Make A Frilly Doily Pincushion Tutorial

Have a vintage doily in your stash? Lets make a special pincushion!
It doesn't matter what size it can be any shape!
Using this technique, you can create a professional looking pincushion pattern.
Make a pincushion for yourself or give one as a gift for your favorite stitcher.
Lets dive right in...

The Pattern Making Tools
small ruler

Pincushion Materials
Friction or Water soluble Marker
Thread (Matching the doily colors)
Needles Sewing Sharp & Soft Sculpture (2" long)
White Fabric or Fabric that sets off your doily (for under doily on top)
Backing Fabric (yellow dots for mine) for the bottom of your pincushion.
Polyester Fiberfill
2 Buttons (decorative one for the top, plain for the back)
Heavy Thread. I use perle cotton size 5.

Optional- I used a frilly doily shape to add a fun topper to my pincushion.

Step One- Trace around the doily onto plain paper. Be sure to mark the center point on your doily.
If you just went on from here to make your pincushion, it would probably be fine. But you may be disappointed in how wonky your points are. You also may have problems lining up your top and back fabric pieces.
This next step will give you a wonderful pattern that you can use for many other things. It will also fit great when you add your doily to the top. Its worth the extra effort.

1. Measure the point from the center of the doily out to the peaks and valleys. (the lines you traced in the previous step).
2. I measured just inside the doily outline for my first measurement. Ithen added 1/4 inch out. This will give me a comfortable seam allowance.

You may notice that the original line will sometimes be smaller or larger than your first markings. Don't fret. Doilies stretch a bit. Its easier to stretch a doily than it is to stretch cotton fabric.

Once you have your pattern measured, draw a line to connect your outer dots.
Cut along that line. This is your pattern!
I have no idea why I did not photograph the next stage. its one you have done many times.
I am using my classic tutorial to show you how I cut out my pattern, sew it, turn it and stuff it.

Next I sew the opening of the foundation together. I use a mattress stitch. It is nearly invisible when you take tiny stitches.

Once I have the foundation finished, I placed the doily on top. Just stretch it here and there till it fits perfectly.
Sew the doily onto the foundation using small stitches. Use a matching or an invisible thread.

I then threaded perle cotton through the back of the pincushion to the front and back a few times.
Then I added the frilly little doily to the top, added a button, came back down through the doily and then added the button to the back.

To finish off, tie a know around the bottom button. I may do this a few times to be sure all my knots are secure. Then just cut off any excess thread and you are finished!

Here are a few doily pincushions I made in other shapes-
This is a simple square doily on felted wool. I used needle felting on the wool to give it an ombre look. A little felt ball takes the place of the top button.

These doilies use a simple round pattern. The background fabric is linen.

I love how doilies work on wool. They seem to hold onto each other, making placement a breeze. This beautiful doily looks so pretty on soft gray.

I hope you try this technique. It works for many oddly shaped patterns.
Vintage doilies are treasures from the past. Perhaps they graced the arm of her favorite chair. Maybe they adorned an end table. They all were lovingly hand crocheted by someone who really cared to take the time to create something amazing. It is a special honor to find one of these handmade wonders. I can almost feel the happiness of their original makers, knowing that their creation has been taken out of the attic and given new life.

Its worth the extra time it takes to make your pincushion even and uniform. I hope this tutorial gives you the confidence to take on any shape.
All of my pincushions include an emery pocket which is hidden inside. This adds the a a great pin cleaning and sharpening element to my cushions. Go to my tutorial page to see how I do that. Emery makes your pincushion heavier than most and helps them to stay put on your work surface.

Happy Sewing!


Unknown said...

Thank you so much for putting into words and pictures the how to's on projects of love. I too design as I sew and write out as much as possible at that time. However, I find I leave out tiny details at times. You have given me documentation ideas as well as how to ideas. Like you stated we all have our unique ways creating designs. Again thank you for sharing.

quilty stitches said...

This is a great tutorial! Thank you for sharing. Such a pretty way to use vintage doilies we have stored away!

Unknown said...