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Saturday, 27 June 2020

A Tale of Two Pin Cushions

diy HandyMum Lin TV Tortoise Pincushion crafted by eSheep Designs
A nifty two piece tortoise pin cushion...
You can never really have too many pin cushions, can you?

After all, if you're a sewer, you're always working with pins and you need a place to stick 'em.

To date, I've featured three "pin keeping" ideas (here, here and here) on this blog. The recycled face cream jar is the one that I use most often, while the mannequin mainly functions as a decorative item at the end of my ironing station.

Always on the lookout for things out of the ordinary, I recently came upon this pin cushion idea on YouTube. It's a tortoise with a "removable" shell.

The channel is called diy HandyMum Lin TV, and this particular tutorial was uploaded August 6, 2018, so not new. She provides three templates for the project, but after sewing up the body of the tortoise and comparing it to the one she holds in her video, I'm pretty sure the pattern needs to be scaled up. I printed mine out at actual size; it (each piece, that is) may need to be printed at 150% to approximate the size shown in the video.

Speaking of the pattern, the templates are drawn without a seam allowance. The bulk of my time on this project was spent creating another set of templates with seam allowance and then cutting the required fabric.

All pieces accounted for...

If you're going to make this, I recommend tracing the "no seam allowance" template onto the fabric; it's easier to sew along a line around the small curvy areas than trying to maintain a seam allowance.

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So the tortoise that I ended up with is small. On the other hand, it is a pin cushion, so it still works.

diy HandyMum Lin TV Tortoise Pincushion crafted by eSheep Designs
It's really no bigger than my magnetic pin jar...

But while the original in the tutorial received finishing treatments like a snap fastener for the shell and buttons for eyes, the one I have is too small to bother with such details. (I suppose I could have added some eyes in the form of french knots.)

My little guy is made out of the remnants from my tropical leaf rug. Between this and my pandemic puzzle ball, not much of the fabric remains unused.

diy HandyMum Lin TV Tortoise Pincushion crafted by eSheep Designs
Unique design with removable shell...

It is quite a cleverly designed little critter, and as you might guess, it would work well as a child's soft toy too (as long as you don't sew buttons onto it).

diy HandyMum Lin TV Tortoise Pincushion crafted by eSheep Designs
Closeup of shell...

My original intention was to add a magnet to the top of the tortoise's body and to the bottom of the shell in lieu of the snap fastener.

diy HandyMum Lin TV Tortoise Pincushion crafted by eSheep Designs
Feels like I'm feeding a tiny turtle on the back of my hand...

When I realized how small my version was going to be, I decided not to fasten the shell at all. Once it's being used as a pin cushion, it's not going anywhere.

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Did you notice the title of this post?

diy HandyMum Lin TV Tortoise Pincushion crafted by eSheep Designs
Maybe the tortoise's home will be on my sewing machine?

Several days before I came across this tortoise, I opened up a new container of Olay Regenerist. It came with a lid that I found unnecessary to keep for daily use, but before tossing it into the recycle bin, I wondered if it could be repurposed.

Minutes later, I had this simple pin cushion.

Olay Regenerist lid pin cushion by eSheep Designs
Simple and fast pin cushion!

All it took was some digging through my fabric scraps. Much easier than the tortoise, but arguably not as cute.

'Til next...


  1. That is stinkin' cute!! I think I have to make one! Good idea to trace those pieces. Much easier to stitch.
    Kathleen - kakingsbury at verizon dot net

  2. Well I guess now I Really need raid my scrap box I Love pin cushions these are great

    1. Pleased to have inspired you to raid your scrap box. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. He - she? - is SO, SO cute!!! You've chosen the perfect fabric. For a pincushion, I think it's just the right size.

  4. Cute turtle pincushion! I tried to respond by email to your comment on my blog just now and I got a failure to deliver because it said that it might contain a virus. Huh? So I emailed you directly and same thing. Okay, now I wonder if you will get this comment? What I emailed to was this:

    Thanks Rochelle. I am growing more and more of a love for purple as I am aging.

    Ron has been the one who is going out to buy food and such and since he is faster and super efficient, I am letting him do it all. I really haven't gone out at all, other than walking loops in my neighborhood early in the morning.


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