Weighted Pincushion Organizer. Free Sewing Tutorial. The pincushion is weighted with rice, so you can perch it on the edge of your sewing table or favorite comfy chair.
This sturdy pincushion has plenty of space to store pins and a wool felt strip for your needles. The hanging pocket is a perfect place for storing easily-misplaced tools like seam rippers, embroidery scissors and thread snips, and the detachable scrap bag helps keep stray threads and clippings from littering your workspace.
Because the pincushion is weighted with uncooked rice, it can perch just as easily on the edge of a table or the arm of a chair or sofa!
You will need three coordinating fabrics, cut as follows:
9” x 14” for Scrap Bag Lining
5” x 5” for Pincushion Top
7 1/2” x 23” for Pocket Panel
1 1/2” x 10” for Loop on Pocket Panel (also cut from fusible interfacing)
5” x 5” for Pincushion Top
9” x 14” for Scrap Bag Exterior
2 1/2” x 9” for Scrap Bag Facing (cut two from fabric and two from fusible interfacing)
3” x 10 1/2” for Pincushion Bottom(cut two)
You will also need:
Lightweight Fusible Interfacing, cut as described above
9” Flannel Square for Weight Bag
2 1/2” x 5” piece of Wool Felt for Pincushion Top
1 1/4 Cups Uncooked Rice*
Disappearing Ink Marker (or similar)
Thread to match fabrics and button and Hand Sewing Needle
*Opinions vary on how best to stuff and weight pincushions. These materials work well for me. If you don’t like them, don’t hesitate to substitute your own preferred materials. Just keep in mind that whatever you use for weight should be heavy enough to keep your pincushion in one place.
Making the Scrap Bag
Keeping right sides together, fold your Scrap Bag Exterior in half, matching short ends. Use a 1/2” seam allowance to close both sides. Repeat with Scrap Bag Lining, but using a 5/8” seam allowance.
Clip bottom corners (near the fold) of Scrap Bag Exterior and press side seams open. Repeat with Lining.
Open up one bottom corner of Scrap Bag Exterior to a point, as shown above. Measure 1 ½” from the point and use a disappearing ink marker to draw a stitching line perpendicular to the seam, as shown above.
Stitch along the line you’ve drawn and trim corner, as shown above. Repeat with the other bottom corner of Scrap Bag Exterior and the two bottom corners of Scrap Bag Lining.
You should now have two bag-shaped pieces. Place them with bottoms together, as shown, and baste or
zigzag stitch together the corner seam allowances. (This will hold lining in place.)
Turn so the Exterior is on the outside and the Lining is on the inside. Baste or zigzag stitch together the raw edges around the top of the bag.
Iron Fusible Interfacing pieces to the wrong side of both Scrap Bag Facing pieces. Placing right sides together, sew the newly interfaced Facing pieces together along the short ends, using a ½” seam allowance and creating a closed loop.
Press seam allowances open. Turn up the bottom of the Facing pieces by about ½”, as shown above, and press.
Fit Scrap Bag Facing onto Scrap Bag, as shown above, matching raw edges around the top of the bag. Line up side seams, pin in place, and sew together using a ½” seam allowance.
Turn Facing to the inside and press. Stitch Facing near the bottom edge, securing it to bag. Center and sew your button to the Facing, as shown.
The Scrap Bag can be used on it’s own or hung from the loop on the Pocket Panel, using the button.
Making the Pocket Panel
Keeping right sides together, fold Pocket Panel, matching short ends. Sew both long sides, using a ¼” seam allowance. Clip corners, turn right-side-out and press.
Bring the bottom(folded) edge up 3 ½” inches, creating a small pocket. Stitch both sides in place, keeping stitches close to the edge (about 1/8”).
Stitch pocket dividers as desired, backstitching at the beginning and end of each row of stitching to secure.
Iron interfacing onto your Loop piece and fold in half, keeping wrong sides together, as shown above.
Fold and press both long sides to the middle, as shown above.
Top stitch around all sides and fold Loop as shown above. Stitch in place across the long side of the folded triangle.
Sew Loop to the top (raw edge) of Pocket Panel, lining it up so the end can be tucked into one of the pockets when not in use. Keeping your stitches close to the edge, stitch back and forth across the Loop several times to secure.
Making the Pincushion
Start by making your Weight Bag. Fold flannel in half and sew two sides closed using a ½” seam allowance, as shown above.
Fill bag with about 1 ¼Cups of uncooked rice. (You may want to do this in a plastic tub or sink to catch
The rice should not fill the entire Bag. Use pins to hold back the rice so you can sew closed the open end, again using a ½” seam allowance.
Clip corners, being careful not to clip any seams. Your finished Weight Bag should be floppy,
like a bean bag. Set aside.
Using a ½” seam allowance, sew your two Pincushion Top squares to either side of your wool felt piece. Press each square to the outside (keeping the felt flat). Set aside.
Lay one of your Pincushion Bottom pieces on your work surface and center your Pocket Panel on top, as shown above. Sew in place, keeping your stitching about ½” from the top.
Zigzag stitch all layers together along the top edge to cut down on fraying during the next few steps.
Keeping right sides together, place your second Pincushion Bottom piece directly on top of the first.
Using a ½” seam allowance, sew 3” in from each side, backstitching to secure.
Press seam open, as shown above. (The opening in the middle will be used for stuffing and turning.)
Turn Pincushion Bottom over and roll Pocket Panel as shown to keep it out of the way for the next step.
Keeping right sides together, arrange Pincushion Top on top of Pincushion Bottom and pin in place
Use a ½” seam allowance to sew all four sides closed. For maximum accuracy, sew the entire length of each side and backstitch at each end, rather than pivoting your needle at each corner. Trim corners, taking care not to clip seams.
Turn your project right-side-out. It should now look something like the photo above.
Use the bottom opening to stuff with Polyester Fiberfill, paying special attention to the four corners. The trick is to use as much fiberfill as you can while still leaving space for the Weight Bag.
The photo above shows my Pincushion after being filled with Fiberfill, but before the insertion of the Weight Bag.
This is probably the trickiest step! Carefully feed the Weight Bag into the Pincushion, shifting the rice in the bag as needed until the whole thing fits inside the pincushion.
You may need to do a little massaging to get your stuffing and Weight Bag just right.
Once you’re happy with the shape of your Pincushion, hand sew the opening closed, taking care to keep the loose end of the Pocket Panel from getting caught in your stitches.
This opening will always be hidden, so your stitches don’t need to be pretty – just secure!
That’s all there is to it. Enjoy your new Pincushion!