Friday, January 7, 2022

Fanciful Utility - Victorian Needlebook or Pin Holder


Needing a break after my complex 1847 dress recreation project, I decided to make a Victorian needlebook - a small, useful piece for storing pins and needles. This is a much-needed upgrade from me carrying the plastic Dritz box of pins to events!


I was inspired by this free tutorial from The Sewing Academy/Anna Worden Bauersmith for a trefoil beaded needlebook. As this was my first time making such a thing, I didn't want to fuss with beads, embroidery, or whip stitching fabric along a curved, scalloped edge. 



The needlebook is stiffened with a thin piece of cardboard from a casserole dish's packaging. The outer fabric is a poly blend jacquard and the inside fabric is a poly blend satin. The inside of the needlebook has a scrap of worsted wool fabric, finished around the edges with scalloped pinking shears. The wool "pages" are secured to the "binding" with vintage rayon seam binding (as a substitute for silk ribbon) - I used a large upholstery needle to punch holes in the materials and thread through the ribbon. 



The needlebook outer fabric and lining fabric were sewn, right sides together, along three edges on my sewing machine. Then I trimmed the seam allowances, flipped the piece right sides out, and inserted the piece of cardboard. I closed up the previously unsewn edge of the needlebook with whip stitches - these are conveniently hidden in the jacquard.

Lastly, more rayon ribbon was sewn onto the edges of the needlebook - these are tied in a bow to keep the needlebook closed. 

This was a fun, satisfying, and quick (I made it in an evening!) project. It felt great to use up some scraps that I had been saving and turn them into something useful and pretty. One day I'll make the original beaded, embroidered, and scalloped design! 

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