The pincushion thread catcher that my mom gave me years ago is my sewing table’s best friend. Yeah, I know it seems a little grandma-ish but it’s no surprise that I’m a big fan of things that are both clever and cute. This pincushion thread catcher free sewing pattern is an easy beginner sewing project and makes a great DIY gift for any sewer.
A pincushion thread catcher is basically a weighted pincushion on top like this…
…that anchors your own little trashcan for stray threads and empty thread spools and scraps that you throw in here like so…
Convenient, yes? I’m always a big fan of beautifully functional DIY gift ideas. This is a great scrap buster project and wonderful gift idea for any sewer that you can make in just one evening.
I made this red weighted pincushion thread catcher thank you gift for my friend Susan who let me deeply dip into her fabric stash while getting ready for the 2008 Renegade Craft Fair. Yep, I said 2008. That makes this thank you gift 18 months late. Terrible, I know. But better late than never.
I reverse-engineered my mom’s pattern, doubled the pin cushion size, and voila! An easy beginner sewing project and free step-by-step tutorial for how to make a pincushion thread catcher. Keep reading to make your own!
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Supplies for sewing your own pincushion thread catcher for sewing tables:
- 1/2 yard outside fabric (I used red, white and black flowers)
- 1/2 yard lining fabric (I used black)
- Good fabric scissors
- Eco-friendly pillow stuffing
- Two metal door hinges to use as weights (from the hardware store)
- Optional: Plastic clothes line to use as boning and wire cutters
- Self-healing mat, rotary cutter and clear plastic ruler
- Good iron like Rowenta and ironing board
- Sewing machine
NOTE: All seams are 1/2″.
How to make your own DIY pincushion thread catcher:
1. Cut your pincushion and thread catcher fabric pieces
NOTE: All seams are 1/2″.
The weighted pincushion not only stores your pins but also holds a hanging garbage bag steady so you can discard any loose thread or scraps quickly. Use your self-healing cutting mat set to cut out the following pieces for your pincushion thread catcher:
Outside fabric (the red flowers)
- Pincushion: Cut one 9″ x 10″ rectangles
- Straps: Cut two 4″ x 3-1/2″ rectangles
- Bag: Cut one 17-1/2″ x 11″ rectangle
- Bag: Cut one 17-1/2″ x 11″ rectangle
2. Make the weighted pincushion
Fold the straps in half and sew a 1/2″ seam.
Maneuver the seam to the center and press the seam open. Turn right side out and ensure the seam is on the back of the strap (rather than on one of the sides or the front).
Put the pincushion piece face up on your table. Place the straps 1.5″ from each side of the pincushion piece on one of the 9″ long sides.
Fold right sides together, sandwiching the two straps inside.
Sew the pincushion shut, leaving about 3″ open on one of the short sides so that you can turn it right side out. Remember that all seams are 1/2″. Trim the corners a bit but not too close.
Turn the bag right side out through the opening. Press your fingers into the corner.
Press flat and set aside.
3. Make the thread garbage bag
Fold the thread garbage bag in half right sides together. Sew the side seam. Remember that all seams in this beginner sewing project are 1/2″.
Press the seam open and move it to the center like you did above for the straps. Sew the bottom seam.
Make your thread catcher basket bottom by creating a triangle where the side seam meets the bottom. Your triangle should be 1 1/2″ wide with the seam flattened open. Mark with a pencil and sew across the bottom of the triangle.
Turn the bag right side out to see how it creates a soft bottom.
4. Make the bag lining
Basically you do the same thing here as the bag outside with one important difference: You leave a hole in the side seam so that you can turn all of this stuff right side out.
Like the bag outside fold right sides together. But instead of sewing the entire seam, starting from the top, sew 4″ of the side seam. Backstitch.
Then go to the bottom and sew 2″ of the sides seam.
See the hole? This is important later.
Now just repeat what you did for the bag outside to finish off this lining. Sew the bottom seam.
Sew 1-1/2″ triangles on the bottom to create a soft bottom.
Stop here though …leave the lining with the right side in, wrong side out.
5. Attach the pincushion to the thread catcher bag
Line up the pincushion straps on the back of the bag. The back of the bag should be facing (touching) the back of the straps (so in other words, the seam-side of the bag and the seam-side of the straps should be touching each other).
Sew the straps to the bag.
6. Attach the bag outside / pincushion straps to the bag lining
So your bag is right side out and your lining is right side in. This is going to sound weird, but put your bag inside your lining matching up the back seams, and pin. See how the right sides are together? Eventually you’re going to pull this through the lining hole that you made.
Make sure your straps are tucked between the lining outside and lining inside. Sew all the way around to attach the bag outside to its lining.
Pay no attention to my messy sewing table 🙂 Turn the pincushion right side out through the lining hole.
6b. Add in the clothesline boning (optional)
So while this step is optional it helps your thread catcher bag stay open and generally makes the whole thing look nicer.
Cut a 17″ piece of plastic clothes line using wire cutters.
Make a circle with the plastic clothes line and secure raw edges with a piece of tape.
Slip the circle inside the lining hole and work it up to the top of the bag. Secure with pins.
Sew around the bag close to the “boning.”
I think the thread catcher looks great like this! And now it will stay open when it’s on your sewing table.
7. Stuff and weight the pincushion
Now my mom’s pincushion was filled with sand, but I’ve read that sand can dull pins. I picked up a couple metal door hinges for 89 cents each at the local hardware store to use as weights. Then I secured them together using floral wire.
Slip the metal door hinges into the bottom of the pincushion – it will keep it from falling off of your sewing table even with a full basket.
Stuff the pincushion with eco-friendly polyfill stuffing, keeping the hinges on the bottom as weights with the polyfill on top and on the sides.
Hand sew the pincushion closed using a slipstitch.
8. Close the bag
Hand sew the opening inside the bag closed using a slipstitch.
Be sure to pin this free weighted pincushion thread catcher sewing pattern for later:
Love to sew? Here are more top free sewing projects:
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