the world’s sweetest needle book : a free sewing pattern

free heart needle book tutorial

This little book will certainly hold your needles. It could also be a repository for the scraps you can’t part with. It could tell a story, mark an occasion, like a birth or anniversary, or be a sort of travel journal, the pages filled with little things found along the way and saved.

needle book and tiny rag doll night gown

I always travel with small sewing and it is always a mess of ziplock bags and other aesthetically unappealing containers with sharp things poking out of them. This started as a practical project and turned into a whole other thing.

I made this needle book for future me. Future me is the sort of person who is packed a week before travel, has extra light bulbs and never runs out of toilet paper.

needle book made from scraps

needle book ideas

I’m in love with my little needle book and plan to take it pretty much everywhere for the rest of my life. There are more of these books in my future, for needles and ideas and memories. It is good winter evening sewing.

needle book : free sewing pattern

pin it for later

I’ve put together a tutorial for you below. And subscribers will have a link to a pdf download emailed to them.

You will need a basic sewing kit and the templates.

download the templates

materials :

  • cotton or light linen 
  • scraps for details
  • matching and contrasting thread
  • button
  • embroidery thread
  • batting or felt
  • light weight cardboard
  • ribbon
  • gluestick

patch and appliques : needle book pages

Cut out two each of the A, B, C and heart pattern pieces. One side of A will be your cover page. Add patches, embroidery, appliqués, and other details to your pages. Also cut out 2 cardboard support pieces from light weight cardboard ( a cereal box is great). Use a glue stick to glue the cardboard to pieces of batting or felt and cut out.

Note: Piecing fabric together before cutting the pattern shapes creates a nice variety in the pages.

needle book : ribbon latch

Cut a 3 and 1/2 inch length of ribbon or trim and fold in half. With the right side of the cover fabric facing you pin the folded ribbon to the center of the left side. The folded edge should extend 1 and 1/4 inches from the seam line.  I’m using 1/4 inch cotton twill tape.

needle book_tutorial : seam lines

Pin The A, B, C and heart pieces with the right sides together and stitch the seam lines. Leave a small section on each open for turning. Be sure that the opening on A is large enough to insert the cardboard supports. Clip off the corners of the rectangles close to the seam. Clip the bottom point of the heart and clip notches around the curves at the top and at the center.

needle book tutorial : stitch pages

Turn your sewn and clipped pieces right side out. Use a chopstick or similar to push the corners and curves all the way out.  Add any additional appliqué or other details.

needle book tutorial : insert support

Insert the cardboard and batting pieces into the cover page. The batting side should be facing the inside and the cardboard facing the outside cover.  Push the cardboard all the way to each side, there should be an empty space between them. Leave the cover open at the bottom.

needle book tutorial : stack pages

Stack the pages with the ribbon loop on the right and and fold your book in half.

Fold the loop up over the cover to determine the location for your button.  Stitch the button in place and – optionally stitch right through the cardboard support for a tighter attachment. If you stitch through the cardboard you can cover the knot with an appliqué.

needle book tutorial :stitch closed

Stitch each of the pages closed and press. Before we begin finishing the page edges check out this tutorial on how to hide your knots.

Blanket stitch the edges of each page with embroidery thread. 1.  Make one stitch perpendicular to the edge and knot at the top. Insert your needle away from the edge and about 3/8 “ from the first stitch.  2. Bring the needle through the loop.  3. Pull the thread tight and repeat.

heart needle book assembly

To assemble the book stack the pages.  The loop should be on your right. Make sure your pages are centered and pin in place with several pins. Attach the bottom of page B to the inside of page A at the center with 1 or 2 stitches. Use thread that matches the blanket stitch on page B.

heart needle book assembly

Stitch the center top as well. Notice you are stitching all the way through page B but just catching one layer of fabric of page A.

heart needle book assembly

Using thread that matches the blanket stitch of page C, attach page C to B at the top and bottom center.

heart needle book assembly

Stitch the top and bottom center of the heart to page C using thread matching the heart edge stitches. Stitch all the way through the heart but just catching the top layer of page C.

Finished! Add all your tiny projects, precious scraps and sewing tools and you are ready to travel.

If you make needle books I’d love to see. You can email photos to info at ann wood handmade dot com or use #annwoodhandmade or #annwoodpattern on instagram.

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When you subscribe a link to download the pdf version of the needle book tutorial will be emailed to you.

