Sewing with Children: embroidered needle case

So far this week I have featured a series of activities to help children develop their sewing skills across a range of ages and stages. Today, I’m moving things forward yet again to share a project that not only encourages practice of different stitches, but also creates a tangible and useful product that can be given as a gift (or added to their own stash of sewing supplies…the start of many no doubt!) Read on to find out how to make an embroidered needle case, suitable for older primary children and beyond.

You will need:

  • Binca
  • Felt
  • Embroidery thread in a range of colours
  • Embroidery needle
  • Scissors
  • Pinking shears (optional)
  • Pins

Cut your binca to 16cm by 9cm, and cut your felt to 15cm by 7cm. Trim your felt with pinking shears if you have them.

Using 3-6 strands of embroidery floss, cut a length and tie a knot at the end. Count two holes down from the top and two holes in from the left, and bring your needle through from the back. Create a stitch, and then repeat in the same holes to secure the stitch in place. Now you can work a row in whatever stitch you fancy! I began with a row of running stitches – nice and simple to start with…

Keep going until you are two holes from the right edge. Secure by over-sewing your last stitch in the row, and tie off with another knot.

Change thread, and work another row using a different type of stitch. This time I went for back-stitch…

…followed by stem stitch…

…then cable stitch…

…laced running stitch and then the lovely pekinese stitch (fancy!)…

…and finally cross stitch…

Having got half way down my binca, I then repeated these stitches in reverse, but really anything goes.

You can use this as a chance to practice different embroidery stitches, or to perfect the one type of stitch opting for different colours. Your design can be symmetrical or asymmetrical, monochrome or multi-coloured (all good learning concepts for children schooling at home). Older children may want to plan out a design for their cover in advance, younger children may be happier to get stuck in and see what happens.

Now to turn your binca into a needle case. Pin your felt to the wrong side of your binca, keeping it nice and central.

Then fold your binca and felt in half, giving it a good press (you could also pop it under a few books to create a good crease).

Open your needle case back up, and secure in place with a few small running stitches down the crease in the middle. Its helpful to use a matching thread at this point so the stitches don’t stand out too much as it can be quite tricky to keep them nice and even (especially for children).

And there you have it; a lovely little needle case all ready for storing pins and needles in a handy and safe way.

Completely unique, a wonderful heirloom gift, and a very enjoyable project for any child, young person (or adult!) who fancies a quite afternoon of sewing. Beautiful!

And if you yourself are one such adult who can’t image anything lovelier than sitting and stitching away, then you might be interested in signing up for my Creative Sewing Challenge. Its open to anyone who loves any kind of sewing; you receive a monthly prompt, along with ideas and tutorials tied to this theme, as a way of generating ideas and inspiring you to try new things. Find out more here, or sign up for free today:

And feel free to share my pin on Pinterest – thank you!