Sunday, January 6, 2013
The Elegant Tomato Tutorial
Thanks to all who entered my Christmas Giveaway. For those who weren't so lucky, I am posting a tutorial to make your own. Its a great project for the designer at heart, even if you are rather new at sewing. In fact, you don't even really need a sewing machine for this one.
The key to this pincushion is the sparkle and a few very simple stitches. The design for this pincushion is as old as the hills. This pattern, the elegant circle is all you need. Here are a list of the other materials-
Red Velvet- or any fabric that is medium to light weight. Dress it up with velvet
of silk dupioni, go primitive with pre-patched cotton, pre-loved or a crisp white linen ready for some more involved stitching.
A Rhinestone Button- or any large button of your choice to match your fabric
New Polyester Fiberfill
A Sewing Needle and an Embroidery Needle
A Disappearing or Water Soluble Marker
Emery in a muslin pouch- very optional. This is a great pin and needle sharpening
feature. It also keeps the pincushion from rolling over since this button
is rather heavy.
Rhinestones (set for sewing) and or Beads.
Compass to draw your circle. A large plate 10-12 inches across will work.
A ruler to measure the 10-12 inches.
A protractor to measure the sections evenly. You can just fold your circle
in half and fold each half in half again to get even sections if you don't
have a protractor.
Begin by drawing your circle. Mine is a bit over 11 inches.
I then cut my circle out and stay stitch around the perimeter about 1/8 inch in. I used white thread so you could see my stitching, but matching thread is better.
Once it is cut out, I fold it in half, and then open it and fold in half the other way, creating 4 sections. This will help guide me through the next measurements.
I then line up my protractor onto the middle fold. I'm pointing to the 0 measurement. I line up the straight guide to the 90 degree mark. Using disappearing marker, I begin marking the circle into 8 sections. They should be at 0, 45, 90, 135, 180. I flip the protractor and mark the bottom sections. If you don't have the protractor, just fold your circle into 8 even sections. It doesn't have to be very exact, but it should be close.
I then mark the lines where my stitching will go. This is up to you but I alternated between long and short stitch lines that stopped about 2 inches from the bottom center. The feather stitches were used on the long side. See the following post for a tutorial on the feather stitch. Click here for a step by step in creating the chain stitch.
I have a few more stitch tutorials in case you would like to try something different than I did.
The next step is to use a running stitch, by hand, around the top of the tomato. Use heavy duty thread, doubled. A rather large stitch works well as the velvet is thick.
Pull the thread as taut as you can. You won't be able to close it completely.
Now add the emery. I sew a little pocket inside simple muslin. It keeps the emery contained. If you dump in in with the poly fill, it may grind away at the fabric in time and cause it to wear a hole in your pincushion. It occasionally gets caught in the eye of the needle making it difficult to pull the needle out.
Next add the polyester fiber fill. Use a lot of little tufts of fill until your pincushion is very full and firm. This is important to create a nice round pincushion that works especially well.
The next step is to close the top opening. This is the part that gives me the most fight. To keep the pincushion nice and round looking from the top you have to be patient and remember you are the boss. After closing a few of these in a row, I have to go take a nap.
To get it as smooth as possible you want to use heavy duty matching thread.
1. Start with a good anchor stitch by inserting the needle into the seam first.
2. Find a spot on the opposite side of the whole and pick up a good bit of fabric along the stay stitching on the outside of the pincushion.
By stitching from the outside of the top area, you are creating a bit of a hem
all along the stay stitching that will be folded over and hidden inside the
3. Repeat by picking up another part of the opening from the opposite side.
Pull it firmly so it meets in the middle of the hole.
4. Keep repeating these steps until you have the entire top closed and all of
the raw edges are tucked inside. (See the picture below).
Once I have my pincushion stuffed and closed, I add some beads and rhinestones to the outside stitching. This is up to you.
I then add the rhinestone button to the top and your pincushion is finished!
You can sew the button on, but I find that using hot glue is best for this project. In fact its the only pincushion I use glue on. The button is heavy. The top gathers are bumpy and uneven.
You want to apply a lot of hot glue to the button.
Carefully, (without dripping any glue) turn the pincushion upside down and press the button onto the pincushion. Do not turn over until the glue is firm and won't drip. Hold it firmly so that the glue fills in around the ridges and bumps of fabric that are hidden under the large button. This technique only works when with a shank style button that is domed and hollow underneath.
If your button is flat with holes, you will have it sew it on.
Here is the finished pincushion!
Here are a few more examples of this exact same pattern. Try one of your own.
This pincushion is made from rich, dark espresso brown velvet with trim and a rhinestone brooch on top.
I used silk dupioni in a shimmering orange with pink highlights. Pink organza is folded, gathered and stitched under the rhinestone brooch.
I love the primitive look of this one. I used patched fabric and many embroidery stitches along the seams. I then appliqued a wool shape on the top and added a vintage button. All of these have an emery pouches a well.
Try one of your own.