of my quilted piece, but hopefully, this picture can help.  Fold the left blue side over to the right pink side.

Start sewing at the top and when you get to a point, pivot and come back the other way.  You’re essentially sewing a zig zag to combine one side to the other.

Now that your lower border is sewn together, measure it and cut that same piece out of the lining fabric plus seam allowance.

Sew the lower border lining together to make a loop, just like your quilt design.

Place the lining inside the quilted piece wrong sides together and baste together along the top and bottom.

Cut your upper skirt piece out using the chart provided for the length, but make the width the same as your quilted design piece.

Lay your lower skirt piece over the bottom of your upper skirt piece right sides together and sew together.

I flipped up the bottom of the quilted part so you could see that it is right sides together. It’s sewn together along the top edge.

Attach the skirt to the bodice following the instructions.

Finish the hem using double fold bias tape.

Related post: How to make bias tape

There you have it!  A totally amazing dress with a quilted border print.

Girl wearing dress

Girl wearing quilt dress

Girl wearing quilt dress

Girl wearing a quilted dress

Girl wearing quilted dress

What do you think of just adding some quilting details versus all over quilting?

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