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DIY autumn crafts project – pumpkin pin cushion

The school holidays are fast approaching and the cold weather is unfortunately setting in but don’t fear, here is a sweet little craft project to keep you and your little munchkins entertained! A perfect sewing project suitable for adults and children with an autumnal twist, the fabric pumpkins are a great decoration idea for Halloween, or you can double this up as a pincushion for all your future sewing projects.

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This is a simple, child friendly sewing project that’s great for not only teaching kids how to sew but gives them a good understanding of simple pattern cutting, creating seams and most importantly it’s great fun. Perfect for using up those pesky fabric scraps you have lying about, but also great if you want to break into those delicious fat quarters that you’ve not been sure what to do with. You can use a sewing machine or stitch the pumpkin by hand too!

What you will need…

  • Pen, paper, scissors and a round template – a saucer is the perfect size to start with.
  • Coordinating fabric scraps (OR if you’re feeling adventurous mismatch!)  around 8” square
  • Dressmaking pins
  • A sewing machine OR good old needle and thread!
  • Thick embroidery thread or crotchet yarn
  • A large needle (be careful of little fingers!)
  • Polyfil or toy stuffing
  • Buttons & ribbons

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Let’s get started!

Start by drawing around a plate (or a compass if you’re feeling fancy) to create a your template, cut out and pin to your fabric. Because you need two perfect fabric circles, you can save time by pinning and cutting your two fabrics at once.

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Now cut your fabric into quarters, if you’re finding this a little tricky use a coloured pencil or tailors chalk to mark it out before you cut, or fold your fabric and cut long the fold.

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Take your first two quarters of fabric, make sure that your fabric pieces don’t match. The patchwork pieces should alternate so that the same patterns won’t meet each other.

Place the quarters on top of each other so that right side of both fabric pieces are touching. Pin & stitch along the straight edge. **HINT** Allow around half a centimetre of seam allowance for all the seams that you sew, mark this out on the wrong side of the fabric for little ones!

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Repeat this step so that you have 4 half circles. Now stitch your halves together,  so you have two patchwork circles.

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Now, place your pieced circles on top of each other so the patterned sides are touching, keep in mind your alternating pattern (think Battenberg cake!) Stitch together your two circles along the round edge, you can tack them together to save little fingers from sharp pins! Make sure that you leave a small opening so that you can turn your pincushion inside out.

Make small little snips along the edge of your sewing, being careful not to snip through your stitches!! This will give your pumpkin a rounder shape, so the more snips the more shapely your pincushion will be!

Turn your sewing inside out and get stuffing, make sure that you add as much polyfil as possible so your pumpkin is lovely and plump! Use small hand stitches to sew the seam shut.

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Now, thread your big needle with a good strong thread, starting from the bottom of the pumpkin push the needle straight through the middle to the top, and pull back round to the bottom once again. Using your four seams as a guide, repeat this step so the cushion is broken up into ‘8ths’.

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Now your pincushion is looking pumpkin like its time to add the finishing touches using buttons and folded ribbons for stalks and leaves!

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Because the stitched pincushion tutorial teaches sewing basics, they are hugely versatile, why not cut larger pieces of fabric and make a cushion? Get your kids making Christmas decorations for the festive seasons! The world is your lobster! Just remember that practice makes perfect, so keep going.

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I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial, and you have great fun bonding with your little ones with this sewing project. Do feel free to post pictures of your pumpkin pincushions, it’ll be great to hear from you! Share them on Instagram and take me Marna in them (@marnalunt)and then use the hashtag pumpkinpincushion, then I can find them and say hi!!

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