Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Custom Sewing Set - WIP Wednesday November 6, 2013

As some of you may know, I have an etsy shop where I sell my quilt patterns and sewing accessories.  Over the weekend I was approached to make a custom combined cathedral window pincushion and thread catcher.  I love the chance to design and figure out new things so I readily agreed. 
 Here is picture of the pincushion and thread catcher the buyer wanted me to base the combined version on:

I thought that I would share my process and some of my learning's.  I knew that in making the combined design:

     1. I needed to make the pincushion as heavy as possible to hold the fabric basket.  I usually use about half crushed walnut shells and half stuffing.  I changed the filling to almost all crushed walnuts.

     2.  I wanted the set to be separable so that the pincushion and thread catcher could be used together or separately.

     3.  I needed to make the fabric basket a different dimension.

I first used pins, fabric, a cathedral window pincushion, and a fabric basket to mock up a design, don't you love the fabric combinations?  :)  My original thought was to add the connecting fabric in the seam of the pincushion.

As you can see above this was a no go because it tilted the pincushion.  From playing around the fabric strip and where I attached everything I was able to design a prototype:

I made the prototype out of some of my favorite Bella fabrics because I get to keep the prototype :) (The colors in the picture on the right are more of the true colors in the fabrics.)

So the main changes I made to the set to make it combined:

    1.  I made the pincushion much heavier.  This weight seemed like it was able to hold up the basket well.

   2.  I added tabs to the bottom of the pincushion and into the seam on the fabric basket and added a button and button hole to connect the two.  I added some interfacing to the button and button hole area of the fabric strip to give it some stiffness and strength.

   3.  I kept the width of the basket the same but made the basket deeper from 4 inches to 5.5 inches.

I am very happy with how the set turned out.  Now it is time to make the "real" set for my customer.

I was wondering everyone's opinion on pincushions and thread catchers.  I had never really thought about combining them as I move my pincushion around a lot and like my thread catcher to always sit on the table next to my sewing machine (if I move it and forget to put it back I have the bad habit of throwing the threads on the floor).  Do you like yours together or separate?  If there is interest in the combined version I might make a few more for my etsy shop for the holiday season.


Linking up with WIP Wednesday!


  1. I like the option to combine them- that gives flexibility to use as best suits the moment! What a lovely design- thanks for sharing your process.

  2. I haven't made either of these,but I liked reading about your persistence in getting it right! Good for you and the colors are wonderful with the bright orange!

  3. It is gorgeous. Well thought out too, I am impressed.

  4. I like the idea of buttoning them together - but I would make it travel size as this nifty little duo would be great to take to sewing meet-ups and classes.


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