You can also measure the height to see how wide you want to make your strips. I didn’t want mine very wide so I cut them 2.5″ wide selvage to selvage. Important: If you have an embroidery machine with a USB slot you may want to make sure you don’t cover it up OR sew a buttonhole to accommodate your USB stick in the future.
I cut two 2.5″ strips 40″ long (I left lots of playing room just in case) as well as two 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles for my pincushion. You can shape your pincushion differently if you want.
Cut a long strip of fusible fleece the same width as your strip. Cut two rectangles same size as your pincushion fabrics. Fuse your fleece to one of the long strips and both sides of your pincushion fabrics.
Pull your “back” rectangle piece and position the “loop” part of velcro (the soft side) onto the fabric. Sew it down by following around the outside of the velcro and sew an X through the center.
Place your pincushion rectangles now right sides together. Start sewing on one of the long sides and stop before you get back to it. Important: leave an opening to turn it right side out. I like to leave an opening in the middle of one of the long sides.
Turn it right sides out, poke out corners. Press. Also press the fabric at the opening under about a 1/4″ inch.
Your pincushion pouch should look like this now:
Time to stuff! Fill it liberally with polyfil.
Hand stitch the opening closed with coordinating thread. I practiced my invisible ladder stitch here – it’s getting somewhat better. Here’s an invisible ladder stitch tutorial if you need one.
Now on to your long strips! Place them right sides together. I kept the one with the fleece on top.
Begin stitching at one of the corners. Stitch 1/4 away from the edge all the way around the strips but stop at the opposite corner next to where you started. Basically you want to sew one end completely closed and leave the end you started on OPEN so you can turn it inside out. Reinforce the end you’re stitching closed pretty well so you don’t poke through the fabric when you’re turning it.
Time to turn it inside out! I use a Dritz Quick Turn tool for this. If you don’t have one I highly recommend it!
It’s going to be wrinkly after that inside out turning so give it a good press with your iron. I like to use steam at this step to get it nice and flat.
Now let’s wrap it around your sewing machine so we can mark where to cut it off. Overlap the closed end with the excess of your tube. Mark where you want to cut it off. I let mine overlap about 1.5″. Remember – leave extra since you’re going to have to close the end up and that’s going to take about a 1/4″ to do.
Trim away the excess! Undo the seams a bit so you can turn the edges under at your raw end.
Give it a good press. Stitch down that end so it’s completely closed. I also topstitch around all my edges 1/4″ away from the edge on the entire strip.
Take it back to your machine and wrap it around. Mark where you’re going to put your soft “loop” velcro piece. I recommend putting it at least 1″ away from the end so you can really tighten up the tool belt.
Here’s my strip with the soft “loop” velcro sewn down. Now you’re ready to sew the rough “hook” side of your velcro onto the end of your strip. Make sure you’re sewing it on the correct side!
I put my rough “hook” velcro piece right at the edge. Trim to fit. Sew around the edge of the velcro to secure it.
Your belt should look like this now! Try it on and see how well it fits.
Important: Slide the belt so the velcro closure is at the BACK of your machine. We’re going to now mark the front for velcro placement to secure your pincushion and for the elastic placement.
I used an air erase pen to mark where I wanted my velcro to go for my pincushion. Remember – this is the rough “hook” part you’re placing.
I cut my elastic strips long – enough to wrap around the inside of the belt. One end will be secured under your velcro in one step. Pin this end in place and sew down your velcro.
Now that your velcro and one end of your elastic strips are sewn into place we’re going to sew the other end down. Important: Pull the elastic so that there’s slack in your fabric belt. You want it to be nice and tight when you wrap it around your machine arm again so it holds your tools securely.
I marked my “end” with a purple air erase marker. Stitch these ends down with a tight satin stitch or decorative stitch to secure it in place.
Put your belt back on the machine. It should look like this now:
Stick your pincushion on! You can also put some tools in. It’s up to you if you want to stitch dividers in the elastic or just leave it to fit any tool you might want to use.
I stitched dividers in mine to keep my tools from slipping out:
That’s it! You’re machine now has a fancy new tool belt. You can even make additional pincushions to switch out when you want a different look.