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Stitch a heart-design needle case: free sewing pattern

PR sew heart-design Jan Constantine needle case

Materials and equipment

● 15 x 60cm (6 x 23 1/2in) of cream wool felt for the needle-case cover and inner pages
● 10 x 10cm (4 x 4in) of bright pink wool felt for the heart
● 15 x 25cm (6 x 9in) of bright pink cotton fabric (dyefast) for the lining
● 25cm (9in) of bright pink ribbon, 7mm (1/4in) wide
● Needle-case pattern and heart motif template (click here for the template, in PDF format)
● Dressmaker’s carbon paper
● Masking tape
● Embroidery kit and stranded cotton embroidery thread (dyefast) in bright pink
● Sewing machine, matching thread and sewing kit
● Pinking shears
● Iron and ironing clot

Prepare the wool fabric by pressing it, with a cloth placed between the fabric and the iron to prevent the hot iron from making the fabric shiny.

Using a photocopier, enlarge the pattern for the lining and outer cover with the heart motif by 150 per cent. Enlarge the pattern for the two inner pages by 150 per cent. For the needle case and lining: cut 1 in wool felt. Cut away the inner, smaller heart from the front cover. Cut 1 in pink cotton lining. Use the outer heart template to cut out 1 larger heart shape in contrast wool felt. For the inner pages: cut 1 large and 1 small in wool felt using pinking shears.

Cutting out Pin the pattern on to the fabric and, using tailor's chalk, trace neatly around each piece, checking that the straight grain line is still parallel with the selvedge. Remove the pins and the pattern to reveal the marked shapes. Cut round the shapes with sharp dressmaker's scissors, just on the inside of the chalk line. It is helpful to look ahead at the line as you cut, to produce more accurately cut pieces. Cut out one needle-case cover in cream wool felt. Using dressmaker’s carbon paper between the fabric and the pattern, held in place with masking tape, trace around the smaller heart template to transfer it onto the centre of the needle-case front cover, on the wrong side of the fabric. Carefully cut out the heart shape.

Using the larger heart template, cut out one heart shape in pink wool felt for the appliqué (left).

Using pinking shears, cut out the inner pages – one large and one small – in cream wool felt.

Cut out one inside-cover lining in pink cotton.

Position the right side of the pink heart against the wrong side of the corresponding cut-out heart shape on the needle case. Make sure the overlapping edges are even all the way around, and pin and tack the heart in position. Machine stitch the heart in place, sewing close to the cut-out edge on the front of the needle case in matching cream thread.

Embroidery: Starting at the top inverted point of the heart, work blanket stitch around the outer edge, using six strands of pink embroidery thread and making the stitches 5mm (1/4in) long and spacing them 5mm (1/4in) apart (left).

When the embroidery is complete, iron lightly on the wrong side of the heart.

Making up the needle case
With right sides facing, pin and tack the pink cotton lining to the cream felt needle case. Machine stitch with a 1cm (1/2in) seam all the way around, but leave a 6cm (2 1/2in) gap on the back vertical edge of the needle case to turn it through to the right side (right).

Trim the corners diagonally to remove bulk, remove the tacking and turn the needle case through to the right side, pulling the corners into shape. Neatly slip stitch the gap in the seam closed (see page 143) and then iron on the lining side of the needle case.

Machine stitch one row of topstitching close to the edge and then another row parallel to this 5mm (1/4in) in from the edge.

Embroidery: Using six strands of pink embroidery thread, work blanket stitch all around the outside edges of the needle case, making the stitches 5mm (1/4in) long and spacing them 5mm (1/4in) apart.

Ribbon holes: Using the sharp point of the scissors, carefully punch two holes, as marked on the needle-case pattern, through the centre of the cover and the two inner pages.

Place the cream felt inner pages inside the needle case with the smaller rectangle on top, lining up the punched holes. To fasten the pages together, thread the pink ribbon through both holes from the inside of the needle case and tie in a bow in the centre of the outside of the spine (left).



This needle case is taken from 'Love Stitching' by Jan Constantine (Aurum Press, £20). 

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