While I was back home in Oxfordshire last month I was able to use my mum’s well used, and slightly temperamental sewing machine. This took me back to my A-Level Textiles days and reminded me how much I love the feeling you get when you make something from scratch.
I’ve been a big fan of Kirstie Allsopp ever since I watched Kirstie’s Homemade Home, and I have to say when I caught her new series – Kirstie’s Fill Your House For Free it didn’t disappoint. Whether you are a hardcore crafter or just a beginner it is definitely worth a watch!
This further fueled my need to do some crafting and on reaching for my slightly battered sewing and crafting box (an old shoe box…) I remembered a project I had planned to start a long time ago and naturally looked on Pinterest for inspiration.
After searching through lots of beautiful images of pincushions I noticed one of the most popular styles were tomatoes with teeny tiny strawberries attached. I loved the idea of a slightly larger pincushion as a strawberry so with a bit of experimentation I ended up with this little guy!
It may look complicated but actually it was really simple to make, and you don’t even need a sewing machine! I took most of my inspiration from a guide on MarthaStewart.com with a few changes.
You will need:
Template (I used this one from MarthaStewart.com, however it was a bit small for me so I enlarged it by 2cm all round which produced a good size, but you can increase/decrease it according to what you are looking for)
Fabric for the fruit and leaf parts of your strawberry (I used some left over felt I had in red and green, along with some felt I made myself)
Needle and thread (Any needle will do as long as it’s fairly thin, regular thread in any colour is fine – I used cream)
Fine sand or emery to fill the strawberry and keep your pins sharp! (I used some sand for pets)
Cross stitch thread for the strawberry seeds (I used some left over yellow thread from a cross stitch starter kit I had)
Let’s get started!
- Modify the template if desired and cut out.
- Lay the template on the fabric you have chose for the main fruit of the strawberry and pin in place.
- Carefully cut around the edge of the template, then remove pins and template.
- I used tailor’s chalk to mark out where I wanted my strawberry seeds but you can always use regular chalk or just free hand it!
- Then using yellow thick cross stitch thread I stitched small lines to make strawberry seeds in a pattern all over the fruit (Knotting the thread and re starting after every row to keep the stitching tight and neat).
- Once finished I folded the fruit into a cone shape, right sides facing and pined in place leaving a 1cm seam allowance.
- You can use a sewing machine to stitch the fruit but I just hand stitched it and it worked just as well – just remember to keep your stitches/knots tight and neat.
- When you are all finished trim the fabric so it is neat against the stitching.
- Place the cone shape into a small jar or bottle for support (I used a egg cup, espresso cup and then a double shot glass) and fill with sand/emery leaving a 1cm gap at the top.
- Using the regular thread, stitch a loose, even stitch around the opening of the cone shape.
- Pull the stitching tight and stitch closed tightly (This took me a few attempts to begin with, so persevere!).
- For the strawberry top, lay the template on the fabric you have chosen, pin in place and cut out.
- Decorate the top with stitching if you wish then lay over the top of the fruit and stitch on (I changed thread colour here to dark green to match).
- You can add a handle to the strawberry if you would like, if not…
- You are all done! 🙂
To finish my pincushion off I sat it in a basket made from the box my pins came in and some gingham fabric cut with pinking scissors (They make that quirky zigzag edge!).
I really enjoyed making this sweet little strawberry pincushion and my mum even requested one! It has inspired me to try out a few other pincushion ideas, so if they work out as well as this one I will be sure to post them here.
A Craft in the Life…