My mother always had a sewing box which held her basic sewing tools. It was an old metal chocolate box from Switzerland with beautiful renaissance paintings on it. She used her Singer scissors just for cutting fabric and we were forbidden to use it for cutting paper or cardboard for crafts. Also, she would never cut thread with it; she had a small scissors for that.
MAKE YOUR OWN SEWING BOX
I followed my mother’s tradition, and created a sewing box for myself repurposing an old cardboard cigar box. I suggest looking for a nice box you like that you already have at home, or you can find in a vintage store, or line a basket with fabric. No purchase necessary!
Following are the list of essentials I keep in my box:
- Embroidery scissors
- Fabric scissors
- Measuring tape
- Pin cushion
- Needle book
- Needle threader
- Seam Ripper
- A few buttons and fasteners
MAKING A NEEDLE BOOK
When I went on a trip to Florida with a friend, we decided to take a small hand-sewn project with us. Each of us grabbed a few pieces of felt scraps, needle and thread, and made a needle book for our sewing box. Originally, I planned to use 3 longer rectangular pieces and fold them to get 6 pages, but the felt pieces were too small so I decided to hold the pages together by sewing a spine on it, just like a hard cover book! Coming back home, I found this old button which is carved and painted seashell.
I love how the colors go with my scissors cover. This is a perfect project to use whatever felt pieces you have on hand; wool felt scraps, favorite collected pieces or felt from old sweaters are all ideal.
A good size for a needle case is about 4 inches x 5 inches, give or take a little!
STEP BY STEP NEEDLE BOOK
1. Cut 4- 6 rectangles of felt.
2. Cut a strip 1 inch wide and the same length as your needle book for the binding.
3. Arrange the colors as you’d like to see them as you open your case.
4. Pin the strip of wool felt around the long edge of the needle case, like a book binding.
5. Sew up, close to the binding edge, making sure you go through all the layers of felt. Use backstitch to get a good tight seam.
6. Trim the felt squares as required to even them up.
7. Cut a 1-inch wide by 3-inch long strip of felt to make the closure.
8. Sew onto the back cover, using backstitch again.
9. Make a slit in the felt using sharp scissors. The opening should be just slightly bigger than your button. If you like, sew around the edges of the buttonhole to keep it from stretching, using blanket stitch.
10. Sew a special button onto the front of your case, and it’s ready to use!
Optional: Use a fancy embroidery floss and blanket stitch around the edges of your needle case- a canvas for your beautiful stitches as well as a perfect organizer for all your future stitching!
Pardise Amirshahi is a mother, artist, longtime magazine pro and editor for livingcrafts.com, a website dedicated to crafts for families that embrace a natural lifestyle.
She loves to sew, felt, knit, paint, and take photographs.
You can reach Pardise at firstname.lastname@example.org.