A couple of years ago, a friend of mine traveled to France and brought back a souvenir for me: A beautiful, embellished needle case. I love the case she gave me, but it’s gotten quite full and I decided to make myself another one. Because I love fine ribbons as well as fabrics, I sewed myself a ribbon-embellished needle case. This is a lovely gift for a sewing friend – or to keep for ourselves! Now you can sew one yourself with this needle case tutorial.
Here’s what you’ll need!
* Woven cotton fabric, cut into two (2) 4 1/2in by 4 1/2in (11cm) squares for the outside cover
* Woven cotton fabric, at least 9in (23cm) long by 5in (13cm) high for inside cover
* Quality muslin, cut into 3-4 pieces measuring 7 1/2in (19cm) long by 3 1/4in (8cm) high
* 1-2in (25-50mm) -wide jacquard (I like Renaissance Ribbons) or other fancy printed ribbon, cut to 4 1/2in (11cm)
* 7/8-1in (22-25mm) -wide ribbon cut to 4 1/2in (11cm) for the spine (I chose a satin ribbon)
* Pellon #70 Peltex Sew In Extra-Firm Stabilizer (<– affiliate link) cut into two (2) 4 1/2 by 4 1/2in (11cm) squares
* Sewing machine and matching threads to your fabrics and ribbon
* Iron and ironing board
* General sewing notions
* Pinking shears
* Walking foot is helpful, but not necessary
Needle case tutorial
First, sew your fancy ribbon to the center of one of your outside squares, top stitching along both long edges. This will be the front cover of your needle case. If you are using jacquard ribbon, you might choose to zigzag its raw edges first, but this isn’t necessary because the edges will be enclosed. Next, machine baste your stabilizer to the back of both squares using a 1/4in (6mm) seam allowance. Trim the stabilizer only (not the fabric!) to 1/8in (3mm) all the way around (second photo, below). This will reduce bulk in your seams.
Now sew the edge of the ribbon you’re using for the spine to the outside edge of the front cover (left photo, below). Try to make it a little neater than mine – shockingly I sew a little better when I’m not also trying to photograph my work! 🙂 Next, align the back cover so it’s next to the front cover, but leave about 1/4in (6mm) between the the covers so that your needle case folds easily. Stitch the back cover to the open edge of the “spine” ribbon, maintaining the small space between the front and back covers.
Open the covers and measure the width and height. Trim the fabric you’re using for the inside cover to these measurements, so it’s the same size as your outside cover. Sew the inside fabric to the outer cover, right sides together (left photo, below). Sew with a 1/4in (6mm) seam allowance all the way around, but leave about a 3in (8cm) opening so you can turn your needle case right-side-out later. Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and end!
Clip the corners close to your stitches, and trim the edges to about 1/8in (3mm) all the way around the case, except for the area that you left open.
Turn your needle case right side out and press with your iron on the “inside” fabric. Most ribbon has polyester content, so if you press on the outside fabric, it could melt! (No fun!) Now fold the excess fabric from the open segment to the inside of the opening, and pin. Topstitch around the entire needle case, creating a nice edge and closing the hole.
Now gather your muslin rectangles and trim the edges with your pinking shears. Stack them on top of each other and fold to find the center. Stitch the muslin “pages” to the inside of your case, centering them. Use a bobbin color that matches the ribbon of your spine for a clean look!
Now you can decorate the outside with any beads or crystals (I added a Swarovski element to the center) and add your needles to the fabric pages!
Enjoy using this needle case tutorial to make your own! If you liked today’s tutorial, sign up to receive all my blog posts by clicking the “BlogLovin’ button in the right sidebar! You might also like the Valentine Drawstring Bag/Charades game.