Sunday, July 16, 2017

The perfect wrist pincushion

I don't know about you, but I love using a wrist pincushion.  It is so much easier than carting around loose pin cushions, although I use those too.  

However, I have had pet peeves.  The kind with the plastic band band slips, is not very adjustable to wrist size, is narrow so I continually miss the cushion and prick myself, and when it is hot I sweat underneath. 

As an alternative I made an upcycled cashmere band and my own cushion, which worked very well except for the pins and needles sometimes hitting my wrist underneath and some shifting around of the cushion. The original band wore out so when I added a new band I glued a patch of leather underneath the cushion, which was an improvement as I did not get pricked as much.  Much to my disappointment it has been missing for some months.
I finally realized I don't want to wait any longer for it to show up, so I've been on a mission to build the perfect wrist pin cushion. I think I hit it!

The key is a wide leather cuff.  While I was in Florence, Italy with the Canada College Fashion Department Study Abroad (Italian Fashion) class a few weeks ago we visited a fantastic family owned leather business.  I saw leather cuffs on the wall and excitedly tried them on but none was perfect.  We had just toured their incredible on-site workshop and I realized I could order a custom-made cuff!

This is the result.  It is slightly wider on one end than the other to fit my wrist.  It is 2.5" wide and has snaps on  both corners. I requested perforations on both sides to accommodate attaching the cushion. Perfection!

Now for the cushion.  It is double upcycled and felted wool, LOL. It started as a thrift store score of a brand new Alpaca golf sweater which my husband did not want to wear (darn him!). 

So I upcycled it into a felted cross body handbag complete with a zippered inside pouch from FABMO fabric, and lining from a wool remnant purchased at the PenWAG (my guild) holiday party exchange/fundraiser, and embellished it with huge vintage mother of pearl buttons I got when visiting my Aunt Jane in Minnesota.  

It was a thing of beauty...until I washed it again in a load with a tube of red lipstick.  Not only did it shrink more, it got red streaks that did not come out.  Back to the "use it for something" pile. Unfortunately I do not think I ever took photos of it.

Felted wool makes a great pincushion. So I cut up the bag, layered rectangles and sewed them together by hand.  
Then I wrapped one long piece around the stacked ones, seam down the middle of the underside and stitched it closed.  It probably could have been used it just like this but it was shedding quite a bit.
I encased the felt cushion in crushed red velvet.  
I pulled and sewed all the raw edges down so that they would be hidden next to the leather cuff. Red is my favorite color so this will make me smile every time I use it.
 It was a mistake to use white thread on the underside as some showed once the cushion was sewn on.  Too lazy to redo it instead I colored over the threads with a red fabric marker. 
This is where the perforated holes came in handy.  I was able to secure the cushion with buttonhole thread quite easily. Changing out the cushion will be simple to do. 
Pins slid in easily.  The pad stays secure, not shifting around as it did with the cashmere band.   One improvement would make the pad more easily accessible is shifting the stitching holes in towards me.
The snaps keep the band secure.

I am quite happy with the results. 

I'm considering making these to sell, or selling a kit with a pre-finished cuff made of upcycled belts.  

I've had my eye on a professional snap setter, LOL, one more toy.

What is your favorite type of pincushion?

Happy Upcycling!  

Paganoonoo sewing instructions are available at

1 comment:

  1. I made my own wrist pincushion a while ago, with a different solution for the sticking-pins-all-the-way-through problem. Mine's a stuffed cushion of felt, with a plastic card (fake credit card received in mail or a hotel door keycard, I think) inside, facing the wrist. Mine's attached to wide elastic, but seeing your repurposed sweater cuff, I may change that up.