I hope you like my tutorial for making a needle-case. It's the first one I've written, so I hope it's ok...
The reasoning behind it - who it's for and why I chose these fabrics etc, can be found here and here.
These are the fabrics I have chosen for the outside. You can just see the little tin it's going to go in when finished, so has been cut to the appropriate size including 1/4" seam allowances.
I trimmed the floral fabric along the top edge to make it look more interesting and to stop it fraying I used clear nail varnish along the very edge. Be careful though - it will change the colour of the fabric and make it stiff and crusty, so use it sparingly! I also used it along the edges of the pink gingham just to stop it fraying while I'm working on it.
Although you can't see it here, I used one of my late Mother's old (clean!) muslin handkerchiefs as an interlining, as the gingham is quite floppy. Add a few lines of tacking stitches to hold all the layers together. I worked a line of small stitches along the top edge of the floral fabric to hold it down - I won't take these stitches out. I've also over sewn the left and right edges - as the needle-case is all hand stitched, it's going to get a lot of handling during making.
Using one strand of embroidery floss, I worked some simple straight stitches to highlight some of the flowers and leaves etc in pink, green and gold.
This is the back view once the floral fabric has been embellished. You can also now see the muslin.
I decided to add some stylised flowers using coloured buttons, rather than embroidering them - my hand stitching isn't that brilliant.
I had a lovely antique yellow flower button that I thought might make a nice sun, with some embroidered rays around it. I then ripped these out and re-did them in a darker colour.
Next I worked very simple stems for the flowers in (wonky) straight stitch. I also added Mara's name.
Told you it was wonky...
Then just a tiny sprinkle of sequins - I love anything sparkly!!
I think this is enough decoration for the front. It's hard to know when to stop sometimes...
Then for the inside. To start with, I cut a piece of pink fabric that went really well with the colours on the outside. I had a little piece of "hand made with love" ribbon to go along the bottom edge and also wanted to use a little of the raspberry Aida, lace and ribbon from Mara's book cover.
I cut a tiny piece of gingham too - the side edges have a dash of nail varnish - and added a made with love heart. That bit of gingham to the right is all that's left now.Somehow I need to make a pin cushion from it...
I (painstakingly) worked blanket stitch around the edge of the Aida to try and stop it fraying with use, then worked some rows of straight stitch to hold it and the gingham in place.
This stitching is then covered by the lace.
Inside the left front, I added a tiny pocket with the floral fabric and a scrap of lace stitched along the top edge. Pin in position, then back stitch along the fold, flip it up into place and slip-stitch the edges to the lining. This could be used to hold a needle threader perhaps.
I had a short length of tape measure ribbon that I thought might look ok and lay it along the edge with the ribbon, trying it different ways until I was happy, then slip-stitched them in place.
I was concerned that the cover might be a bit too floppy still, so used a couple of layers of iron on interfacing on the wrong side of the lining. I cut it smaller than the fabric so that it would sit inside the seam allowance. Initially, I used one layer right in the centre to reduce bulk where the felt pages will be stitched. But after ironing and holding the layers together with the felt, I decided to slit and trim the interfacing in the very centre, just leaving the fabric after all.
The two layers were then pinned right sides together ready for stitching- be very careful to pin them the right way up! I started pinning mine with the front upside down...
This was almost the only row of machine stitching that I worked. (Did I mention we're decorating and there was nowhere to put the sewing machine, hence the hand-stitching? I had to make do with a tiny folding table for this seam...) Stitch around all four sides but leave a nice big opening along the bottom edge for turning through. I trimmed the muslin layer to reduce some bulk in the seam allowance and carefully clipped the corners.
Trim the interfacing as well, so that none of it will be caught in the seam allowances, then turn through the opening at the bottom edge.
Carefully "massage" the edges and corners to get them nice and flat. I didn't want to iron the edges because if I got it wrong it would be difficult to correct. Ladder stitch the gap closed used the neatest stitches you know how to do.
Cut 2 pieces of white felt to make your pages, a little smaller than the needle-case itself. Lay them in place, making sure they are absolutely dead centre, and tack in place using a contrast thread. The big central stitches you can see here is my stitching line. I machined along this line slowly, pulling the tacking out as I got to it. The ends of the thread were pulled through to the inside and neatly finished off and hidden within the body of the needle-case
I decided to use pinking shears along the edges of the pages too.
And that's it - you're done!!! Do you want to see a few more photos?? Go on then...