Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sew a Pretty and Practical Pincushion

Round Pincushion

We all know it's true - you can never have too many pincushions. It's not unusual to have one by the sewing machine, one by the couch, one on your bedside table and one in your travel bag; we sewing fanatics are always in need of a place to stick loose pins. This round pincushion was designed by Jean Etheridge and can be created in any color scheme to match your personal style and surroundings.

You can always use fiber filling to stuff your pincushions, but personally, we prefer a more densely weighted cushion. As an alternative, try using crushed walnut shells or sand for stuffing. You can find crushed walnut shells as bird litter at your local pet store; it is also sold at some specialty sewing and quilt shops. If you do use crushed shells or sand, we recommend an inner lining be included in the construction to prevent the shells from possibly working their way through the outer pincushion cover.

• Small amount of fabric for two 5-inch circles
• Two buttons (large-holed to fit the large needle)
• Pearl cotton (#5)
• Polyester fiberfill
• Doll sculpture needle
• Optional charm (We bought ours in a multipack from the jewelry section of our local craft store)

1. Cut two circles of fabric about 5 inches in diameter.

2. With right sides together, sew around the circle, leaving about a 2-inch opening for turning (fig. 1).

3. Turn the circle right side out. Stuff until quite firm.

4. Stitch 2-inch opening closed by hand.

5. To form pie-shaped wedges, cut a very long strand of pearl cotton and knot one end with a substantial knot. Using a long, sturdy needle (one meant for doll sculpture works well), start at the bottom of the pincushion and push the needle all the way through the center of the stuffed circle form. Then pull the thread from the top around the side and back to the center point on the bottom. Go back up through the middle, down the other side, and up through the same point. Pull the pearl cotton snugly each time (fig. 2).

6. Continue until you have six pie-shaped sections. Knot thread at bottom.

7. Use one long pearl cotton thread to sew the top and bottom button to the center of the pincushion using the long needle. Start at the bottom, go through the holes of the button, up through the pincushion and through one hole of the top button. Then sew down through the other hole of the top button and down through the hole of the bottom button (fig. 3). Repeat several times and then secure the thread on the bottom.

8. Attach a sewing charm to the top button or the center of the pincushion.

Sew On, Sew Well, Sew Beautiful,
Cyndi and Amelia


  1. neat - this is the pattern I had seen before but forgotten where! Thanks for the reminder!