Thursday, July 18, 2013

Store Your Sewing Needles in Style!

Embellished (left) and Embroidered Needlebook

When you spend as much time in your sewing room as we do, it's important to make a space where you enjoy spending your time. As in the creation of a beautiful garment, the magic is in the details. You'll never have to hunt for your needles again with this fun little needlebook designed by Jean Etheridge and our senior editor Shannon Miller. Made using wool felt and a coordinating cotton print, the design has endless opportunities for embellishment and includes a hidden back pocket that is perfect for at-hand access to a small ruler, seam ripper or seam gauge. It also fits nicely in a tote bag or suitcase!

Preparation: 1. Cut three rectangular pieces (one of print cotton, one of thin batting and one of wool felt) all the same size for the cover. The sample was cut 6 x 11 inches and will finish at approximately 5-1/2 x 10-1/2 inches before it is folded in thirds for the final book. The needle and pin book could be bigger or smaller as desired, however. 

2. Cut two rectangles 5-1/2 x 6 inches of wool felt for the inside pages. The pages will be folded in half before they are sewn into the book; the two rectangles will make four pages (5 inches tall x 3 inches wide) the needlebook. If you change the outside dimensions, you will want to adjust the page size as well.

3. Cut one piece of cotton 6 x 6 inches to make the pocket at the back of the book. Fold this piece in half, wrong sides together and press. 

4. Before assembling the book, consult the specific instructions below to prepare the cover for the book you are making.

Fill your book with needles and notions!

Embellished Needlebook: 1. First, fold the wool felt in approximate thirds. On the third that will become the cover, hand stitch desired embellishments. Similarly, fold one of the book pages in half, and using the front half, sew another embellishment on the bottom half of the page. Pick up only a few felt fibers while applying the embellishment so that the stitching does not show from the other side.

Embroidered Needlebook: 1. The embroidered needlebook cover is made in the same general fashion, but instead of embellishments, stitch the word "needles" on the cover. You could also personalize it with a name if you prefer! NOTE: The sample "needles" embroidery pattern is provided here.

2. On the front fold of one of the book pages, stitch an embroidery design of your choice. NOTE: The "spool and needle" embroidery pattern pictured on our sample can also be found on the above link with the "needles" pattern.

3. Using embroidery floss, sew the two pages together all of the way around with a buttonhole stitch. This step will conceal the back of the embroidery, and this version of the book will only have two pages, while the embellished version has four pages.

Assembly Instructions: 1. Place the folded cotton rectangle on the right side of the larger cotton rectangle at the right end. Baste (fig. 1). (In the embroidered version, the pocket is divided into two sections with a line of stitching.) 

Figure 1

2. Place the cotton rectangle (and the basted cotton pocket) on top of the batting rectangle; then place the large cotton rectangle face down on the wool felt rectangle. The pocket should be at the opposite end from the decorated wool felt front. Sew all of the way around, leaving a 2-inch opening for turning (fig. 2).

Figure 2

3. Turn the rectangles right side out. The batting will be enclosed between the layers. The cotton side is the inside, while the decorated wool felt will become the front of the book. The pocket should be on the right third inside of the book. Once the book is turned right sides out, close the 2-inch opening with hand stitching. 

4. Measure and mark the book in thirds (about 3 inches for each third). Place the felt needle pages 3 inches from the left side of the book. Machine stitch the pages from the top of the page to the bottom, backstitching at both ends. In the same way, machine stitch top to bottom about 3 inches from the right side (fig. 3). 

Figure 3

5. Fold needlebook together so that the front page shows when the book is opened. Fill with all your needles and notions!

For more sewing inspiration, check out our selection of e-books!

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