If you fancy a bit of hand-sewing, this is little felt pincushion is a lovely project, and not too tricky either. It’s an ideal project if you are just beginning to learn embroidery stitches like French knots and lazy daisies.
You will need:
- 3 pieces of felt (or felt of your choice of course!) – I’ve used white for the icing, blue for the main body, and lilac for the cupcake case
- A 7 x 8cm piece of Bondaweb
- Stranded embroidery thread in colours matching the felt you’ve used for the icing, cupcake case and main body
- Stranded embroidery thread in other colours, or small beads (seed beads & bugle beads maybe) for the embellishing
- A red/pink button for the cherry on the top
- Your chosen stuffing for the pincushion
- A print out of the pattern pieces that you can download safely as a pdf just here.
Trace the pattern pieces for the cupcake base and icing onto the Bondaweb & then roughly cut round the pieces like this:
Iron these pieces onto your selected pieces of felt. Don’t have your iron too hot – and follow the Bondaweb instructions!
Cut very neatly & carefully round the outline of the fused Bondaweb – you should end up with something that looks like this – don’t remove the Bondaweb backing paper yet:
Cut out the circular paper pattern for the pincushion top and base, then pin to your chosen piece of felt and cut out. Repeat for the base of the pincushion.
Take the pincushion top and the cupcake pieces over to your iron and arrange them on your ironing board like this:
Leaving the icing section in place, pick up the cupcake case (the lilac section in my photo) and remove the Bondaweb backing paper. Then carefully put the case section back in place, next to the icing, and use your iron to fuse. Now repeat this process with the icing section, making sure that the 2 pieces match together as closely as possible (don’t worry if there are a few little gaps, you will bring them together with your stitching later). You should end up with something like this:
Now take 3 strands of co-ordinating embroidery thread and topstitch round the base and 2 sides of the cupcake base. When sewing the sides keeping the stitches parallel with the bottom of the cupcake makes for a neater finish.
This is what the stitching will look like on the back – it’s the slant that keeps your stitches nice and straight on the front. This might be stating the obvious, but this is the sort of thing that I need spelling out to me!
Now topstitch the icing section using a co-ordinating thread – including sewing along the line where the icing meets the base. Make sure that you pull any gappy bits together. I like to make sure I get a nice stitch in the V where the icing meets the cupcake case – so you get something that looks like this:
Now decorate the cupcake with whatever stitching you like. I like to use French knots or rice/seeding stitch to make the sprinkles, and lazy daisy stitches to make flowers, or whipped back stitch to create lines on the cupcake base.. Get creative! You could also use little seed beads or bugle beads to make the sprinkles, if you’re not that keen on embroidery!
Once you’ve done all the stitching you want to do, sew on a cheerful button – the cherry on the cake!
I’m not giving you an exact measurement for the length of the piece of felt you need to cut to create the pincushion sides, because it could be that your software/printer has printed the pattern pieces a little larger or smaller than mine… So, now it’s time for the maths!
Measure across the widest part of the pincushion top – it should be about 7cm (2 3/4″), and multiply that number by 3.14 (that’s Pi to the maths whizzes out there). You should get an answer of around 22-23cm (8 1/2″ – 9 1/4″). Add on an extra 1.5cm (1/2″) to make sure that you’ll have an overlap when you sew round. When you have your final measurement, cut a piece of felt that length and 4cm (1 3/4″) high.
Now line up the top of your pincushion with the start of the long edge of the side piece you have just cut. You are going to join them using blanket stitch – here’s a great video on You Yube which shows how to do blanket stitch. Here’s how you start – the knot is hidden in between the two pieces of felt:
Work blanket stitch all the way round, joining the top and side together. When you are almost back to where you started, trim off any excess overlapping felt so that you have something that looks like this – with a small overlap:
As you complete the round make sure you catch up the overlapping section with blanket stitch to secure it neatly. Fasten off the stitching securely on the inside of the pincushion.
Now you need to sew up the side of the pincushion. I like to do this with a simple whip stitch – it’s a bit tricky because you have to put one hand inside the cushion – but persevere – it can be done, and it’s only a couple of inches! Here’s how you do it:
Now take the base section you cut a while back, and use blanket stitch to sew it to the sides, as you did for the top. Stop when you are about an 3cm (an inch or so) from the end – don’t fasten off, just unthread your needle and leave the long piece of thread hanging whilst you stuff the cushion – be careful not to stuff the thread tail into your cushion (like I have in the pic!).
Now stuff the pincushion – use whatever you like. And make sure it’s thoroughly stuffed to ensure that it keeps its shape.
Now rethread your needle and sew some more blanket stitch until you have almost closed the hole – push a little bit more stuffing inside just to make sure that there aren’t any unstuffed little bits. Close the hole and fasten off.
And you’re all finished – I hope you like your new pincushion…!