Friday, 10 January 2014

An Almost Literal Needlebook

This is a project very near and dear to my heart. It's been a year in the making, with more than a few mistakes, unpickings, fabric-choice changes and tantrums (by the sewing machine, not me).

 It is a needlebook/pincushion combination sewn up to look like a real book, and I think it's pretty darn cute.
I used my '$100 box' fabric that I dyed with tea, and two small print tone-on-tone fabrics; a brown for the spine and a turqoisey/aqua for the title label. The needle pages are plain white cotton and the pin 'pages' are done in a grey and white pinstripe to simulate the look of an actual book.

 A view of the spine and back of the book. If I were to do this again I'd probably be fussier with my placement of the fabric and put that lovely key on the front cover.

 The front needle page - there are two, one's at the back of the book.
You can see the shoddy topstitching on the left there; my machine had a tantrum and decided not to sew stitches for no reason at all, and having already unpicked it twice, I decided to just go over the unsewn places again. And I might have gotten away with it if I had've used a white bobbin thread - why didn't I do that? Too eager to get it done, I think.

 The pin 'pages'. It's a little rectangle of foam covered in some pinstripe fabric from a shirt I picked up at the op shop. That little bit of foam was so annoying to cover, and is the reason I won't be doing a tutorial on this. Too much of this project depends on the dimensions of your foam, and I doubt you could get such a small piece accurately cut for you.

And a view of the pages as you're about to open the book.

I'm really pleased at how this came out despite its flaws. It's not even all that useful as a needlebook or pincushion, if I'm being totally honest. The needle pages aren't really flexible enough to be easily used, and the pin 'pages' with the foam in it, pins don't particularly like it.
So my judgement on this would be, "nice idea, but needs different materials to work as I'd hoped." A lower-density foam (not that this was particularly high-density) might be easier to stick pins into (it's not that it's hard, it's just... sticky? It's much easier to stick the pins in a pincushion filled with stuffing), and perhaps just using felt for the needle pages would fix their problem, although wouldn't look as crisp.
I'd also use white bobbin thread when topstitching the cover, and perhaps changing my needle would fix its skipping-stitches problem.

Final judgement: a very pretty bit of useless clutter.

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