Pincushions obviously need to be practical, but there’s no reason why they can’t be whimsical, too. My mouse pin cushion has a needlecord back—as that doesn’t show pin marks as much as cotton fabric will—and he has mismatched eyes, because I liked them… His tail acts as a hanging loop to keep him stored out of mischief when he’s not being useful.
You will need…
• One piece of nose fabric measuring 3 x 3 1/2in (8 x 9cm), one piece of base fabric measuring 5 1/2 x 8in (14 x 20cm), four pieces of ear fabric measuring 2 1/2in (6cm) square, and one piece of tail fabric measuring 2 x 8in (5 x 20cm). I used quilting cotton
• One piece of back fabric measuring 6 3/4 x 6in (17 x 15cm): I used needlecord
• Small buttons and/or beads for eyes and button or pom-pom for nose
• Paper scissors and fabric scissors
• Iron and ironing board
• Sewing threads to match fabrics
• Sewing machine
Trace the templates and cut out. Cut out one nose piece, one base piece, four ear pieces, and one back piece. Make pleats in the back piece following the marks on the template; baste the pleats in place either side of the 3/8-in (1cm) seam allowance.
Pin two ear pieces right sides together. Taking a 3/8-in (1cm) seam allowance, sew around the curve. Trim the seam allowances and clip notches around the curves. Turn the ear right side out and press it flat. Pleat the straight edge and baste across, 3/8in (1cm) from the raw edge. Repeat to make a second ear, pleating it to mirror the first one.
Pin the ears to the top edge of the right side of the back piece, positioning them 3/8in (1cm) apart. Baste them in place.
Right sides together, pin the nose piece to the top edge of the back piece, over the ears. Taking a 3/8-in (1-cm) seam allowance, sew the seam. Press the seam allowances toward the nose.
Right side in, fold the tail strip in half lengthwise. Taking a 3/8-in (1-cm) seam allowance, sew the long edge. Turn the tube right side out. With the seam along one edge, press the tube flat.
Fold the tail in half and baste the ends to the bottom edge of the right side of the back, centering it. Match the ends of the loop to the raw edge of the back and make sure that the loop is square to the edge.
Right sides together, pin the base piece over the mouse upper, matching the raw edges all around. Taking a 3/8-in (1cm) seam allowance, sew the seam, leaving a 2-in (5cm) gap in one side. Zigzag and trim the seam allowances, and clip notches around the curves.
Turn the mouse right side out through the gap and carefully press the seam, pressing under the seam allowances across the gap. Stuff the mouse as firmly as possible with toy stuffing. Ladder stitch the gap closed.
Sew on the eyes and nose. I used different-colored buttons topped with beads for eyes and a pom-pom from furnishing trim for the nose.