Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Beginner Hand Sewing: Simple-to-Make Pin Cushion

I am now making a few things for sewing equipment, such as pincushions, needle cases, scissor case and thread container.  This pin cushion is much easier than the one in the previous post.
The check fabric is commonly called gingham, and some types are the same on the back as on the front, so you will not need to worry about the right or wrong side of the fabric. However, if you get the cotton check,  the wrong side will be more faded and you will need to remember to sew it with the right sides facing each other, before turning it inside out.
Using two pieces of fabric, arrange it as straightly as you can together.  Place a piece of cardboard,  cut from a cereal box or anything you have,(approximately 4 x 4 inches) on the fabric, matching the edges to the lines of the check print, and draw away from the edge of the cardboard about a half an inch or an inch, following the lines on the check. Click on for a closer view.
Cut out on that line you drew that is a half inch larger than your piece of cardboard. You can make a square or a rectangle, any size you want, from your cardboard.
Once you have cut that out, trace around the actual cardboard piece with your pencil as you see, above.
It should look something like this. Remember you have two layers of fabric.
Beginning at one end of the piece, sew one fourth inch away from the drawn line. It does not have to be exactly that much, but you cannot sew on the line, because it will make it too small to insert the cardboard. 
Sew three sides, leaving one end open for stuffing.
 Turn the piece inside out and carefully push out the corners with your scissors.
Now insert your cardboard. This is necessary to keep the pins and needles from going clear through the pin cushion and hurting your hands or damaging a table or surface where it put.
Stuff it firmly, with as much stuffing as will fit and still be able to close the opening.
Push the stuffing into the corners with your scissors.
Fold over the ends to the inside, one fourth inch, and pin. 
If you find that there is not enough fabric on that open end to fold over, you might have to pull out the cardboard and trim it a little.  Put it back inside the cushion, fold over the hem, and pen it. Stitch with a regular running stitch, or an over-cast stitch.
When it is finished, manipulate it with your hands to even out the filling.
You can also use a pin cushion to secure your buttons while you are sewing.
If you have any scraps of trim, you can use it on something like this. Just stitch in and out of the spaces on fancy trim like this, and secure the ends by making several stitches in the same place.  You might need some clear tape to prevent unravelling on some trims, but the needle will go right through it easily.
Sew a little satin rose on it for decoration, and put on some pins and buttons that match the cloth.  You can make your own satin ribbon roses, but that might have to be  a later post.


Grace said...

Oh, it is so very pretty! Thank you so much for sharing! I am a beginner sewer, and hand sew all of my little projects; it is so hard to find tutorials that use hand sewing, so this is very helpful!
Thank you again!

Anonymous said...

What a pretty little pincushion! Thank you for another enjoyable and wholesome post. Thanks for answering my question about ball fringe. When I add it to my homesewn muslin curtains, they'll look just like the pricey ones I liked in a catalog.

Anonymous said...

This is something I would like to make as Christmas gifts this year as part of a sewing kit I can put together. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful ideas about sewing simple things.

Anonymous said...

That is so pretty! Much more charming than the "tomato" I've been using. I think I'll have my daughter help with this project-she'll love it.
Thank you again for all the hand sewing tutorials-I love them.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love the pink gingham!! So very pretty. After making the square one, I think I'd like a pink gingham one made in the round fashion of your last post, with a little delicate lace stitched around the circle on top, with some ribbon roses.....and couldn't the stuffing be scented with a few drops of rose or lavender essential oil, to give the whole sewing basket a delicious aroma? or would the oils be bad for the pins/needles?

Thank you for the continuing inspiration. I really appreciate your teaching us to make things by hand, it is a wonderful antidote to the uncertainty we live with in these latter days!


Lydia said...

Yes, what a great thing to add a few drops of scent or spray favorite perfume on the stuffing before you draw up the threads and finish off the pin cushion.

Ladies can choose the kind of print and fabric they feel happiest with, such as homespun blue for a country look, or little prints that interest them on a certain theme.

These are crafts I have to squeeze in time for, which is mainly 6 in the morning before I have to do anything else. Therefore, they are done rather hurriedly, but if you are teaching girls to do it, you can take plenty of time and make them look a lot better!! That is one of the purposes for showing these, to make you realize you can do it and even improve on the style or technique if you like.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Lady Lydia! I asked a while ago about whether one could hand-stitch a simple skirt and am pleased to have found a simple instruction...my eight year old is so enthusiastic, she's a joy to behold, stitching away. We just got our fabric at Walmart, and she picked a doggie print :) I picked a pink/green paisley. Thank you for encouraging us, it's been wonderful!
Gina in RI

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this turtorial. I finally plucked up the courage this week and bought some fabric at Wal-Mart. I just made my pin cushion. It is not amazing, but it is a start. Thank you for being so helpful and encouraging.