A beginner sewing tutorial for how to sew a pincushion from upcycled denim.
A lot of jeans lately are stretchy, which is comfortable, but not great for longevity or textile recycling. A family member gave me a stack of stretched out denim that I knew no one would want to rewear so I brainstormed a quick project to upcycle it! This is a simple shape that I’ve also used for pattern weights and a door stop, but I’m adding in some patchwork to jazz it up a little. I chose to stamp on the denim to add some interest; you could also add sequins & beads, stenciling, embroidery, sky’s the limit.
Here are the two different sides!
The patchwork will be most striking with different shades of denim, but of course you could just use different stamps on them if you’re using one pair up.
I love having pincushions all over my workspace so I can always have needles and pins handy!
If you like this tutorial, check out these others while you’re here!
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How to sew a pincushion from upcycled denim
- Mini glass bead filler
- 3 different shades of jeans
- Denim needle
- Floral stamps
- White fabric ink
- Iron & presser cloth
- Coordinating thread
- Hand sewing needle
1. Start with 8 scraps, measuring 2″ X 6″. Iron & stamp or decorate as you wish! When I use versacraft, I always use a presser cloth and iron to ‘heat set’ it for 20 seconds after it dries.
2. Sew two pieces together with .25″ seam allowance & press the seams open, and then repeat until you have (2) squares with (4) strips each.
3. Trim each square to 6″ exactly.
4. Put the squares right sides together, ideally with the orientations swapped so one has the stripes vertical and one has the stripes horizontal, to reduce seam bulk. Sew around 3 sides as usual.
5. Open the fourth side and match the side seams, and sew shut – leaving a 3″ gap in the middle unsewn. Cut off the excess corner fabric.
6. Flip right side out, press the seams, poke out the corners, and stuff. I like to use a mix of glass pellets for weight, fabric scraps, and poly-fill, sometimes adding steel wool to sharpen the needles/pins! Ladder stitch the opening closed and you’re done!
You made an upcycled pincushion!