Handmade Sewing Kit Using Thrifted Clothing

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner


Photo of the completed pieces of the project all together

I have had the good fortune of working with Fiskars for five years now. I have no clue how many projects I've made in that time, but I do know that it's enough that I should have developed some sort of system by now that prevents me from losing my tools while I'm creating! And that's what I'm attempting to do with this project.

While I was in the mode of organization, I decided it was also a good time to clean a little bit out of my stash in my craft room rather than go out and buy new fabric. I pulled out one of my old pairs of jeans and a shirt that I found in my husband's grandma's house when we cleaned it out after she died. I loved the tiny floral print and the bright colors against the white. It felt good to use it for this project because, in addition to really liking the pattern, I found this shirt in GG's fabric stash in her sewing room! I think she would have been tickled that I saw potential the same old shirt she did.

I made a fun, colorful pincushion and needle book some time ago that I still adore. Since they are so easy to make, however, it's fun to make new ones every once in a while. This pincushion one is a really quick project that can be completed in about 10 minutes.

I used a colorful ramekin, the fabric from GG's old shirt, and some fiberfill.


Photo of the materials used to make a pincushion


I started by tracing a large circle on the back side of the fabric. I used a dinner plate as my template and I used the Fiskars dressmaker shears to cut the circle out.


Photo of a fabric circle and a pair of Fiskars dressmaker shears


Next, I folded 2 sides of the circle toward the center, slightly overlapping them and stapling them several times. I stuffed the fiberfill in under the staples. This needs to be very firmly packed so I used a lot more filling than it looked like I should be using.

To complete the pincushion, I folded the rest of the fabric down around the ball of fiberfill and tested it in the ramekin to get a good tight fit. I then put hot glue in the bottom of the ramekin and firmly pressed the fabric ball down into the glue.


Photo of folding the sides of the fabric circle together


The needle book was constructed using both the jeans and GG's shirt. I cut one 5 inch x 4 inch piece and one 7 inch x 4 inch piece from the jeans, and I cut two 2.5 inch x 4 inch pieces from the shirt. I also cut one 7 inch x 4 inch piece of fusible web.


Photo of the cut material pieces for the needle book


With right sides together and using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, I stitched one of the 2.5 inch x 4 inch shirt pieces to each side of the 5 inch x 4 inch jean piece. I ironed the seams open when finished.


Photo of piecing together fabrics for the needle book


Following the manufacturer instructions, I used my iron to apply the fusible web to the wrong side of one of the panels. When it was cool, fused that piece to the wrong side of the other cover piece.


Photo of the layer order for the pieces used to assemble the needle book


Next I folded the cover in half and placed it in the Fuse curvy square die (taking care to place the folded edge inside the cutting edge of the die to prevent the fold from being die cut) and ran it through the Fuse.


Photo of how to place the the folded needle book cover in the Fiskars Fuse die


To complete the needle book, I cut 2 pieces of felt to 5.5 inches x 3 inches, centered them inside the cover, and machine stitched down the center.


Photo of attaching the felt pages to the needle book


The final part of my sewing kit is the part that I have great hopes for keeping me from spending so much time searching for lost tools when I'm creating. It's simply a large vegetable can for which I created a pretty cover. Using the measuring tape from the Sew Taxi, I measured the circumference of the can and divided the number by 4 since I wanted to use 4 panels. I then measured from top to bottom of the can. I added 1 inch to both numbers to allow for seam allowances and cut 2 pieces from the shirt and 2 pieces from a coordinating fabric.


Photo of cut pieces of fabric used to make the can cover


Using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, I stitched the 4 panels together. I hemmed the top and bottom edges 1/2 inch. I completed the can cover by stitching together the 2 ends of the fabric panel and I slipped it over the can.


Photo of the 4 fabric panels for the can cover stitched together


The final result, one location for all of my tools for my next project. And I'll have a little bit of GG with me each time I sew.


Photo of the completed pieces of the project all together


Supply List

Ramekin or other base for pincushion, old clothes, thread, 1 sheet of craft felt, large vegetable can