Everyone who sews needs a pincushion, but instead of settling for a standard cushion, make your own that you can wear around your wrist!
This pincushion is so practical: You’ll never misplace your pincushion, and you’ll always have it handy when you’re moving around your sewing room. Plus, this cushion uses such a small amount of fabric, and you may even be able to use scraps from around the house.
How to sew a wrist pincushion
What you’ll need:
For the wrist strap
For my pincushion, I used pre-loved baby wool tights, which remove a step from the process, since the legs are already sewn in a tube.
If you can’t find wool tights, you can use jersey or interlock fabric instead. You’ll need a scrap approximately 11″ height by your wrist girth +1″.
For the pincushion top
For my pincushion, I used a scrap from a felted wool sweater. If you don’t have this kind of scrap, substitute a regular 100 percent wool felt. The lanolin properties in wool will make your needles smooth and shiny. If you’re allergic to lanolin, use acrylic felt, fleece or stiff knit fabric (like ponte). The stiffer the top fabric is, the less bumpy your pincushion will look!
More materials you’ll need:
- Cushion filling (either repurposed or or new)
- A small scrap (3½” x 3″) of jersey fabric
- A small piece (2-3/8″ x 1¾”) of plastic or cardboard
- Ribbon or ric-rac for decorating (optional)
- A zipper foot (optional)
- Pinking sheers (optional)
- Sewing essentials: pins, needle and thread, measure tape, sewing machine, scissors, etc.
First, you’ll create the wrist strap for your pincushion.
1. Cut the wristband fabric
Measure the circumference of your wrist, then add 1″. We’ll call this your wrist measurement. From your jersey or interlock fabric, cut a piece that is your wrist measurement x 11″. Create a tube by aligning the long raw edges right sides together, then sew or serge using a ½” seam allowance.
Since I used small tights, I cut a piece of the tights to my wrist measurement.
Step 2: Sew the wristband piece
Fold the fabric tube in half over itself with right sides together, matching the raw edges
Stitch the raw edges together with a ½” seam allowance, leaving about ½” unstitched so you can turn it right side out. Use a stretch stitch like a triple straight stitch to prevent the stitches popping when you use it.
Tip: You might find easier sewing this seam in two steps: First baste using a regular straight stitch, then sew with a stretch stitch.
Slip stitch the opening by hand.
Step 3: Cut the fabric for the cushion
The cushion is made of three rectangular pieces, with the following measurements:
- Felt wool: 3½” x 3″
- Jersey: 3½ x 3″
- Plastic: 2-3/8″ x 1¾”
Cut out all these pieces. I used pinking sheers on the fabrics to prevent fraying.
Step 4: Assemble the cushion
Center the jersey backing fabric right sides together onto the wrist cuff.
Use chalk to mark three sewing lines on the jersey fabric: a centered horizontal seam centered and two additional horizontal lines, each ¾” on either side of the center line.
To attach this to the wrist strip, sew along all three lines, starting and stopping at least ¾” from each edge of the fabric. Use a stretch stitch and backstitch at each end. Be sure you only sew this fabric to one side of the wrist strap, not all the way through. Put the cuff under the presser foot so the other two layers are on top like this:
If you want to decorate your pincushion top (the felt wool piece) with ric-rack, now is the time! Avoid decorations in the corners, which would add unnecessary bulk. Leave a ¾” border without decoration as well.
When your felt wool piece is ready, place it on top of your sewing table, right side up. Place the jersey/cuff piece so the cuff is up.
Pinch the cuff with your fingers so it stays up and far from the sides. Fold it down into itself.
Flip the wool rectangle on top of it, right sides together.
Pin together so the raw edges are perfectly meeting (gently stretching the jersey fabric will help).
Sew with a stretch stitch around the rectangle, using a ½” seam allowance. Leave a gap in one of the long edges so you can turn it right-side out (remember to backstitch on each end).
Be extra careful that you don’t sew into the cuff that’s inside of the cushion. You can use a zipper foot or move your needle to the left side.
Once you’re done, clip the four corners to minimize the bulk.
Then turn the whole thing right side out.
Step 5: Fill the cushion
Slip the plastic rectangle into the pincushion, holding it against the jersey layer. This will prevent any pins from slipping through and hitting your wrist (ouch!).
The main thing to look for is to perfectly fill the corners. Push the filling in with a dull pencil. Go on stuffing it until you think it’s too much, then test it with real pins.
Slip stitch the cushion closed by hand.
Now it’s ready to use!