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Simplicity Pattern Vintage - Sewing Tidy Tutorial

Project by Nicola Hills

Finished make displayed over arm of sofa. It contains scissors, a tape measure, pins, needles and thread.

You will need:

  • A pack of Fat Quarters

  • Some backing fabric

  • A small amount of stuffing, fish tank grit


Tools Required:

  • Iron

  • Basic sewing kit

  • Sewing machine


How to:

Create a template in your required size using this shape (my sofa arms are quite shallow so I measured and made mine to fit. I chose to use 4 different Simplicity pattern fabrics for the base.

An example of a template Nicola used.

Neatly iron your fabrics ready. As shown in the picture below, the middle piece of fabric creates the pin cushion. First sew the pin cushion section onto the middle fabric, keeping 1 end open for stuffing.

Images showing where the pin cushions should be sewn and how to stuff it.

Join the upper and lower sections. This is what the underneath will look like. Stuff with a small amount of fish tank grit (this gives it weight) then stuffing to hold the pins.

This image shows what the underside of the pin cushion section should look like.

For the hanging section I thought about which tools I would need to hand, so using the same fabric I did for the pin cushion I took a piece approx. half the size of the lower section and folded it in half. Pinned it to secure then drew my lines with a heat erasable pen.


Starting at the bottom of the line, sew up, pivot the fabric when you get to the top, then sew back down. Do this for each section you need.

A diagram to show where you should sew.

I then just sewed some lines above the sections for decorative purposes (it also gives a little structure).


Press flat with your iron, and using the whole section as a template, cut a piece of backing fabric.


Pin or clip to secure together.


I used some of the fat quarter fabrics to make my own binding, to neaten the edges. Cut 2” strips enough to go round your whole project, join them together.


R/S together, place one strip on top of another (as below) where the corners meet sew a diagonal line. Press out and continue with as many strips as you require to bind your project.

Fabric being sewn with sewing machine.

Diagram example of where Nicola sewed the diagonal lines.

Now your sofa tidy is ready to use! No more sticking pins in the arms of the sofa or forgetting where you put your scissors! I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial.

Images of the final make over the arm of the sofa, containing scissors, a tape measure, pins, needles and thread.

To see more from Nicola, follow her on Instagram @bobbincottagebodkin.


Written by Nicola Hills, for The Craft Cotton Co 2023.

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