Posts Tagged ‘other sewing projects’

How the Earth and Moon Pincushion was Designed

July 10th, 2016

This blog is a continuation of tech support’s (husband’s) guest blog on the Earth and Moon pincushion. In this blog Joe explains how he designed the pincushion. -Sherralyn

Several years back I got the idea to use a globe of the Earth with attached Moon as a novelty pincushion and emery in place of the traditional tomato and strawberry. I talked to Sherralyn about the idea and she thought it might work but said that it was not obvious how to sew up a pincushion sized sphere. So I looked at some possible solutions. I considered a gore map. But Sherralyn didn’t like all the darts that approach implied.


I looked into using approaches like those used to make tennis balls


and soccer balls.

I came across dymaxion maps


and Cahill’s  maps


and Waterman’s butterfly maps.watermanMap

Finally we settled on the Waterman butterfly projection map as perhaps the easiest to sew up on a machine. Its compact shape fit onto a 8½”x11” piece of paper better than the more elongated maps. As a sewing project, this approach has two single darts, four clusters of triple darts, and one main seam.
I drew shapes based on the Cahill/Waterman octahedrons, added seam allowances, and marked the darts. I made the shapes blue and manually placed images of land masses copied from a map where I thought they should go.

Oh, and I added a patch with Antarctica on it.

As the Moon is only about ¼ the size of the Earth, Sherralyn thought that a simpler approach was needed for the satellite. Photos of the two sides of the Moon were placed into yellow circles and a few darts were added. This allows the Moon to be sewn up like a small cushion. While the Earth and Moon are roughly to scale, the cotton pearl connecting the Earth pincushion to the Moon emery would need to be almost 7 feet long to keep to scale so you may want to compromise accurate scaling there with a more practical length.

The original pattern was scaled for US letter size paper but would fit on A4 paper as well. When I uploaded it to Spoonflower I rearranged the components to fit an 8”x8” swatch but did not change the original shapes.

Pattern Shapes ,

More on Matching Outfits and My Website’s New Look

April 17th, 2011

Continuing the idea of making a girl and small doll matching dresses, I have found a few girl’s patterns that can match my small doll’s A-line dress pattern. Simplicity 2194 is a girl’s A-line dress. It has suggestions for embellishing the dress that you might copy on the doll’s dress. Amazon offers a book titled Absolutely A-Line by Wendi Gratz that has received fairly good reviews. The pattern and the book both promise dresses that are easy to make.

Simplicity also has a few short jackets included in other girl’s dress patterns. None of the patterns that I looked at are an exact match for the jacket included in my doll’s A-line pattern. The girl’s jacket patterns are more complicated than the A-line dress pattern. My doll’s jacket pattern is an easy pattern. If you are sewing for a young girl, you might want to look at the jacket patterns. A short jacket is an interesting addition to a wardrobe.

I have not tried any of these patterns. The pictures look like a good match for my doll’s A-line dress. Give the little girl in your life a pair of matching dresses for her and her Ginny, Madam Alexander doll, mini American Girl, one of my three cloth dolls, or other favorite small doll.

If you have visited my blog before, you may have noticed my blog’s new look today. My technical support (my husband, as I have said before) has put the finishing touches on my website’s new look. The blog was the last page that he worked on.

blog, Patterns from other designers , , , ,

An Easy Project

January 9th, 2011


I usually keep my needles in a strawberry emery. I learned years ago never to put my needles in a large tomato pin cushion. The needles will either vanish forever or work themselves out and surprise me with a prick when I’m trying to pin something together. Last week when I was writing about basic sewing tools, I cut a rectangle of black felt and arranged a selection of needles and a needle threader on it.

After the photo session, as I was putting the tools away, I found that I liked the black felt for needles. I decided to make a needle book.

My needle book is a bit thicker than most needle books, because I am going to try to keep most of my needles sorted in it.

