Hi! This is Kathy again from Handmade Dress Haven….here to teach you how to make a peacock pincushion.
If you know me even a bit, you know I love peacocks! Recently, I had the idea to make a peacock pincushion for my sewing machine.
And today, I am going to teach you how to make one, too! It should measure about 7” tall with a 3 “ base and a 4” square inch “tail”. This should fit at the side of your sewing machine with the body and “tail” going under your handle and the rising up along side it.
This cute peacock is designed for confident beginner on up.
Seam allowance: 1⁄4 inch for “tail” and 3/8” for body.
Note: While I do finish the top seam, I do not serge or zigzag interior seams on the “tail” since it is essentially going to be a snippets trash bag.
What You’ll Need:
* Fabric scraps, ideally in blues and greens. Two pieces should be about the size of the 8 1⁄2 by 11” sheet of paper the pattern is on, and the rest can be any size from a few inches up. You will be making two 5” by 6” squares from them.
* Miscellaneous scraps as stuffing.
* 1⁄4 inch polyester knit elastic, two 20” pieces
* Thread to match
* Sewing pins with pretty tops
How to make a peacock pincushion
First, print out the peacock pincushion template.
Now find some scraps and iron them. Choose which one fabric you will use for the body and cut out pattern. Cut two peacock bodies. Make sure they are mirrored when cut out (photos below).
First, cut out some 6” squares, from your tail fabrics. Then, cut them in half along the bias to create triangles.
Now piece your triangles together in pairs and play with how the squares look. I decided to sew mine together so I have one large triangle in the middle and two smaller ones on the outside.
Next, trim your pieces to be 3 1⁄4” by 4 1⁄4.” Sew the two rectangles together on the sides and bottom.
Now, serge or zigzag stitch the top, fold down 1⁄4”, and sew that seam.
Finally, mark 1” from each corner and sew a stitch across that diagonal on each side (left photo on bottom, below).
Turn right side out and admire your cute “tail” (right photo on bottom, below).
Sew the two sides wrong sides together, leave three inches of side open for stuffing. Side is where tail will meet body, the straight line.
As shown in the top right photo below, clip corners and curves. Curves need a wee snip every 1⁄4 inch or so, just to help them turn properly.
Now turn the peacock right side out. Use a pokey tool to get corners and curves looking good and iron flat.
Keep your pokey tool handy!
Go back to your pile of scraps and cut a giant handful or two into little pieces. This is what you are going to stuff your peacock with! Now, you are welcome to use batting but I like to use my tiniest scraps for this purpose (bottom left photo below).
Stuff them in gently, using your pokey tool, to get the desired look. Be patient so you don’t poke a hole in your peacock. The neck is tricky but you can do it! Cut more scraps as needed. Massage the peacock from the outside to help distribute the scraps evenly.
When it looks good (bottom right photo below), fold the side seams in and pin the hole closed. Set aside.
Measure around your sewing machine’s side. Measure under the dial and around. Mine is 21” so 20” of elastic is perfect. After I sew it in the peacock, it will be 19, ” and I don’t need a lot of stretch. Trust me when I say make the strap almost as long as the body is around.
Insert the elastic into the pinned part of the body, as shown in picture. Sew the back closed, with elastic securely inside. I use my zipper foot to do this, because the stuffed body makes regular feet a challenge to use (second photo, below).
Attaching the “tail”
Lay the tail/bag on the side of the peacock you want to be the front. Sew on side of the tail/bag down, along the seam you just made with the elastic. This will help reinforce the elastic and it is easier than sewing everything together at one time.
Now, flip the bag to the side.
Putting the peacock on your machine
This is tricky! Take the elastic and put your hand through both loops, hold the peacock where you want it with your other hand, and pull the loops over the whole machine, under the needle and foot, and onto the inside of your machine.
Settle your peacock into his new home and put some decorative pins on his head. Use another pin or two to keep him upright and keep the bag from flopping. Your peacock is made for easy removal so the pins are the only way to keep him steady.
Enjoy your peacock!
Kathy Hennessy of Handmade Dress Haven is a contributing designer for sewmccool.com. To make sure you don’t miss a post, please follow SewMcCool by e-mail (the link is at the top of the right-hand column) or join me on BlogLovin’ – the button is just below the e-mail feed box! 🙂