Tutorial: Scrappy Patchwork Needle Book

Here’s my scrappy needle book tutorial. It makes a sweet folding book, with a cute little holder for a pair of mini-scissors or snips.
Finished 1

Let’s get straight on, shall we….

For the outer:

12 fabric scraps measuring 2.5″ by 1.25″
2 pieces of main body fabric measuring 1.75″ x 9.5″
1 piece of fusible fleece measuring 9″ x 4.5″

Finished 3

For the inner:

Pocket section:
1 piece of main body fabric measuring 3.5″ x 3″ for the front of the pocket
1 piece of medium iron-on interfacing measuring 3.5″ x 3″
1 piece of contrasting fabric measuring 3.5″ x 4″ to form the binding and lining of the pocket
1 piece of main body fabric measuring 3.5″ x 5″ for the back of the pocket

Needle section:
1 piece of main body fabric measuring 6.5″ x 5″
2 pieces of felt measuring 5″ x 3.5″

1 piece of medium weight interfacing measuring 9″x 4.5″
2 pieces of ribbon, cord, braid or thread measuring around 12″, finished with beads if you like.

Use a quarter inch seam throughout.

1 scraps

1) Take your scraps and stitch together the fabric scraps along the long edges to create a narrow piece of patchwork measuring 2.5″ x 9.5″.

2 sewn scraps

2) Stitch the two 9.5″ by 1.75″ pieces  of main body fabric to the patchwork section, long edge to long edge. Here’s the first piece, all lined up and ready to be stitched:

3 first long edge pinned

3) Your finished stitched outer should measure 5″ x 9.5″. Place the fusible fleece in the centre of this finished outer and fuse into place following the manufacturer’s instructions – you should end up with something like this:

5 fusible fleece in place

Put the completed outer section to one side whilst you make the inner section.

4) Fuse the 3.5″ x 3″ medium weight interfacing to the back of the 3.5″ x 3″ front pocket piece, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

5) On the wrong side of the front pocket piece measure a scant 1/2″ from the top edge and use a fabric marker to make a line.

6) Right sides together, line up the top edge of the front pocket section with the top edge of the binding/lining fabric (you will be matching the 3.5″ edges). Pin and stitch along the line you marked. (Note: the pocket piece you can see in this pic should be interfaced… I forgot.. tut-tut!).

6 pocket pinned together

7) Fold the lining/binding fabric up and over the stitched line you have just made, so that the 2 pieces are now wrong sides together, with the 1/2″ of binding fabric neatly in place. Top stitch the binding at top and bottom.

8 pocket folded over

8) Set your machine to a very small zig-zag stitch and zig-zag the edges of the completed pocket front to the 3.5″ x 5″ pocket base section to keep in place. Alternatively you can baste or use a glue pen to hold it steady whilst you sew the next seam.  Orange zig-zags are NOT actual size, or in fact, actual anything at all!!

9 pocket pinned to inner

9) Put the completed pocket section right sides together with the main body fabric of the needle section, lining up the 5″ edges. Make sure that the pocket section will end up on the left hand side.

10 pocket pinned to needle book inner

Press the seam you just made, and top stitch if you like (not essential). Iron the 9″ x 4.5″ piece of medium weight interfacing to be the reverse of the inner section.

10) Measure 3″ from the seam line between the 2 inner sections and mark a line with a fabric marker (make sure you use a marker that is erasable!).

11 finished inner with top stitching

11) Place the centre of your felt pages on this line, and stitch into place, reverse stitching at either end to secure the stitching and the pages.

12 felt pages sewn in

12) Pin the 2 pieces of cord/ribbon to the inside of the inner, at the base of the pocket binding, as shown. Make sure the long edges of the cord are tucked away behind your felt pages, so that you don’t accidentally sew through them whilst you are stitching the needle book together.

13 ties pinned in place

13) Put the completed inner and outer sections right sides together, and stitch round the edge, leaving a 2-3″ gap in one of the long sides for turning, as shown.

14 edges all stitched up

14) Clip diagonally across the corners (not too close to the stitching) and then turn the needle book right sides out, pushing out the corners with a blunt point – like a knitting needle or crochet hook. Press with lots of with steam to get your seams nice and flat, turning under the edges of the turning hole to line up with the rest of the seam. I usually use my Sewline glue pen to glue the turning hole closed, and then rely on super-neat and close-to-the-edge top stitching to stitch it closed (never say I don’t take risks…!). If you like, you can hand-stitch the hole closed using ladder stitch. Either way, for the best possible finish, the final step is to top stitch round the entire edge of the needle book, working with the outer section uppermost, as close to the edge as you can manage. And that’s it – you’re needle book is all done!

Finished 2

By the way, if you crochet, you might like to know that I used this fabulous Single Crochet Simple Braid pattern from the wonderfully named Mr Micawber’s Recipe for Happiness blog, to make the fastening cord for my needle books. Leave a long end when fastening off  the braid, and finish with threaded on beads, use a knot and a dot of glue/clear nail varnish to secure, and you’re done!

Finished 4

Hope you get on well with this tute. Do let me know (nicely!) if you spot any howlers….

Click here for lots more FREE sewing tutorials from Very Berry.

25 thoughts on “Tutorial: Scrappy Patchwork Needle Book

  1. That is a very cute case Ali and I just might make ne soon. Today I have been finishing a couple of cushions I made to match the quilt I made from all your 4″ squares. Thought you might like to see it. I had a lot of pinks and blues left ver so the cushions came out really bright and fun.

    This one needs a bigger pad and I haven’t washed them yet for a crinkly look. I still have some left and thought I might make a tote bag with linen and liberty coins, if you know what I mean. I think you made one once but can’t find the picture anywhere so maybe it was somebody else.


    Sent from my iPad

    1. Hi Jenny – thanks! Sounds like you have been so busy. Did you want to send me a pic of your quilt? You can email on veryberryfabrics (at) gmail (dot) com. 🙂 I don’t think it was me who made the bag..

  2. so gorgeous – I really want to make one. Hopefully when I get back from a little holiday. Thanks so much for sharing the pattern 🙂

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