Sooo, back when I was in college, I had a work-study job in the theater department costume shop. Our wonderful boss (from whom I gained an incredible amount of knowledge about crafting, sewing and where to buy the best pastries) had us make these ingenious little bags for our sewing stations.
I recently got the inkling to try and make one again, this time for a swap that I am doing with friends.
The result was not so bad!
The top part is used as a pin-cushion (hence the pins sticking out of it), while the bottom is used for throwing away scraps of fabric and thread that are trimmed off of items as you sew.
I hope that some of you fellow crafty-types can find this idea useful. At the time, I thought it was such an amazing invention - maybe I was just young and impressionable. Or maybe it's really soooo fantastic. You decide.
Okay, enough chit-chat. Tutorial, here we come.....
I started with some scrap fabric that I had sitting around - cotton gingham/calico for the lining (something soft, thin) and some old jeans for the outside (something sturdy).
I cut out 2 squares of each fabric - about 9.5 inches X 9.5 inches.
Then, you sew a small bag out of each of the pieces of fabric.
Do this by putting the right sides of the fabric together and sewing along three edges, leaving one edge open.
Then, box the corners to make the bottom of the bag more square and dimensional.
I can't really explain very well how to do this, but if you're unsure, I bet YouTube has some amazing tutorials!
This is what it should look like when both corners are "boxed".
Repeat this process for the liner bag with the cotton fabric.
Now you should have two bags that look very similar.
Now stop and admire the cute little bags you have made. They're so little and adorable!! And wow, that was really pretty easy. Consider taking a short break, but really you are almost done, so just keep going......
Time to make the straps. To make the straps, I cut 1.5 inches off the top of each bag, top-stitched the denim and cotton together, folded both edges in (the long edges) and sewed them down.
It's not too pretty, but it works.
Now, (flip the liner bag inside out, so that the right side is inside, wrong side is outside) and tuck the top raw edges of both bags down about 1/2 inch and pin them together. Pin the straps between the liner and outside about 4 inches apart. Sew together all along the top edge.
Now to make the pincushion part. You want to use a piece of fabric that is sturdy, but soft. You don't want the pins to destroy the fabric, but you also don't want the fabric to make your pins all dull. Upholstery fabric or corduroy work pretty well. I chose a piece of corduroy that I had sitting around that just happened to be the right size. About 9.5 inches X 4.5 - 5 inches should work.
Fold it in half lengthwise, with the right sides together, wrong side on the outside. Now sew along the two short edges, and about 2 inches in on each side of the long open edge. I left part open to attach the straps and to stuff the pin-cushion.
Turn right side out.
It's probably easiest if you pin the straps in now and sew them down (4 inches apart, again), and leave about 2 inches open between them to stuff in the rocks (to weight the pin-cushion down) and the batting. I, however, am not that smart.
I stuffed the thing first, and then had a heck of a time trying to get the fluffy bundle to fit under the presser-foot of my sewing machine. That is so typical of me, though I'm sure you're all a lot smarter, so....
Anyway, in the costume shop, we made little nylon bags filled with sand, but I am not that fancy (or well-equipped) at home, so I had to work with what I had at home. So, I used rocks and wool batting to stuff the pin cushion.
And, guess what??? TA-DA!!!
You're done! And you have a functional little thing to place next to your sewing machine.
Thanks for looking and hopefully someone will find this useful!