The Quirkshop seashell pattern is here! It was inspired by a welk snail I found on the Pacific northwest shore. This version is rendered in brightly colored batiks to make the spiral shapes really pop. The final size is about 13.75″ x 7.5″ x 8.5″ and is the perfect complement to my coastal-themed bedroom. It would also be awesome in a nursery, living room, or kid’s room. People also like to try them on as silly hats.
- PDF gastropod pattern available at the Quirkshop Etsy store. Find it here.
The pattern comes in two versions: a pdf document with separate pages that you tape together and a full sized version that you can print out in large format. Staples has reasonably priced engineering prints in sized 36×48 for the latter (order them here.) For the former, print at 100% size (do not size up to fill the page, or else the shell will be giant!).
- 2 yards 72F Ultra Firm Peltex interfacing (find it here). This interfacing has glue on both sides and has a lot of structure.
- 1 yard fabric for underside
- A total of 1+ yard fabric for the outside of the shell. In this example I used 2 half yards of different fabrics and an additional fabric in a fat quarter size. If using a single fabric for the exterior, 1 yard will suffice. For best results, choose a quilting cotton that does not fray easily when cut.
- Freezer paper (find it here)
- Sewing machine with zig-zag stitches. I recommend using a denim needle.
- Hot glue gun (find it here, or fabric glue).
1. Trace pattern pieces onto freezer paper, transferring numbers and pattern marks. If you are opting to make your seashell for multiple fabrics, trace all pieces corresponding to each color as compactly as possible on separate lengths of paper.
2. Cut the length of Peltex interfacing that corresponds to each length of freezer paper and the fabric that you will iron onto it.
3. For each length of Peltex: pin fabric to the corners of the Peltex on both sides, making sure the material is smooth. Iron the fabric to the Peltex. I found it helpful to do a portion at a time, repeatedly flipping the Peltex over to make sure both sides were smoothly adhered and removing the pins once the fabric was anchored into place.
4. Iron freezer paper lengths to the Peltex and cut out all pattern pieces.
5. Prior to sewing the pattern pieces together, sew around the edges with a zig-zag stitch. On my Singer Heavy Duty sewing machine (find it here), I used stitch S2 D.
6. Using a zig-zag style stitch (I used S1 J), sew pieces 1 and 2 at sides 1A-1B and 2A-2B.
They should look something like this:
7. Sew pieces 2 and 3 at sides 2C-2D and 3C-3D. This is a tricky seam because the curves are in opposite directions, so go slowly and re-stitch any areas that were missed the first pass.
8. Sew edges 3A-3B to 4A-4B.
9. Sew edges 4C-4C to 5C-5D.
10. Sew 5A-5B to 6A-6D.
11. Sew 8C-8D to 9C-9C. There will be a slight discrepancy in length of the two pieces, even if you sew them correctly. This is okay.
12. Sew 7A-7B to 8A-8B. There will also be a slight discrepancy in length of these two pieces, and this is also okay.
13. Finally sew 6C-6D to 7C-7D. The object may be pretty unwieldy at this point, but fortunately, the Peltex can stand up to a fair amount of manhandling.
14. Congratulations, you are done with the sewing portion of the project! The shell should look something like this:
The magic happens as you arrange the coils according the model below. Affix the coils together with a hot glue gun once you are satisfied with the final shape.
15. Hooray! The gastropod is done. Enjoy your creation!