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Miniature Resources: Sewing

Whether you're brand new to the wonderful world of scale miniatures, or you've been knee deep in tiny things for years, there are so many facets to this hobby that there's always something new to discover.

The Miniature Resources Series is your one stop shop to find amazing miniaturists, tutorials and more.

Today's post is my favourite topic - miniature sewing. Here are 6 Top Tips for working with fabrics on a tiny scale.

pastel coloured fabrics in a pile

1) Type of fabric matters!

For miniature patchwork try 100% cotton, ideally cotton poplin, which has a fine weave but is still structurally sturdy.

While silks and satins are very fine and easier to drape, they also tend to fray very easily, making them frustrating to work with in miniature.

Avoid polycotton blends as they tend to be stiffer.

1:12 turquoise patchwork quilt with a striking zigzag pattern

2) Tiny prints are the holy grail of miniature fabrics, but not always easy to find*.

Experiment with blender fabrics, which are readily available in most quilting supply shops in either plain or with a subtle, mottled pattern. By pairing different plain fabrics together, you can achieve great effects in miniature even if you don't have tiny prints to work with.

*Check out my mini resources post on fabric for where to find those elusive tiny prints!

charm pack of coordinating cream and terracotta coloured fabrics

3) Most fabric is sold by the quarter metre minimum - which is rather a lot for miniatures!

Look for terms like charm packs (5" squares), layer cakes (10" squares) or jelly rolls (2" long strips).

These smaller cuts usually include several coordinating fabrics, making them ideal for dolls house miniature projects. You can make a LOT of cushions with a 5" charm pack!

needle, thimble and spool of red cotton thread

4) Use the right tools for the job.

You don't need expensive needles to sew in miniature, but do use the finest needle you can comfortably sew with.

I prefer a size 9 Sharps sewing needle. You'll need to find what works best for you.

I would 100% recommend wearing a thimble when hand sewing. I resisted this for years, thinking it would affect my dexterity, but that is total nonsense.

A thimble will save your fingertip and make hand sewing miniatures a much more enjoyable experience! Invest in some decent fabric scissors and don't use them for anything else.

scrappy patchwork dollhouse quilt by LTW Miniatures

5) The hardest thing to replicate in miniature is how fabric would drape in real life.

This is especially true in patchwork as the many internal seams make it very stiff.

Several methods exist, such as pinning your quilt to its bed, or inserting floristry wire into your quilt. My preference is adding a foil insert inside my quilts before I sew the last edge shut, as this makes them adaptable to lots of different bed sizes.

rainbow patchwork dollhouse quilt by LTW Miniatures

6) Don't start too small.

If you are new to miniature patchwork, I recommend starting with either 3/4" squares, or 1/2" hexagons.

These size patches are big enough that most beginners can handle them, and small enough to still look cute in miniature!

Still unsure? LTW Miniatures makes 1:12 quilt kits with all the fabric, templates and instructions included to get you started on your very own mini patchwork masterpiece!


Got a great miniature sewing recommendation to add to the list? Please contact me!

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