One essential sewing tool that you can actually make yourself is a pin cushion!
A pin cushion is the perfect project for new sewers, not only is it small, it's an absolute essential piece of sewing kit! My tutorial today is for a fun patchwork cushion, with boxes out corners, so you will learn a few techniques which can be applied to lots of other projects too!
You will need-
- Small pieces of fabric, at least 4"/11cm wide and 16"/44cm long in two colours
- A Button
- Polyester stuffing
- Fabric scissors
- Marking pen
- Sewing machine
Cut out four 3.5"/ 10cm squares of both fabrics (8 squares total). Use your marker to draw directly on to the fabric and then cut them out.
Pair up the squares, one of each colour, and place them right sides together (printed sides together). Pin them, then sew together with a 1cm seam allowance. To get this right, make sure the needle is in the left hand position and line the fabric up with the edge of the foot.
Press the seam allowance to one side.
Attach two pairs of squares together, neatly aligning the joins together in the centre to form a cross.
The tick to lining up your seams is to use a pin, pushing it through the line of stitching, matching it on either side.
Repeat steps two and three so you have two 2x2 patchwork squares.
Lay both 2x2 patch work squares right sides together, and sew all the way around with a 1cm seam allowence. Then cut a small square from each corner. Measure 2cm in from the raw edge to keep this even.
Pinch out the corners in the opposite directions so they box out. Line up the seams from the other edges to get the right shape. Sew THREE of the corners with a 1cm seam allowance but leave ONE open to turn the project out through.
Gently pinch and ease the fabric through the last open corner. Be careful not to pull on the opening but to pull on the fabric around it. It's easiest to start by bringing the corner furthest away through the hole first.
Stuff the cushion through the open hole until it is fairly firm- you can get more in there than you'd guess.
Then fold in the raw edges and pin, then sew, the opening closed by hand.
Before you sew the button in the centre of the pin cushion, sew over the spot 5 or 6 times to pinch in the centre. Once it's securely sewn down, attach your button too.
Then, fill with pins and start thinking about your next project!
Our Learn to Sew series is designed to encourage new sewers to feel confident at their sewing machines and teach the basics of sewing so anyone can have a go. We have the same philosophy at Crafty Sew and So workshops. If you would like to have a go at sewing with a little more help and support, why not come to one of our ‘Start as you Mean to Sew On’ workshops, or one of the Learn to Sew workshop in our studio, where we can answer questions and help you every step of the way.