How to make a new pincushion – free pattern and tutorial

Sewing Kit 1

When I made all the Essential Wristlet variations, I included this large one to hold my sewing kit when I need to take it out with me.  I used this fab fabric from Frumble called “Sewing Machines Pop Art Squares” by Timeless Treasures

Sewing Kit 9

It made me realise how old and sad my needle case was, so I made myself this new one

Sewing Kit 10

I picked one of the many colours for the lining and it looks just as good inside!


Ever since then I have been looking at my ugly block of black stuff I’ve been using as a pincushion for the past few years, and dreaming of something prettier – and big enough to take the flower head pins I now prefer to use.  I finally sat down and worked out how to do it, and thought I would share it with you all – after all, it is Christmas!


Making the Pattern


1. I drew a circle the size I wanted the pincushion to be (around the bottom of my little lint bucket)

2. Then I drew another larger circle to add the depth (around the top of my little lint bucket which is 5″ across)

3. I divided the circles into half, then quarters, then eighths to make my segments.

4. Using one segment, I added a seam allowance of 1/4″ onto both sides of the point

5. I drew a straight line across the bottom to make a triangle.  This bottom line will be placed on the fold and doesn’t need seam allowance added.


6. I traced off my pattern piece trimming off the 3 corners (in red) as the top half, and mirrored it to make the bottom half.

7. Then I cut out my pattern piece and traced it onto some template plastic.  It’s easier to trace and cut (and  fussy cut if necessary) than to pin the paper (especially as I always end up shaving slices off my paper pattern!).

Just in case you can’t be bothered with all that, here is my  pincushion pattern as a pdf file, complete with authentic smudge marks!  If you print it at 100% or Actual Size the large circle will be 5″ in diameter.  You can custom print it larger or smaller according to your needs.  The small pieces (including the self-cover button) make it a great stashbuster!

pincushion 1

Here it is sat on my circle pattern so you can see it finished up just the right size!

Making the Pincushion

1.  Cut out your 8 pieces and sew together a pair at a time, using a 1/4″ seam.  Press seams open.  (I pinked my seams too)

2.  Sew two pairs together to make a half.  Repeat with the other two pairs to make the other half.  Turn one half inside out.

3.  Fit one half inside the other, right sides together.  Stitch together, leaving a half an inch opening for turning.

4. Turn right side out, and gradually fill with polyester fibre filling through the half an inch opening, until firm (I used a bamboo skewer for this).  Slip stitch closed


5. For decorative effect, run some thick thread down each join (I used some red (Col 46) 10 g Anchor Pearl Cotton (Size 8)

jj60335_soft_sculpture_prod__61166using a 3 1/2″ long dollmakers/soft sculpture needle makes it easy to go right through from the top to the bottom of the cushion


6. To finish it off (and hide any wonky stitching) make a self cover button and sew it on the top (I used a nylon 22 mm one which is around 3/4 inch)


and add a flat one on the bottom to anchor it

Pincushion 3

My new sewing kit

Would you like me to do the same for the Needle case?

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