Christmas pudding pincushion tutorial.

Here’s a fun idea for a little Christmas gift for your sewing friends. I’ve got quite a few sewing friends these days and I wanted to give them a little handmade gift for Christmas. I had hoped to post this tutorial a little earlier but there are still a few days to go if you fancy making one for someone who likes to sew.


Fabric for pincushion body (I used Ponte Roma)



Steel wool (optional)

toy stuffing


xmas pudding shapes

xmas pudding pin cushion pattern

How to make:

Cut 1 x main pin cushion

Cut 1 base in main fabric ( cut 2-3 cm larger than the cardboard base)

Cut 1 x felt cream/custard splodge

Cut 1 x cardboard base.

Cut 3 holly leaves in felt and 2 small circles in felt for berries.

  1. Stitch the cream/custard splodge roughly in the centre of the pincushion circle. Stitch two rows of long gather stitches around the edge of the pincushion circle.

2. To make the base cut a circle following the template out of cardboard. I used the side of a cardboard box, it needs to be fairly heavy cardboard. Cut a piece of fabric roughly 2-3cm larger all the way round to cover the cardboard.

3. Secure a double thread into the edge of the fabric and begin to pull the edges of the fabric to meet each other across the back. Keep stitching until the fabric fits snugly around the cardboard.

4. It doesn’t matter what the back looks like as long as the fabric is covering the cardboard and is taut around the shape.

5. Draw the gather stitches up to bring the edges together quite tightly.

6. In the past I’ve tried to find emery powder to add to pincushions because I believe that using some in the filling would help keep pins sharp, however I have never had much luck finding a source for emery powder. I came across the idea of using steel wool instead (unfortunately I cant remember where I read this idea so I can’t credit the source). I decided to try steel wool as it is quite easy to find.

You can omit this stage if you like. If you are using steel wool, cut a piece long enough to cover the upper surface of the pin cushion.

7. Push the steel wool inside the pincushion before adding the toy stuffing so it will be at the upper side of the pin cushion when finished.

8. Continue stuffing the pincushion with toy stuffing until it feels firm. Pull the gather stitches so the opening is slightly smaller than the covered base piece.

9. Stitch the base over the hole in the bottom of the pincushion. Catching the fabric on the edge of the base stitch to the body of the pincushion, ideally stitching to the inner edge of the gather stitching.

10. Continue until the base is stitched onto the body of the pincushion. If any gather stitches show around the edge you an carefully remove them at this stage.

11. Cut two small circles approx 3cm in diameter and some holly leaves. I cut these freehand.

12. Run a hand running stitch around the edge of the red circles and draw up tightly to form a holly berry. Stitch across the base to keep the shape as tight as possible. Leave the needle attached to sew onto the pin cushion.

13.  Stitch one end of the holly leaves to the centre of the pincushion.

14. Complete by attaching the berries over the stitches in the holly leaves.

Serve up to lovely friends that sew!

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

1 Comment

  1. Let’s Get Sewing on December 27, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    This is so cute! Thank you for another great tutorial.

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