I tend to have wardrobe malfunctions at the most inconvenient times. Just before making an important presentation, a strategic button will fall off or a seam opens up. I can't even think how many stapler and Scotch Tape repairs I've made over the years. I finally created a small sewing kit that contains just what I need to fix almost any disaster – contained in a cute felt kit with a built-in pincushion kitty.
Use the lightly-stuffed kitty face as your pincushion. Everything else you need is inside. There's a small pocket to contain buttons, safety pins, a needle threader and a few hooks & eyes; plus needles and thread, pins and a small pair of scissors. Button it up and and it all stays safely in place.
Fabric and Other Supplies
The finished opened size is 7" x 4½" (exclusive of the button tab).
- Five pieces of 9" x 13" felt in peach, pea green, black, vanilla and turquoise
- Embroidery floss in several colors. I chose vanilla, pea green, black and peach
- Embroidery needle
- Five small two-hole yellow buttons (about 3/8" or 12 cm)
- Small handful of Polyfil
- Card stock or old file folder
- Pinking shears (optional)
- Download and print the Sewing Kitty Outside and Sewing Kitty Inside patterns.
IMPORTANT: You must print these PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut out the pieces needed as shown below. You will need to print several copies of each page in order to cut all of the pieces you need. Note: You can conserve paper by cutting down the pieces as you go.
- Cut all of your pieces from the appropriate color of felt using the above images as a guide. I chose to pink the inside vanilla backing pieces, but that's optional.
- Position your pieces and pin. It's important to place your travel scissors in position rather than go by our pattern because the exact location of the Scissor Pocket and floss tie depend on your specific pair of scissors. The scissors in the sample are typical small embroidery scissors (2¾" wide x 3½" long).
I used a loose style running hand stitch to get a funky look. I also split my six-strand embroidery floss in half and sewed with only three strands. You can do the same or use a blanket stitch or even a long stitch on a sewing machine.
- Sew Ear 1 and Ear 2 to the face along the nose line (not all the way around) using black floss.
- Sew Eye 1 and Eye 2 and attach button eyes using pea green floss.
- Sew Nose to face using peach floss.
- Embroider a mouth as shown using black floss.
- Sew Bow Tie to outside of case using peach floss. Attach Bow Tie button.
- Sew button backing to outside of case and attach button using green floss (be sure to check alignment with the button tab, allowing about 1/8" extra for the interior pieces).
- Sew kitty face to the outside of the case using vanilla floss (use pattern as placement guide). About an inch from completion, leave a gap as shown below. Lightly stuff the kitty face with Polyfil to form a pin cushion. Once stuffed, finish sewing the face to the case.
- From card stock (I used an old file folder) cut 2 pieces about 3/8" smaller all around than the vanilla-colored inside backing pieces. This will add some body to the sewing kit so your scissors don't weight it down. It also keeps needles and pins from poking through to the front.
- Remember, all your inside pieces should already be pinned in place.
- Unpin the Button Pocket and, using vanilla floss, sew on the button. Re-pin.
- Sew the Button Pocket to the backing.
- Make sure the Button Pocket Cover is still in position above the pocket, using the pattern as a guide. Sew along the top as shown to attach it to the backing.
- Feel where the button is and cut a small buttonhole. I used a seam ripper to start and then carefully cut slit with embroidery scissors.
- Sew Thread Card Pocket to the backing. Set aside.
- Using the pattern as a guide, position your scissors on the second backing sheet with the card stock centered behind the backing. Thread your embroidery needle with 12" of floss. First poke through both your backing and the card stock (don't pull it all the way through – you need the inside tail for a tie) from the front to the back, then poke it back through from the back to the front. You are creating one loop with the ties on the inside. The card stock helps hold the floss taut. Leave the floss long enough to tie a bow around your scissors. Knot the ends of both ties.
- With your scissors in place, check the position of your Scissor Pocket. Pin and sew in place.
- Sew the Straight Pin & Needle Flap to the backing as shown on the pattern.
- Position both backing pieces to the back of the case incasing the card stock.
- Stitch backing to case – felt-to-felt – do not sew through the card stock. I looked back and forth on both sides to get a reasonably nice stitch. Focus on the front of the case since that is where you stitching shows most prominently.
- Cut the buttonhole in the button flap so case closes comfortably.
- I wrapped thread in the colors I wanted around a small piece of cardstock. I cut both sides with paper craft pinking shears to hold the thread. However, you could just cut several slits.
- Add an assortment of buttons, safety pins and perhaps a needle threader to the pocket. You can put a variety of needle sizes in the thread pocket. Add some pins to the pin flap and you're done.
- While you're mending, you can place pins in the kitty pin cushion face, replace them on the inside when you're done sewing.
- Don't forget to pop it your handbag or suitcase before you head out.
Hints and Tips
I had a lot of help from one of my kitties on this project. I kept stashing all the sharp stuff in a drawer, but I still had to re-cut a couple pieces because after she sat on everything, I lost the nose and one eye. It's a little easier, not to mention safer, to shut the door during construction.