Tuesday 26 June 2018

Tutorial: Stitching Notes Needlebook

I am not sure about you, but I can never have enough needlebooks around. I keep one in almost every WIP (work in progress) bag or box, I have a few sitting on my shelf and they are all filled with different types of pins and needles. Apart from being cute, those tiny sewing accessories are very useful too and make a lovely gift to your sewing friends. This needlebook is very quick to make and can be easily adjusted to your needs. What I like about this needlebook is that you can decorate the front in any way imaginable - that tiny patchwork that wasn't used for anything or a precious tiny scrap of fabric as an applique, maybe an embroidery or simply your favourite fabric. I really would love this tiny make to tickle your imagination and inspire you to make your own needlebook with a cute front. OK. Off we go!

  • A piece of linen 4" by 7 3/4" for the outer layer
  • A piece of cotton 4" by 7 3/4" for the inner layer
  • A piece of batting 31/2" by 7 1/4"
  • Two pieces of good quality wool felt about 2" by 2 3/4" (I highly recommend using wool felt and a rotary cutter to cut felt for this project)
  • A fabric stamp for the front (find the tutorial here)
  • A couple of ribbons, buttons and fabric snippets
  • Embroidery floss
  • Sewing pins, needles, rotary cutter, fabric scissors

Inside of the Needlebook

1. Place the piece of batting on the wrong side of the cotton for the inner layer. It should be 1/4" smaller on all four sides. I like to give it a quick press with a warm iron from the cotton side. It makes the two layers kind of stick together. Fold in half lengthwise with the right sides together and press well with your fingers to make a crease in the middle of the cotton piece. Put it aside and let's make the needle patches.

2. To make the needle patch with one large fold, take a piece of felt and fold it in half horizontally. Pin and stitch along the folded edge with a 1/4" or a tiny touch bigger seam allowance. Tie knots on both ends and hide the ends on the back side between the fibers of the felt using a needle.

3. Open the patch and using your fingers flatten the fold so that the centre of the fold is aligned with the seam at the back. Use two pins to hold it in place, press well with a warm iron and steam using an ironing cloth to prevent the burning of the felt.

4. Now we are going to make the needle patch with two smaller folds. Fold another piece of felt in half vertically and pin on the side, now accurately place pins at the top and bottom right in the fold to mark the middle. I am using pins for this step only because I don't like using any marking pens on felt.

Place one pin 3/4" to the right from the centre pins and another 3/4" to the left from the centre. These pins are marking the middle of each fold.

Fold the left side over so that the pin on the left and the one in the middle meet. Pin and stitch along the folded edge with a seam allowance that is a bit less than 1/4". Remove the pins. Now fold over the right side and align the right pin with the one in the middle. Pin and stitch keeping the seam allowance the same.

5. Like in step 3, tie the knots and hide the ends. Flatten the folds with your fingers, align the centres with the seams underneath and pin. Press with a warm iron and steam using an ironing cloth.

Now both needle patches are ready.

6. Pin the batting and lining together in four corners. Arrange the patches on top of the lining using the crease in the middle of the lining as a guide and leaving enough space around for the seams. Use a small piece of a ribbon as a tag if you like. Pin and stitch around close to the edge of the felt patches.

Tip: when stitching over the folds, slow down and make sure that you don't push the folds over. You might want to use pins to keep fold in place while sewing.

7. You can add a tiny patch of fabric for the buttons now. I stitched a piece of linen with raw edges next to the top patch. Sew on the buttons using a contrasting colour thread.

Tip: Take a piece of linen and rub the edges on a piece of beeswax. Trim and stitch in place. The beeswax would prevent the fraying.

The Cover of the Needlebook

I am using a fabric stamp to decorate the front of this needlebook and a touch of hand embroidery. I love fabric stamps because it's a neat way to use the tiniest of the scraps and they can easily be added to different projects.

1. Fold the piece of linen in half with the wrong side inside. Press well with your fingers to make a crease in the middle. Place the stamp in the middle of the lower part and press with a hot iron. Stitch around using the tiniest stitch on your machine.

2. Flip over this piece and using a fabric pen mark a sewing line 1/4" from all the edges. Now take a spool or any other round object with a diameter of about 1" to round the corners. Place the spool inside the marked lines in one of the corners so that the sides of the spool touch the two lines and mark. Repeat for all the corners.

