Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pincushion Caddy

What a clever idea for a pincushion!
Not that I can claim credit, it's from Anna Maria Horner's book, Seams to Me, and worth making. It's a substantial size, as you can see, which I like, because my small ones seem to always be hiding under a piece of fabric or somewhere on the floor. I don't have to look for where this one has gotten to, plus, I don't have to look for my snip scissors, thread, or seam gauge, either. So handy! And pretty, too.

As usual, I strayed from the instructions, but only a little bit. My construction tip: I found it easier to hand-sew all but the first step of stitching the outer panels together. More can be done by machine, but it's so fussy, you might just as well do it by hand. Doesn't take long, and if done in front of the TV you won't feel quite so much like life is passing you by while you sit on the couch watching Biggest Loser.

I made two, but the first one came out rather misshapen. I'll take credit for that, as I'm new to stuffing shaped things and seem to have done a poor job with that. Perhaps the stuffing wasn't the best either: I pulled it from the middle of an oversized "read-in-bed" pillow that's at least 15 years old. The cover of that one disintegrated, and the pillow itself wasn't in very good shape, so I figured I'd cannibalize the insides of it rather than make a special trip to purchase a bag of stuffing when I only needed, well, way more than I thought, but not all that much, really.

The pincushion deemed photo-worthy here is attempt number two. I used three green fabrics: two for the outer panels (alternating), and a third for the center compartment.

There are many more examples of these at the STM Flickr group page. Either they've all been thoughtfully photographed, or other crafters out there are better with the stuffing-it step than I am.


  1. I just made this pincushion too. For me the inner tube was much smaller and I had to really adjust the outer panels. I felt like throwing it away. Did you have that happen? I know I read that some other blogger had the same trouble as me. I probably would have been fine if I used a 5/8 seam instead of 3/8. I'll post a pic of mine later, I am not quite finished.


  2. My difficulty was getting the thing stuffed evenly! The wrong size seam allowance on eight panels around would add up to a big size issue, most likely that's it. I did use a super-heavy interfacing for the tube, which was difficult to work with. I'll probably try again, as even my wonky one is such a treat to have in the sewing room. I never use my other pincushions anymore, and I spend much less time wondering what I did with my thimble or seam-gauge!