I like to stay busy. I bet you do, too. So when I have a little time to kill in the car, like when I’m waiting for one of my kids to finish up their band practice at the school, I like to keep a little hand-stitching nearby. Unfortunately, my car isn’t full of places where I can quickly stash a needle while I get another length of thread ready, so I’m willing to bet that there are at least a dozen needles in that no-man’s-land between the driver’s seat and the center console. Even juggling a regular pincushion is a pain in that limited space, so I needed a solution.
What I came up with is a magnetic needleminder wristband, which has proven to be a popular gift for quilt guild gift exchanges and as a stocking stuffer. The only problem with making them for other people is getting the size right, and that’s why I’m no longer carrying needleminders in my Etsy shop.
So here you go, a tutorial to make your own custom wristband needleminder for the on-the-go sewist who needs a convenient place to stash a few pins or a bobbin or…whatever!
- 1 strip of fabric 2 3/8″ x 11″ for the wristband
- 1 piece of scrap fabric 3/4″ x 1″
- 1 circle of fabric about 2″ diameter for the button (this doesn’t have to be a perfect circle AT ALL–and better that it be a little bigger than a little smaller)
- 1 piece of 3/4″ elastic cut to fit your wrist snugly, but without stretch (I cut mine to 6 1/2″)
- 1 flat-back cover button kit size 45 (1 1/8″)–if all you can find is the type with a shank, either remove the shank or bend it down so it lays pretty flat.
- a very strong flat (1/16″ thick is good) magnet (or two). This is what I used, because it’s what I had on hand. You may find that you need a little more holding power, and stacking two does work.
- E6000 glue
- a tube turner or large safety pin
- a bodkin or large safety pin
- sewing machine
- Take the 11″ strip for the wristband, fold over a 1/4″ seam allowance to the wrong side and press. A little stitching is nice, but not necessary. (It holds the seams down when you turn the wristband later. No big deal.)
- Right sides together, stitch a 1/4″ seam along the long edge. Backstitch at both ends! I forgot to on this one. Photography is distracting. I did, however, remember to clip the corner inside the seam allowance. You should, too.
- Turn the wristband right side out. I like to use a Turn-It-All (affiliate link) to turn tubes. It’s a lot easier than using a big safety pin. (New to turning fabric tubes? Here’s a YouTube video showing how to do that with a safety pin.)
- Press the wristband flat, centering the seam.
- Now comes the part where you make the elastic band lay flat where you connect it. Take the elastic and place one end at the halfway point of the scrap fabric. Use a zigzag stitch to secure it. I like to stitch it twice for extra security.
- Pull the elastic through the wristband tube. Once again, you can use a large safety pin. I like this bodkin (another affiliate link), and not just because it’s fun to say.
- Now take the other end of the elastic and butt it up against the side you stitched onto the scrap fabric. Making sure you don’t catch any of the wristband fabric, secure the elastic with more zigzag stitching. You can trim any excess fabric if you’d like.
- Bring the ends of the wristband fabric together over the elastic seam. You can stitch the ends together by hand (I have–it works), but it’s a lot quicker to zigzag on the machine. It’s easy since the elastic ends aren’t stacked up and adding weird bulky lumps–and the seam will be hidden under the button on one side.
- The wristband is done! Now move on to the magnetic button. Take your circle of fabric and place the front of the button on top of it, then put the magnet in the button cup. TEST YOUR MAGNET NOW. Take a metal bobbin or a bunch of needles and make sure the magnet will hold your stuff through the button and the layer of fabric. If it’s not strong enough, try flipping the magnet over or stacking an additional magnet.
- Following the instructions that came with your button set, make the button. A downloadable pdf of instructions is available at this link, too.
- Make sure your wristband is turned so the seam is on the inside of the circle (the part that will be touching your wrist). Put a nice big drop of E6000 on the back of your button and smoosh that sucker down over the seam of the wristband. Hold the button there tightly for about 30 seconds, then leave it to cure for a day.
- Take pictures of your finished needleminder in use and tag @prettypiney on Instagram, or post them on my Facebook page!
Questions? Corrections? Post them in the comments; I read every one!