Friday, 27 March 2015

Pattern: Blue floral needle book

On Wednesday I posted photo's of my needle book that I'd designed and stitched during IHSW. Today I'm back with the pattern and finishing instructions for it. I'm a big fan of adjusting patterns to colours that suit you so please do change them to something you like! If you don't have something look in your stash and see what you do have that might work, it's how this embroidery came about too.

What I used to make mine:
  • A piece of 18ct Aida or 36ct linen that is about 6 1/2" x 9 1/4" (After embroidery it needs to be cut to 4 1/2" x 7 1/4" if you are comfortable with less space around as you stitch that is the minimum you need)
  • A piece of fabric for the inside of 4 1/2" x 7 1/4"
  • A piece of batting of 4" x 6 3/4"
  • 2 pieces of felted wool of 3 1/2"x 5". I used 2 colours but one is fine.
  • A button to match that's not bigger than 1/2"
  • Sewing thread
  • DMC variegated threads:
    • 67
    • 90
    • 101
    • 103
    • 122
  • DMC Colour variations:
    • 4020 - Tropical Waters
  • Kreinik Silk Mori Milkpaint:
    •  0416 - Very Dark Hemlock
  • Kreinik blending filament:
    • 085 - Peacock
You can find the pattern here


  • Fold the Aida in half and make a crease, then fold the right hand side into 4 to find the middle. This is the place to start counting from to stitch.
  • Count 10 stitches to the right starting from the last cross stitch on the right and make a button hole stitch loop, I used only 1 strand of floss for the starting loop but more is perhaps more practical. A nice tutorial showing how to do this can be found here: sewn button loops
  • Once the stitching is done press the embroidery carefully with a not too hot iron - you don't want to accidentally melt the blending filament.
  • To trim the embroidery to 4 1/2" x 7 1/4" you need to start by measuring 1/4" from the stitch after the loop you just made. Mark this line.
  • Next count 12 stitches down from the lowest flower stalk/leaves on the bottom, add 1/4" then mark this line as well.
  • The 3rd cutting line is found by counting 13 stitches above the last stitch of the tall flowers and add 1/4", mark this line.
  • The last cutting line is found by measuring 4 1/2" from the butterfly. Mark this line and then cut out the embroidery.
  • Place the batting on the back of the lining fabric making sure it's 1/4" from the edges on all sides. 
  • Baste the batting in place making sure that if you knot your thread the knot is on the good side of the fabric so you can easily remove the basting later. You can also use temporary fabric adhesive for this.
  • Place the fabric good sides together onto the embroidery making sure that if your fabric is directional it's pointing the same way up as the embroidery. Turn it over so the embroidery side is facing up and pin the layers together.
  • Stitch the layers together starting about 1" away from the middle lower seam. I used a back stitch as I like to be 100% certain nothing will come loose.
  • Stop stitching about 2" away from your starting point, you need quite a big gap to get it all through and if the hole is too small you might damage the embroidery fabric making closing the last bit very complicated (it happened to me so umm yeah...)
  • Cut the corners off at the diagonal making sure you do not damage the seam so you get nicer points once turned.
  • Carefully turn the needle case the right way round, use a knitting needle or chopstick to press the corners out.
  • Make sure the batting is nice and flat before carefully sewing the last bit of seam closed.
  • Remove the basting.
  • Count 9 stitches from the butterfly on the left. Mark this with a line that goes from top to bottom line.
  • Count 11 more stitches from this point and mark that with a parallel line.
  • Using one of the blues make stitches using 2 threads that go through all 3 layers, make sure you do the stitches over 2 Aida squares or 4 threads and skip the same distance before making the next.
  • Leave the thread loose at the end as you will need to go back in a moment.
  • Do the same with the other line. 
  • Place the needle book embroidery side to the table.
  • Fold each piece of the wool felt in half and finger press to find the centre line. 
  • Place this line onto the line of stitches you can see on the inside. Make sure it's centred top to bottom - about 1/4" from the edges.
  • Pin in place. Turn the needle case over again and rethread your needle. This time make the stitches in the spaces you left open making sure you also stitch through the felt. Finish off the thread and then do the same with the other piece of felt.
  • Sew the button onto the back edge making sure it's not too big for the loop and is centred.
  • If you like you can now mark your pages with the needle size.
I hope you enjoy the pattern and have fun making one yourself! If you have any questions please do ask, you might just not only help yourself but someone else too.


  1. Excellent instructions and pattern!

  2. Thanks for sharing this - for a sewing noob like me, those instructions are golden!

    1. You are welcome! I'm so glad the instructions are helpful :)

  3. I wandered into your blog while reading everyone's Stitch from Stash posts, and came across this pattern. Immediately, I decided I must make this needle-book. Fortunately I have everything on hand except for 3 of the threads. I'll substitute two, but will go out and get the Color Variations 4020 (because it's perfect). So, thanks for sharing the pattern.

    1. Sorry for the slow reply, for some reason I did not get a notification of your comment :(

      I'm glad you like the pattern! Changing colours is always fine - using up stash is a good thing. I would love to see your one when it's completed :D