Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,


Needlecases & Pin Cushion

I suppose it’s only a natural progression after making a pin cushion to want to make a new needlecase too? Well it was to me anyhow, so I browsed Pinterest (as if I needed an excuse) and my favourite was one by Loopy Linnet which was so lovely that I made my own version;

Needlecases - 01

Lovin’ the way the new sewing machine makes free motion embroidery so easy and so much fun.

Needlecases - 03

This one is for me to keep and use in my sewing room but I was inspired to come up with a new design and make some to sell in my Folksy shop.

I had some remnants of red linen left over from a dress I made recently (that’s for another post one day) and I remembered some fabric that I bought on a whim ages ago (knowing it would be useful for something).

Needlecases - 06

It’s a great London-themed poly-cotton with images that could quite easily be appliquéd individually using my favourite scribble-stitching.

Needlecases - 08

So I decided to go the whole hog and create a very commercial item that will hopefully appeal to a broad market, yet is still very much a craftsman made piece.

And these are what I came up with…

Needlecases - 10 Needlecases - 16

Needlecases - 17

They are stiffened with interlining and lined with the London print fabric.

Needlecases - 12

They are quite generous in size at 4.5 x 5″ so I decided to keep the bulk to a minimum by only adding one ‘book’ of felt in which to store needles. These are big darning needles so you can see that there’s space for loads more…

Needlecases - 13

I took a ‘Lifestyle’ shot for scale…

Needlecases - 18

In an effort to think with my business head on (difficult for Crafters) I designed some matching pincushions to encourage multiple purchases.

Pin Cushion - 19

Pin Cushion - 21

Pin Cushion - 22

They are so light in weight that they can be included in the parcel and posted at no extra cost which should be quite appealing, especially to overseas buyers. I’m thinking that they would be great gifts to family living abroad as the price is reasonable and the international postage is low.

I’ve got some beige linen as well, so I’m going to come up with some designs using that too. They’re quite quick to construct after the first one – I always cut a template out of card once I’ve finalized a design, and you usually find more efficient methods after you’ve made a few, don’t you?

Pin Cushion Needlecases - 25

So that’s it – my new “London Collection” of patriotic needlecases and pincushions!





Pin Cushion & Thread Catcher ‘Tadah!’

I don’t know about you but, although I do a LOT of sewing, I don’t even have a pin cushion which means grappling with loose pins from the tub and dropping most of them on the floor….so I thought it was about time I made one.

A pretty one. Not just a functional one.

When I first had my own studio I promised myself that I would indulge my girly desires to make pretty accessories whenever the need arose – and now the need has arisen.

After browsing Pinterest for pin cushion designs, I came across this one by Curry Bungalow – genius!!

thread catcher

It consists of a detachable pin cushion and a thread catcher weighed down by a covered bathroom tile. Such a clever idea and, hopefully, it will save me hoovering after every sewing session:)

You can buy the pattern here as an instant download PDF which is what I did as soon as I saw it! You just know when something is exactly what you’ve been looking for don’t you and, if you’re anything like me, can’t wait to get started.

One of my favourite textile artists is Pants and Paper and I love this particular design of hers on an iPad mini case:-

iPad mini case

One of the reasons I bought my new sewing machine was to do more free machine embroidery as my old one just wasn’t up to the job. I could never seem to get consistent stitching and it was always missing stitches despite using a new needle each time. My new one is ace, so simple and quick to set up and the results are fantastic even for a free machine embroidery novice like me.

I kind of already had an idea how to combine the original pattern with the design I had in mind, and I just had to adapt it to the size tile that I had leftover from a kitchen refit ten years ago in my old house (well, I can’t throw spare tiles away; they might come in handy one day!!)

The entire project was created using scraps of fabric leftover from various other makes, so it satisfied my craving for a craft fix without costing a single penny – bonus!

This is the detachable pin cushion which fastens to the thread catcher via a strip of velcro (hook and loop tape) on the covered tile;

Pincushion thread catcher - 13

Pincushion thread catcher - 03 Pincushion thread catcher - 05

Here’s the thread catcher with a handy little loop for storing your embroidery scissors;

Pincushion thread catcher - 07

Here’s how it looks from the front;

Pincushion thread catcher - 02

Some close up detail…..

Pincushion thread catcher - 06 Pincushion thread catcher - 04

And finally….


Pincushion thread catcher - 09 Pincushion thread catcher - 01Pincushion thread catcher - 10 Pincushion thread catcher - 08

I chose some scraps of ‘Rosetta’ by Clarke & Clarke for the lining so the inside is just as pretty as the outside!

Pincushion thread catcher - 11

The tile does a brilliant job of securing the whole thing to the worktop right next to the sewing machine. In fact the entire design works so well that I have no idea how I’ve managed over forty years of sewing without one!Pincushion thread catcher - 12

I’m thrilled to bits with it and it looks soooo pretty in my studio. In case you missed it, here’s the link to the pattern again Pin Cushion Thread Catcher so why not have a go at making one for yourself?