Saturday, November 3, 2012

Needlebook Tutorial!

are you ready for the next tutorial?

these are a fairly simple version, and they're pretty quick to whip up. needlebooks are great stocking stuffers, and it seems like you can never have too many. i like to keep one with each hand sewing project that i have on the go, so i'm never searching for a needle!

finished needlebooks

this is what you'll need -
16”x 4” of main fabric (two pieces. 8" x 4")
16”x 2.75” of pocket fabric (if you only have a bit of a fabric, you could line the pocket with something else, and then you'd need two pieces 8" x 2.75")
8”x 4” of light to medium weight interfacing
one piece of thin round elastic at least 4.5” long, such as a hair tie (it's it's longer, that's great too!)
a large button, at least 1" in diameter, but bigger is better, and fancy is awesome

knitting needle or some other blunt but pointy object
hand sewing needle
erasable marking pen, such as a Pilot FriXion pen
matches or a lighter

if you're making this for the VMQG, but you don't have a button, just stop after Step 13 and bring it in unfinished. i have a TON of buttons that we can use!

Step 1 – Cut 2 pieces 8”x 4” of main fabric, 1 piece 8”x4” of interfacing and 2 pieces 8”x 2.75” of pocket fabric, and one piece of hair tie elastic at least 4.5” long. Apply interfacing to one piece of main fabric, this will be the outer piece.
1 pieces

Step 2 – Stitch the two pocket pieces together (right sides together) using ¼” seam allowance.
2 stitch pocket

Step 3 – Press wrong sides together, topstitch, lay on top of non-interfaced (interior) fabric piece.
3 press and topstitch

Step 4 - Mark the centre of the needlebook short edge, on the right side.
4 mark centre

Step 5 – Burn the ends of elastic to keep them from fraying and stitch the elastic in place inside the seam allowance.
5 stitch elastic

Step 6 – Lay the interfaced piece on top of the pocket and interior pieces, right sides together. Pin around the edges.
6 pin layers

Step 7 – Leave an opening on the bottom right side, this will be the most inconspicuous spot.
7 leave opening

Step 8 – Sew all the way around, stopping and starting at the opening. Use a 1/4” seam and a short stitch length.
8 sew around

Step 9 – If you’re using a striped fabric or something with a very distinct pattern, it will be obvious if your seam allowances are the slightest bit off, so you might want to straighten them out to match the stripes.
9 correct stripes

Step 10 – Trim the corners, being careful not to cut your stitches.
10 trim corners

Step 11- Turn right side out through the opening that you left. Use a slightly rounded tool to push out your corners, such as a knitting needle. If you are using a pointier tool, be sure to push from behind the batting, so that you don’t accidentally push through the fabric.
11 turn needlebook

Step 12 – Press flat, aligning the edges of the opening.
12 press

Step 13 – Hand stitch the opening closed using a ladder stitch. Tie a knot once you’ve stitched it closed, and pull the knot into the seam allowance to hide it.
13 ladder stitch closed

Step 14 – Do you have a button? Remember, bigger is better, and use a nice-looking button, since it's kind of the focus of the needlebook. Fold the needle book in half, and fold the elastic loop over the front of the book. Using a marking pen that can be erased (I’m using a Pilot friXion pen, which is erased by heat), mark where the button will go.
14 mark button

Step 14b – Because of the centre positioning of the button on the front, your sewing will be hidden by the pocket, but we still want it to look as nice as possible. Part of the way that you’ll do that is by using an invisible knot to start stitching. Cut one long piece of thread, and fold it in half. We’ll be working with a doubled needle to sew the button on. However, unlike the traditional doubled needle, we’ll be threading the needle eye with the two ends of the thread, and leaving the centre fold free. See the picture below?
15 button thread

Step 14c – Pull your needle through from back to front, just to the side of the marking that you made on the front. Leave the loop on the backside, and be sure not to tug the thread right through! Thread your button onto the needle, and pull the needle back through to the backside. As you do this, pull your needle through the loop that you left, securing it in place. And then just sew the button on as usual!
16 button knot

Step 14d – Once the button is secure, tie a small knot, and then thread your needle through the stitches that are holding the button on and tug the knot under the stitches to hide it.

Step 15 – Bring your needlebook to a meeting or a sew-in, and we’ll finish it off by adding a rectangle of wool to the inside.
needlebook pockets

if you're playing along at home, you'll want Steps 16 and 17 as well -

Step 16
cut a piece of wool felt 3"x 7". if you have pinking shears or a pinking blade for your rotary cutter, pink the edges to make them look nice.

Step 17
centre the felt inside the needlebook and pin carefully. sew a line of stitching down the middle of the book. if you're not confident in your straight sewing abilities, i'd suggest marking the centre line on the outer, non-fuzzy fabric. Pilot FriXion pens will leave a "ghost" marking on coloured fabrics, so don't use it! if you don't have a different marking pen, use a strip of painter's tape and sew along the edge.

what do you think?

any questions? just ask!


Susan J Barker said...

hmmmm, i think you are right, I do need a few more needlebooks! I have two, but I always seem to be looking for them, so a few more and I won't have to look so long before I come across one of them!
Thanks for the tutorial, I didn't think of putting that pocket in, before.

Mrs Flying Blind... said...

They are great, but I already have an amazing Melody Miller one made by your fair hand!

Cherie said...

They both look so cool! It's always great to have fun practical things in your sewing kit!

Sew Sisters Quilt Shop said...

Hi Amy. Great tutorial. I've been meaning to make a needle case for my carry along projects.
Writing from Sew Sisters Quilt Shop. We're celebrating quilting/crafting bloggers in Canada this month with Blogathon Canada. Would be great if you would link up. More details here:

Fiberquilt said...

I always learn something really useful from your tutorials , you give great directions which is not always easy to do.
Needle cases are so fun, think I need to make one.

Constance said...

Amy, would you please send me the tutorial to make the pin cushions with the material you sent home with me to be sure I make the exact right one? Thanks Amy!

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