It’s a cheeseburger! It’s a pincushion!
It’s a cheeseburger pincushion!
Who knew felt could look so tasty? Speaking of which, I’ve used a wool blend felt here. It’s a bit more durable than the poly craft felt you can buy for a few cents a sheet at the craft store, not to mention it looks and feels nicer. But it’s not as expensive as 100% wool felt. Best of both worlds!
Make sure you grab the free pattern here.
- one sheet of felt in each of the following colors: tan, brown, yellow, red, white, and green
- a small scrap of fusible interfacing (approximately 2” x 3”)
- a scrap of woven fabric (approximately 4” x 8”)
- a small handful of Polyfil (or alternate stuffing material)
- Peltex, cardboard, or cardstock
- needle and thread
- optional decorative elastic:
width: 1/2″ or 5/8″
(you can use other widths, but you may need to adjust the size of the “Wristband Loop” to accommodate the different width.)
- optional emery sand
*NOT PICTURED ABOVE: Polyfil/stuffing
First, let’s talk a little about the emery sand. Emery sand is often used in pincushions to “sharpen” the pins. If you’ve ever used an emery board to file your nails, it’s kind of the same idea: the abrasive sand is supposed to remove small burs and imperfections on the tips of the pins. This should make them less likely to snag on delicate fabrics. (THE WORST!)
I wanted to point out something I learned about the emery sand: it’s heavy. So heavy, in fact, that it really doesn’t behoove a “wrist style” pincushion. I’ve tried wearing my little emery-sand-filled burger on my wrist, and it just flops around in a VERY annoying fashion.
That’s OK, though! This pincushion sits nicely on a sewing table. It’s actually quite sturdy with all that emery sand in there.
But what if you really want a little burger pincushion for your wrist? Skip the emery sand and just use the Polyfil on its own to stuff the top bun. I’ve never encountered a wrist pincushion with emery sand in it, so I guess I was getting a little haughty thinking I was going to pull that off in the first place.
Now that we have that taken care of, onward!
If you’re unfamiliar with Peltex, it’s a fabric stabilizer. It kind of looks like white felt, but it’s much stiffer. It’s used often to make fabric “bowls”, boxes, and very structured bags.
I got mine from Fabric.com, but you should be able to find it at quilting shops or large craft/hobby stores like Joann Fabric.
That being said, I only used Peltex because I had it on hand. Some cardboard or thick cardstock can be used instead of Peltex.
Pictured here is my emery sand and my Pillow pieces cut from woven scrap fabric.
(Obviously, if you aren’t using emery sand, you’ll be stuffing your Pillow with the Polyfil.)
Place the Pillow circles Right Sides Together, and sew using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Make sure to leave a gap of approximately 1 inch for stuffing/filling.
Turn the Pillow Right Sides Out using some sort of pointy instrument like a chopstick.
Here is our Pillow all turned out and ready for filling.
Beside it is a funnel I’ve made out of scrap paper to make pouring the emery sand a little easier.
Insert the funnel into the gap left in the seam. Try not to make a catastrophic mess pouring the emery sand into the Pillow.
If you’re using Polyfil, the good news is that things should be decidedly less messy!
If you’re using emery sand, the trick is to fill the pillow as full as possible while also leaving enough seam allowance at the top to sew it shut.
For Polyfil pillows, stuff until it’s fairly firm. You want a nice dense support for the pins.
Pin it closed when you’re finished.
Hand sew the gap closed. My favorite stitch for closing gaps in seams like this is called the ladder stitch.
It’s really hard to photograph while hand sewing, so here’s a gif that will hopefully illustrate how to do a ladder stitch if you’re new to it.
The cool thing is, it’s fine if your stitching turns out ugly as sin. No one is going to see it!
Finally, it’s time to assemble our Top Bun!
You will need your Top Bun felt piece, one circle of Peltex (or cardboard/cardstock), a small handful of Polyfil, and the Pillow.
Baste around the edge of the Top Bun piece, approximately 1/4″ from the edge. This is just a quick running stitch that we’ll use to cinch the top bun into a pillow shape. It doesn’t need to be pretty.
Place the small handful of Polyfil in the center of the Top Bun, followed by the Pillow, and finally, the Peltex or cardboard disc.
