Sunday, 28 July 2013

Fashion Fix: Pin cushions

photos from Real Design and Media

I know the tea cup pin cushion is nothing new, but I have never been wholly impressed by the ones I've seen at fairs and in shops because of the failure to create a proper taut pin cushion where pins stand proudly.  As well as this, the quest to achieve the perfect domed cushion itself seems to elude many makers. This project sorts the men from the boys. It was honed over years of pin cushion disappointment and turned up in an early edition of Cloth Magazine.

You will need:
  • A cup and saucer of average size
  • Poly stuffing (or an old cuddly toy stuffing)
  • An 18cm diameter circle of cotton or midweight fabric
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • All purpose glue
  • Araldite
  • Trim or string of pearls

How to do it:
  1. Thread your needle with a knot and tack a running stitch around the edge of your circle about 1 cm from the edge
  2. Gather your circle into a little pouch, leaving a small hole to stuff through. Keep your thread on the needle
  3. Stuff little pieces of wadding into the pouch until it’s tightly compact and most importantly, smooth. If you can bring yourself to do it, the best kind of stuffing comes from children’s cuddly toys. Once you are happy, pull your thread tight and secure with some hand stitches.
  4. Mix your araldite (if under 16, use with assistance) and apply a thin layer in the base and around the bottom inner edges of the cup, squash your pin cushion firmly down into the glue.
  5. Apply a thin layer of araldite to the bottom of the cup, attach to the saucer. The saucer will act as a useful storage shelf for bobbins and thimbles.
  6. If you still have some creases and folds visible in the pin cushion fabric, glue a piece of trim or a string of pearls around the edge of the pin cushion to give a neat finish. 

ta da! Photo from Real Design and Media

But I'm not done yet! To just attempt the humble tea cup would be  ludicrous. What other random receptacles have we lying about the house? glass perfume bottles and decanters can work just as well (ok, there might not be that many of these lying around unless you're Elizabeth Taylor, but hey ho.)

Photo Real Design and Media
I always liked the idea of finding away of storing pins in a pincushion/storage combo. Lo, Behold the new wave in pin cushion crafting! Approach this technique in just the same manner as the tea cup: transform the stopper into a pincushion following steps 1-3 above. Once you have stuffed the pouch, insert the stopper and pull the thread tight. Tidy up any raw edges with a piece of trim or pearls. The bottle can then be used to store larger amounts of pins whilst the removable stopper becomes a handy portable pincushion!

pins a go-go. Photo Real Design and Media

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