3. Take your inner piece with the batting, place it on the table with the right side of the lining facing you. Place the outer pieces on top with the wrong side facing you. Make sure that the needle patches are in the right place (check step 6 above). Pin together and stitch on the marked line leaving a 2" opening gap on the side for turning the needlebook the right side out. Backstitch the start and finish of the seam.

Please check which patch you want to have on the top flap and which one on the bottom before stitching.

4. Trim the corners and make little notches for more rounded and flatter corners. Turn your needlebook the right side out and stitch the opening closed using a fine needle. Make sure to carefully push the corners out using a pointy and rounded tool. Press well with a warm iron.

Adding Tiny Details

You can decorate your needlebook in exactly the same way as mine or get creative here and add your own personal touches to your sweet make. If you decide to go with my design, then use two strands of dark brown embroidery floss to stitch all around. Make sure to keep your stitches even and short. You only need to stitch through the linen and batting. Don't stitch through the lining.

Using only one strand of the same brown embroidery floss, stitch a word "CARD" in all capitals in the top left corner. Add "To:" also in one strand under the stamp and a few running stitches with a couple of "XX" at the end. Use green and orange threads to embroider a tiny radish or carrot in the top right corner and outline it with one strand of brown floss.

Shaping the Needlebook

Open your needlebook. Now close it and move/slide the front flap 3/8" up from the back flap. Press with a warm iron on the very edge of the fold (spine). Now flip it over and move/slide the back flap 3/8" up and press well with a warm iron, making sure not to press the crease we have just created.

Now fill your needlebook with all sorts of pins and needles and start using it, or give it to your best friend. Enjoy!

Please feel free to leave a comment here or contact me directly via my email or Instagram if you have any questions or comments. If you use this pattern and publish any photos on your media, please make sure to link back to this page or my blog. If you publish any photos of your needlebook on Instagram, please use the #stitchingnotespattern hashtag. I would love to see your work! Happy sewing! Larisa xox


  1. This is such a sweet little make, Larisa, and an excellent tutorial. I hope and your family are well.

    1. Thank you, Dina! We are all alright, thank you. I hope you are well and enjoying the colder months. xox

  2. This is such a delightful and sweet project to make! Thank you for sharing this pattern and posting another great tutorial.

    1. You are very welcome, Kathleen! It makes me happy to share the things I enjoy making and the things that bring me joy. :-)

  3. What a lovely little project - thanks so much for sharing. Jean.x

    1. You are very welcome, Jean! Happy sewing!

  4. You are always full of such inspiration Larisa! Thankyou for sharing this tutorial xAli

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Ali! xox

  5. Hello Larisa, just came over to your blog to save your tutorial to my computer. I constantly want to make needlebooks (such lovely little projects) but just as constantly other doings get in the way. Thank you so much for this detailed tutorial, nothing can go wrong now and I certainly hope to make one soon! Claudia/Ompompali

    1. Hello Claudia, I wish I could have enough patience and more time for large projects, but I enjoy making small simple things that do not require much time or supplies. It makes me happy sharing the ideas I have and the joy of sewing. I am looking forward to seeing your needlebook! Happy sewing! xx

  6. This is really unique designs. I love the fact that I’ve never seen something creative like that in DIY.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! Sharing my ideas makes me really happy!

  7. Great blog. I like your shared this information. It's a really helpful for me. Nice tutorial. Thanks!

  8. Hello, Larisa! I am new to your blog and am enjoying it immensely! My questions to you is where could I find that
    cute little block pin cushion you have? It is so cute I just
    love it!! :)

    1. Hi Kathy, thank you very much for your kind words! Do you mean the pink cube? Well, it's not really a pincushion, but a ceramic tooth brush stand that I turned into a pincushion. :-)

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  13. The "Stitching Notes Needlebook" tutorial is a must-try for anyone who loves embroidery and sewing. It provides a detailed and easy-to-follow guide for creating a beautiful and functional needlebook to store your needles and pins. The tutorial's creative approach to combining stitching and practicality makes it a delightful project for both beginners and experienced crafters alike. Can't wait to see the charming needlebooks that everyone creates! enamel pin Austin Trim is an online manufacturing platform for apparel, offering low minimums and a wide range of options, including high-quality artwork setup and designing services, making them a top choice for labels and trim solutions.