As a sewing newbie, I'm still gathering all of those nifty little gadgets that make life easier when creating things. One of the items I needed desperately was a pincushion- and of course, what better project to take on as a beginner? They seem relatively simple- two pieces of fabric, some stuffing, and a little decoration. What could go wrong?

Well, obviously I had to make it more complicated than it needed to be. Inspired by these stunning pincushions over at Carina's Craftblog, I decided to step outside of a few 'beginner' guidelines- my pincushion would be round instead of square, would have a vintage feel due to a lace trimming, and would be stuffed with Malamute hair. What's that, I hear you ask? That, my friends, is hair from my gorgeous puppy, Manhattan:

She is a wild, shedding, howling beast of an Alaskan Malamute who is more than delighted to share her monstrous fluff with me. I brushed her, washed her hair, dried it and ended up with a gorgeous batch of soft, fluffy puppy stuffing. So far, so good.

Next, I sewed my pincushion together, and quickly figured out that circles are a pain in the butt to sew- especially in a first project! Once I'd learned to tame my slightly-out-of-control foot, I became friends with the pedal and figured out how to slow down my machine. This definitely helped the process.

It came time to stuff the cushion, so in went Manhattan. Then came the interesting part... sewing the pincushion shut. I inspected other stuffed items that I had lying around, and could not for the life of me figure out how they were sewn closed. A google search didn't help, either. I was on my own! I went ahead with a tiny stitch very close to the edge, which, due to my (obsessively) perfectionist nature, took as long to do as the rest of the project- but at least it was closed! Soon after, I learnt about the invisible/ladder stitch, but that's another story.

Finally, I got creative with my lace and added a lace bobble to the top of the cushion. Ta-da! Done. But... hang on a moment... what's the strange pointy thing sticking out of the top? And the side? And the bottom? And the other side... uh-oh. That's Manhattan. To be more exact, that's Manhattan's fur, and it's escaping from it's new home with the fervour of an Alcatraz inmate. It turns out that unfelted puppy filling is not the way to go!

The pincushion, however, is finished; it now sits proudly on my desk, malting alongside the cats that insist on sitting on my stunning (and expensive!) fabric collection. Together, we all live in our happy, fluffy crafting wonderland.


Comments (7)

On March 24, 2009 at 2:26 PM , Lara said...

Hehehe, I'm sitting here giggling and quoting your post to Teegs (who has already read it, but still). Love it :)

I wonder if it's possible to felt puppy hair?

On March 24, 2009 at 8:52 PM , one little acorn said...

Funny and very inventive too! Manhattan is gorgeous.
Loving your blog and your amazing life story. Welcome to blogland!

On March 25, 2009 at 8:07 AM , Jodie said...

Oh thats awesome, I think your puppy hair is too fine, actually dog hair is very sharp I am told (by the peeps who trim my dog) and can actually pierce skin!
Apart from the shedding which we can't see - it looks great. (and I don't think you should stick to beginner ideas either)

On March 25, 2009 at 9:35 AM , Cathy said...

Go for it! You are amazing! Love that you started out on a circle - now anything will seem so easy to you. Putting the lace into was pretty brave too. Love how you used Manhattan's fur as well - nothing like recycling. Maybe we could all gather up our puppy's hair and send it to you and then you could felt it in one big lot - now that would be amazing! Keep going!

On March 25, 2009 at 9:03 PM , Louise said...

That is too funny. Next time maybe try lining it with an iron on wadding which may help avoid the escaping dog hair. Damn good job though!

On May 19, 2009 at 2:47 PM , Karin said...

Just came across this post. How funny! I have to laugh because I am going through the exact same teething problems!

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