She Sews: Weighted Pincushion Organizer

Ever since seeing this in a tutorial on the Sew Mama Sew website, I’ve wanted to make one. It looked so handy to have next to the machine when sewing or on the arm of the couch when working embroidery, knitting, or crocheting, or doing just about any other crafty thing! It’s a pincushion weighted with rice that has a hanging pouch for small tools and a loop for hanging a small fabric bucket-style bag for small scraps and threads that accumulate.

Yesterday afternoon, I finally pulled out the leftover fabric from a quilt I recently made and got to work on this. The project is complex with lots of little things happening, but the tutorial breaks it down in steps with clear color photos that are easy to follow and understand, even for a beginner like me! I did make a few minor modifications, though.

1. I didn’t use any fusible interfacing. My local Wal-Mart doesn’t carry interfacing (or any fabric for that matter), and the nearest store that does is about two hours away. It turns out that the interfacing is nice, but not necessary. The bag still stands on its own without the interfacing and still holds its shape well while hanging. The loop tends to curl a bit, probably because it has no interfacing, but it’s not a problem worth a 2-hour drive to get the stuff!

2. I didn’t use wool fabric for the center of the pincushion top. This center panel is intended as a needle-storage section, and so is supposed to be made from wool fabric. I didn’t have any wool and, due to the lack of fabric stores mentioned above, I just used the same fabric I used for the back of the bag. I could have modified the top to be two-toned instead, but I liked the tri-color look and wanted to keep that.

3. I used a button I had instead of buying a 1″ button. I do think a 1″ button would work better, and if I ever come across some really cheap, I might switch it out. For now, though, this one works. I think it’s a 5/8″, but I’m not certain.

4. I prefer to have the bag inside out. I like the two-toned coloring that was originally intended for the inside. I don’t really think it matters except that the “outside” fabric (the yellow that is the INSIDE of my bucket) puckers a little because it was sewn with a slightly smaller seam allowance, to allow room for the inner bag. Oh well. It works this way, and I could probably use it either way, just the button would attach a little differently.

One thing I’m disappointed with is the weight of the cushion. I used the prescribed 1 and 1/4 cups dry rice, but it’s just not heavy enough. Maybe I just need to keep lighter scissors in there, but the scissors I have now (that I keep by my machine) are just slightly too heavy for the cushion. The cushion moves when the scissors are put in their slot, but doesn’t fall completely off the table. I’ve considered finding a way to make the bottom of the cushion skid-resistant (maybe fabric paint?) but I’m afraid I’ll mess it all up. I’ll probably just deal with it like this and eventually get some snips or lighter scissors.

Overall, I’m quite satisfied with this project, and I’m glad I finally got around to it. I waited until I was finished with the quilt so that I could use fabric scraps. I’m happy I did because I always loved the fabric combinations I used on that quilt, and now I have something next to the machine that reminds me of it!

Loaded down and ready to sew!


Bucket can stand on its own, too!


pins in the cushion


slots for keeping tools handy, but contained



4 thoughts on “She Sews: Weighted Pincushion Organizer

  1. What a whizz you are! šŸ˜€
    I’d get some of that waffly shelf liner that lookes like a smaller version of the waffly rug backing stuff they sell by the roll and hand-stick a rectangle of that under the cushion part. You know, it’s not exactly waffly because it has holes in it, but it is really soft rubbery material.
    Or maybe glue-gun glue would be skidproof enough in small dots on the underside?
    Just some thoughts.
    This sewing tool looks really usable!

  2. It looks good! Watch out for the rice – my Mum has a doorstop with some in and after a couple of years it was leaking something that looked a bit gross! I’ve found fabric paint (the “puffy” sort) works well for non-slip slipper soles so it should work for that too?

    • Hm–I’ve never heard of anything going wrong with rice. I’ll keep an eye on it, though. It is handstitched at the underside, so it wouldn’t be difficult to undo that and put something else in. The rice is in a little flannel bag inside the pincushion. I thought about dried beans, but wasn’t sure if the weight to space ratio would work.

      I did think about fabric paint. I think for now, I’m going to use it a while and see if it really needs anything and then figure something out if it does. It might be OK when I use lighter scissors.

  3. Pingback: A Year of Crafting: 2012 | Beloved Brown-Eyed Girl

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