Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Liberty Print Pincushion DIY Tutorial

I recently acquired an old fashioned wooden sewing box and decided it would be a good excuse to have a little re-jig of my sewing equipment and supplies. One thing I was missing was a good pin cushion so I decided to make my own!

I wanted the pin cushion to be nice and big - nothing worse than a fiddly, flimsy pin cushion when you need to grab a pin in a hurry! I also wanted it to be fairly heavy so I can grab pins from it quickly without it sliding about on the work surface! This bad boy delivers on both counts and looks pretty too! I chose my favourite Liberty print - Betsy!

Materials & Equipment:

Two pieces of your chosen fabric
Two pieces of lightweight interfacing
Around a cup full of barley (or other dried grain)
Polyester toy stuffing
Matching cotton thread
Embroidery thread in a colour of your choice (for creating the tufts)

A round bowl to use as a template (I used an 15cm Mason Cash pudding bowl!)
Fabric scissors
Sewing machine
Sewing needle (for hand sewing)
Large sewing needle or tapestry needle


Step 1: Lay both pieces of your main fabric in front of you, wrong side (WS) facing. Place a piece of interfacing fabric on top of each piece of the main fabric.

Step 2: Using your pudding bowl as a guide, draw a circle onto each stack of fabric (you'll be drawing onto the interfacing and this will not be visible once the pin cushion is complete). Pin the two layers of fabric in each stack together and cut out both circles.

Step 3: Taking your two circles of fabric, place the right sides (RS) together, then pin and sew around the edge with a 1.5cm seam allowance. Leave a gap of an inch or so - you'll need this to turn the pin cushion the right way round. Once you've finished, go back and sew another seam, around 2mm from the first one in the seam allowance - this will make the seam extra strong! Clip into the seam allowance all the way round (apart from when you get to the gap you just left).

Step 4: Turn the pin cushion inside out through the gap, so that the RS of the main fabric is facing. This part is quite fiddly but you can do it!

Step 5: Your pin cushion should now look like a sad, deflated balloon. Pour the barley into the pin cushion through the little opening you left then start to fill with stuffing. As the pin cushion fills up, give it a careful shake so that the grains are sitting on the bottom half of the pin cushion. As you continue to fill the pin cushion try to push the stuffing into the top half and get it right into the edges to fill out the seam. You'll be surprised at how much stuffing it will take! You want it to be really firm so go ahead and cram as much in there as you can.

Step 6: Once the pin cushion is full to the max, hand sew the opening closed.

Step 7: Take your embroidery needle and thread and sew into the middle of the pin cushion, leaving a tail a good 6 inches long. Hold onto this tail while you continue to pass the needle around the edge of the pin cushion and back through the middle, spreading the stitches out evenly. Once you've finished, pull the loops of thread as tight as you can to create the pretty 'tufted' look and tie in a double knot.

Stick some pins in and you're all done! Enjoy your brand new pin cushion - mine has inspired me to get cracking on some lovely Spring sewing! What are you working on at the moment?

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