Test the shape of the bun by cinching the stitching around the “fillings.” You might need to adjust the amount of Polyfil to get the right shape.
When you’ve got the shape you want, cinch the stitching and tie off the end of the thread to hold the Top Bun shape.
If you flip the Top Bun so it’s Right Side Up, you ideally shouldn’t be able to see the stitching or the raw edges of the felt. Just a nice clean bun. That’s how you know you’ve got the right amount of filling and stitching.
Bottom Bun time!
Here we’ve got the Bottom Bun felt piece, two discs of Peltex (or cardboard/cardstock), a small piece of scrap interfacing, and the Wristband Loop felt piece.
This step is optional, and only necessary if you want a pincushion you can wear on your wrist.
Fuse the small scrap of interfacing to the Wrong side of the Bottom Bun.
Pin the Wristband Loop to the Right side of the Bottom Bun.
Topstitch the Wristband Loop along the edges, making sure the opening will be wide enough to fit your Wristband Elastic through.
Baste around the edge of the Bottom Bun, just like we did with the Top Bun.
Place one Peltex (or cardboard) disc on the Wrong Side of the Bottom Bun, followed by a small amount of Polyfil, followed by the other Peltex disc.
It sounds confusing, and the Polyfil kind of disappears in the photo, but it’s basically a Peltex sandwich with Polyfil filling.
Cinch the stitching around the Bottom Bun and tie off the end of the thread.
Behold! Our Top Bun and Bottom Bun!
Now it’s time to assemble the rest of the ingredients.
Let’s start with the Patty, which will end up looking more like a donut when we’re done. I know that sounds crazy, but trust me.
Fold the Patty in half – Right Sides Together – and pin the raw edges together.
Sew using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Use your fingers to press the seam open.
Fold the Patty “loop” in half on itself, Wrong Sides Together.
Pin and topstitch along the raw edges.
Fold the loop in half again and hand stitch in place.
You should end up with something like this.
Twist the loop gently so that the stitching is situated on the “inside” of the donut.
Let us move on to the lettuce! Get it?
Baste around the inner circle, approximately 1/4″ from the edge.
Pull the stitches tight, and then tie off the thread to keep the gathering in place.
Pin the two Tomato pieces, Right Sides Together.
Sew around the edge of the Tomato pieces, using a 1/4″ seam allowance and being sure to leave a gap in the stitching for turning.
Trim any excess seam allowance away.
Turn the Tomato Right Sides Out.
Finally, let’s prep the onion!
Fold the Onion in half and pin in place.
Topstitch along the raw edges.
Fire up the hot glue gun and glue the Patty to the Bottom Bun. Try to keep the glue toward the inside of the Patty so it doesn’t ooze out and show on the outside.
Note: Make sure you’ve got a High Temp glue gun with High Temp glue sticks. If you’ve ever made something with hot glue that seemed to fall apart as soon as you looked at it wrong, it was probably because it was Low Temp. Low Temp is for wussies!
Glue the Cheese square on top of the bun.
Position the Tomato on the Top Bun so that the small gap we left for turning it Right Side Out will be sandwiched in the middle (and thus not visible when we’re finished).
Work the Onion into a half ring shape with the raw edges toward the center of the Top Bun.
Glue the pieces in place.
Glue the Lettuce to the Top Bun/Tomato/Onion combo.
If you see any ugly gaps/basting stitches/imperfections, like the one marked by the arrow above, it should be easily concealed by the Lettuce. Just add a dab of glue there and press the Lettuce into it.
Finally, you can glue the Top Bun combo to the Bottom Bun combo.
Make sure it’s all glued together nice and tight.
We did it!
If you get yourself a set of white glass head pins, they look like sesame seeds when inserted into the cushion!
Continue on if you’d like to add a wristband…
Measure out a piece of elastic (I’m using FOE aka fold-over elastic) that’s 2-3 inches longer than your wrist measurement.
Insert one end of the elastic through the loop on the Bottom Bun.
Pull the elastic through the loop.
Note that the elastic and the pincushion are Right Sides Together.
Match up the ends of the elastic and tie into a knot.
Trim the excess, leaving a 1/2″ to 1″ tail.
Great Caesar’s ghost! We’re done!