Finally, the spring tutorial is here!
UPDATE: I dreamed up this ladybug-inspired needle case after creating a project in sewing class from a vintage needlecase that was shaped and constructed similarly to the I created below. The pattern for the needlecase and the instructions on how to construct this needlecase are of my own creation.
And of course, the ladybug embellishment/design is my own original creation.
So please feel free to make these for personal use but no selling allowed, ok? This includes similar variations on my original design. Thank you.
So let's get started!
- Wool felt. Do not use Eco-fi or craft felt for this
project. I experimented with it because it is a cheap option, but you'll only have a hot mess
when you're done. Craft felt is 100% acrylic and not flexible enough for
this project. Plus the lanolin left in wool felt will help protect your
needles from rust during storage.
One-quarter yard each of red and black is plenty. Or one 8 1/2 x 11 sheet red and two 8 1/2 x 11 sheets black. Wool felt comes in a variety of options. 100% wool felt is incredibly expensive so I used a 35% wool blend felt and it worked well for this project.
- Construction paper or card stock or scrap paper, any color. One sheet will do.
- Sewing pins.
- White chalk for marking.
- Red and black spools of thread.
- Craft or fabric glue.
- A pencil or pen.
- Black Velcro dots. I like the sticky adhesive kind.
- Optional: White stamp pad for marking circles. You can also use a stencil and chalk or another method that you prefer.
First we need to make two pattern pieces in order to cut out our felt. You'll need to make an 8-inch circle first. There are several methods you can use: a plate, a stencil, a protractor....you decide. I traced around a small Pyrex bowl:
Open it up, and you have a flower circle. (So cute!):
By the way, a standard coffee filter is also about 8 inches wide. You can also use that as a pattern template, but glue it to something heavy like construction paper because they are very flimsy.
Now create a little "molehill" out of construction paper using the measurements below. This will make the tab closing for your needle case:
Tape it to the back of your flower circle and your pattern is finished:
Step Two: Cut and Mark
Now cut out your felt. This is self-explanatory so I'm not posting photos. A word of advice: use a lot of pins to keep your pattern from slipping around on the felt. Cut out one flower circle in the red felt and one in black felt. Don't throw away your scraps, we'll be using them later.
Fold the black felt in half as shown to find the middle of circle:
Make 12 circles if you want it to look like mine and cut them out. Trim down about four of the circles to about half the size of the larger circles. (Ladybugs' spots vary in size, ya know).
Cut out a narrow 8" strip of felt that is slightly wider at the bottom as shown below.
Trace around the "molehill" tab section of the pattern with chalk and cut one piece of black felt as shown below:
Step Three: Sew
Ok, now we're ready to sew!
Pin the two felt flower circles together. Felt tends to slip so make sure it's secure. Thread your machine with the red thread. First, sew along the chalk lines that you just marked.
Then carefully sew around the edges of the design, about 5/8" from the edge, following the scalloped pattern. You may want to use chalk to draw in the seam line as a guide. After sewing, simply brush away all of the chalk with your hands. When you are finished it will look like this:
Step Four: Glue!
Now to make the case look like a (stylized) ladybug. I thought this part was the most fun! Use this photo of the fully-opened back of the needle case as a guide:
Turn your needle case over and glue the long strip of felt down the middle of the case. Trim off any excess at the top.
Glue the "molehill" tab on top. This creates a "head" for your ladybug. Using black thread, stitch along the very bottom of the black tab to secure it either by hand or machine, it's up to you.
Now decide where to place your spots. Avoid gluing the felt circles along the stitching lines because these are actually going to be your fold lines when you close up the case. Be sure to glue these down securely and let them dry before folding the case.
Finally, place a black velcro dot in the at the very bottom of the case, in the middle of the black strip. Tack this down with a few stitches by hand or machine:
To fold it up, pinch in the middle as shown here:
And close the tab over the front to secure.
If you'd make one I'd love to see it! Share a link at the bottom of the post or join my new Flickr group, Serendipity Vintage & Handmade! All creative projects welcome.
If you like this tutorial I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.