I cut three rectangles of black felt and one rectangle of red felt for the cover. The cover is larger that the black rectangles. I placed the cover on the bottom and stacked the three black rectangles on top. I sewed a machine stitch down the middle of the stack to make a spine for the needle book.

I folded my felt stack on its spine of machine stitching to make a book. I glued appliques from my collection on the cover.

I sorted my needles by page. I put the needles that I use most often, size 8 embroidery needles, on the first page. I like that size for most hand sewing as well as most embroidery.


Sharps are on the next page. They have a smaller eye, so I put my needle threader on that page as well.

Longer needles have their own page. Large eyed tapestry needles for ribbon embroidery and other interesting things take up two pages. The last page is reserved for unusual needles like my curved upholstery needles. I don’t sew furniture. I like to sew little things, but I find a use for the curved needles occasionally.

My needles are all organized for the new year. Now all I need to do is refold all my fabric stacks.

getting organized, hand sewing

Fabric Covered Easter Eggs

March 7th, 2010

Patchwork Egg

Gold Egg


When I taught 9 and 10 year olds in elementary school, one of their favorite art projects was covering egg shells with colored tissue paper. For a month or two every spring, I poked a hole in the top and bottom of each egg that I needed for cooking. I blew the egg out of each shell and saved the shells. When I had enough empty eggs, The children painted the shells with white glue and then covered the eggs with small pieces of colored tissue paper.


I decided to substitute fabric scraps for paper. I used Mod Podge instead of white glue. I suppose that Mod Podge is a type of varnish. I find it less intimidating than varnish, because it is sold in craft stores rather than paint stores and cleans up with water before it dries. It looks like white glue, but it has a plastic smell, like fingernail polish. I like its clear finish when it dries, but white fabric glue would probably work, too.


Because it is thicker, fabric is harder to smooth out than paper. I found that small triangles of fabric are easier to smooth out than squares or irregular shapes. I used small flower prints and checks for my patchwork egg. I covered my gold egg will small triangles of gold lame’ and then added gold braid around the middle.


Next week I have a request for a blog about Toto.




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Last Minute Ideas For Christmas Gifts

December 19th, 2009

I have seen ideas for last minute gifts since December 1. To me December 19 is a much better day for last minute ideas.



The bookmark on the right side of the picture is designed for use with puzzle books, such as sudoku or crossword puzzles. The elastic loop at the top of the bookmark should extend past the book’s spine and hold a pencil to use when working the puzzles. To make one cut a rectangle of cloth the desired length and twice the desired width of the bookmark. Add iron on interfacing to to back of the cloth rectangle. Fold the bookmark in half down the length of the rectangle, so that the bookmark is the desired size. The right side of the fabric should be on the outside. Cut a length of elastic and fold it in half. Pin the elastic at the top of the bookmark. The raw edges of the elastic should be between the two folded sides of the bookmark with the loop extending far enough out to to hold a pencil. Zigzag around the three open sides of the bookmark to finish the raw edges. Sew through the elastic as you zigzag. Use a straight stitch to topstitch ¼ inch inside the zigzag stitching. Add embellishment if you wish.


I made a small draw string bag to hold a mechanical pencil plus extra lead and erasers. It is shown on the left side of the top picture. I made a large draw sting bag from Christmas fabric to hold a hard to wrap gift. Draw string bags are easy to make. Decide the size that you want the bag and draw a rectangular pattern. Add a seam allowance to three sides of the bag pattern. Add 1/2 to 1 inch at the top of the bag pattern for a ribbon casing. Cut a bag front and a bag back from your pattern. Sew the ribbon casing at the top of the bag before sewing the sides. Remember to start sewing the bag sides together below the casing so that the ribbon will have a place to go into and out of the casing. Sew the bag’s sides. Insert the ribbon through the casing. When measuring a present before cutting the bag, remember to leave plenty of room for the depth of the object. The first gift bag I made this year was too small.

I will show you what is hiding inside the large draw string bag  after Christmas.

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