This really is the most amazingly useful piece of kit, especially if, like me, you love hand-sewing in front of a good movie on the television. Hang this pincushion over the arm of your chair, and you have pins and scissors to hand, plus a repository for all the scraps of thread that otherwise find their way onto the floor. Or you can stash small tools and notions in the bag. It’s quite a long project, as there are various elements to make, but nothing is complicated.
Sewing caddy project supplies…
Two pieces of fabric and one piece of heavyweight interfacing, each measuring 10½ x 6 1/8in (26.5 x 15.5cm) for the thread bag: I used needlecord fabric throughout
Two pieces of fabric measuring 8 x 10in (20 x 25cm) for the base
One piece of fabric measuring 2¾ x 4¼in (7 x 10.5cm) for the pocket
One piece of fabric measuring 1¾ x 12in (4.5 x 30cm) for the loop
Two pieces of fabric measuring 10 x 4in (25 x 10cm) for the pincushion
Polyester toy filling
Iron and ironing board
Sewing threads to match fabrics
Two door hinges, or something else flat and heavy to use as a weight for the pincushion
Iron the interfacing onto the back of the inner thread bag. Fold the piece in half widthwise and, taking a 3/8-in (1-cm) seam allowance, sew the seam. Don’t interface the outer bag, but sew it in the same way. Trim the seam allowances to half their width on the inner. Roll the seam allowances to just off center back—so that when the two pieces are put together the seams are staggered—and press them open.
Turn the outer bag right side out and cut the bottom edge into a curve, curving down from left to right. Leave the inner bag wrong side out, and use the outer bag as a template to cut it to the same shape. Turn the outer bag wrong side out and, taking a 3/8-in (1-cm) seam allowance, sew the curved base. Then turn it right side out again. Sew the curved seam of the inner bag, but leave a 2-in (5-cm) gap in the middle of the seam.
Slip the outer bag into the inner, so the right sides are together. Baste and then sew the layers together around the top edge, taking a 3/8-in (1-cm) seam allowance.
Turn the bag right side out through the gap in the lining, pulling the outer bag through, then continuing to pull until the whole piece is right side out. Press it flat, pressing under the seam allowances across the gap. Ladder stitch the gap closed.
Turn the inner bag down inside the outer, pushing out the corner and curve smoothly. Topstitch around the top edge of the bag, sewing 2–3mm in from the edge. Sew the button to the center back of the inner bag, 5/8in (1.5cm) down from the top edge.
Zigzag or serge (overlock) one short edge of the pocket piece. Press under a 3/8-in (1-cm) hem on that edge. Sewing 3/8in (1cm) in from each raw side edge, sew across the hem, as shown. Clip off the corners of the hem.
Turn the hem right side out and press it flat. Press under and baste (tack) a 3/8-in (1-cm) hem all around the pocket, mitering the two bottom corners.
Right side in, fold the loop 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.
Round off the left-hand bottom corner of the base pieces: I drew around a small plate. Position the pocket on the right side of a base piece, 1¼in (3cm) in from both the side and the bottom edges of the square right-hand bottom corner. Topstitch it in place, then take out the basting stitches. Fold the loop in half, overlapping the ends so that the wrong side of one end lies on top of the right side of the other end, and baste the raw edges to the top edge of the base, 1½in (4cm) from the left-hand edge. Pin the length of the loop to the base to keep it out of the way of the stitching.
Lay the other base piece right side down on top of the first one, matching all raw edges. Taking a 3/8-in (1-cm) seam allowance, sew all around the edges, but leave the top straight edge open. Clip the curves and turn the base right side out. Press the seams flat.
Lay one pincushion piece flat, right side up. Lay the base right side down centered the far edge of the pincushion piece, as shown. Baste the edges together. Lay the other pincushion piece right side down on top of the first, matching all edges. Pin the layers together along the top edge.
Roll the base up as tightly as possible and tuck it in between the pincushion pieces. Pin the pincushion pieces together all around, enclosing the rolled-up base.
Taking a 3/8-in (1-cm) seam allowance, sew the pincushion seams, making the corners gently rounded and leaving a 3-in (8-cm) gap in the middle of the edge the base is basted to. Clip the curves.
Turn the pincushion right side out through the gap, unrolling the base piece. Press everything, apart from the loop, flat, pressing under the seam allowances across the gap. Fold the pincushion forward over the top edge of the base, into the position it will sit in when finished. Slip the door hinges in through the gap, positioning them to lie flat along the underside of the pincushion.
Fill the pincushion with plenty of stuffing, pushing it in on top of the hinges until the pincushion is firm. Ladder stitch the gap closed. Button the bag onto the loop.
Your sewing caddy project is now finished and ready to use.
To find out more about Sewing Stashbusters by Kate Haxell click the image below or visit the MAKE etc website.