And there are tips and tricks, ideas, stuff to try, all the latest news and blogposts and extra stuff, just for subscribers, delivered mostly on Friday. Pretty much. Click below to sign up.

needle book pages inspiration
needle book pdf screenshot
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40 Comments

  1. Thank you so much! I am also of the Ziploc bags stuffed with supplies thrown into my gypsy bag. By the third day, the bags are mixed up and the scissors have poked a hole through its bag. I think this will be my weekend project. Thank you!

  2. Barbara Brown

    I have a much smaller needle holder that my grandmother made a hundred years ago. Closed , it looks like a tiny bonnet and it holds needles, pins and a thimble.
    I love yours and am grateful for the pattern! Thank you for creating and sharing!

  3. Carlene Williams

    Oh yes! Been looking for the perfect needle book and this fits my aesthetic so nicely! Love it, thanks so much for sharing!

  4. I have a bundle of tiny fabric circles, all from the 1950’s. They are going to make fantastically sweet books!!

  5. Thank you sooo much for sharing this,,,, it’s wonderful!!! I love it and it’s perfect for my quiet evening hand stitching.

  6. I have only in the past year or so been using a lovely needlebook gifted to me many years ago. Before that my pins and needles were everywhere much to my husband’s dismay. I love using my needlebook. Not only does it keep my pointy tools corralled, but it reminds me of my friend every time I use it.

    I just love how you’ve made this needlebook. I can’t wait to try out the lovely tutorial. Thank you!

  7. Jeannie Bench

    This is gorgeous! And it’s so generous of you to share it, thank you!

  8. Laura Dene Mchugh

    Plan to make one or two of these tomorrow. It is a good rainy day project. Thank you!

  9. Happy New Year to you and what a lovely sweet sewing book to have as my first project of 2019. Thank you so much for sharing; I have lots of lovely scraps which will be perfect for these.

    I must say I love reading your posts. A hard week at work or feelings of inadequacy are banished to the clouds and replaced by thoughtfulness, creativity and warmth. Good for the soul!

    Thank you x

  10. Marilyn Eves

    I love your gorgeous little sewing book, it certainly is the world’s sweetest! Thank you so much for your lovely tutorial, I can’t wait to make my own.

  11. Julie Parrish

    I have a needlebook I love, made of variously colored pieced of wool felt. I think I would like to make yours as well, so I can keep a book with my ribbon embroidery, one with my quilting, one with my sachet scraps…

    Also, I love the French General scraps I recognize in your needlebook!

  12. michelle martinelli

    Hello Ann,
    In recent years, I have the pleasure of discovering each week your creations. It is a great pleasure and also a source of inspiration for the little embroidered – sketched things that I do. But I never took the time to thank you for this meeting. So thank you Ann and continue to share with us. It is infinitely precious.
    Michelle

  13. Pam Freeburn

    Thanks you so much for this beautiful pattern! I can’t wait to search my stash of fabric, buttons and little saved bits of fabric!

  14. Oh so beautiful! Brought back so many memories! My mom use to make these over thirty years ago and we were just talking about it, how to start making them again and here you are… Unreal! Thank you for confirming our next project for the gallery… Love your passion!

  15. Thank you for the free pattern. My sister and I are going to make them while watching football this weekend!

  16. Rosemary B

    Your needle book is perfect. This reminds me, my mom made one of wool like 80 years ago. Really. I remember it
    I do need to make a needle book bc I carry my hexies around in a silly box with a tight ball of walnut shells for needles, which is fine but when I have needles with thread ready I need a nice soft page to file it.
    I do take my box of hand sewing with me to doctor appointments for daddy, he has many, and hubbs just had surgery for glaucoma (some kind of handy teensy stent)
    I will think about making a needle book. …. mom’s might be somewhere in my piles of treasures. One day I will find it.
    Happy New Year Ann. I hope you are managing the snow storm safe and warm. I am in Northern Virginia and we got a lot of snow (a foot) last week, and yesterday it poured rain, whadda mess. Now the beastly cold air is arriving. I will take daddy to his heart doctor appointment and it will be 20 degrees + a wind chill so I will drop him off at the door
    Keep perky and cozy

  17. Oh how beautiful and awesome this needle book is! Love love it!! Thanks so much Ann!!

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  19. I made your needle book I just took down the measurements I did not put in for your pattern but I love it.

  20. Dear Ann, happy new year! Thank you for this generous share. Thank you as always for your beautiful blog, i so look forward to my Friday instalments, it is like a breath of fresh air, your creativity! Its been about 5 years now and you have kept me company from London to Malaysia to Denmark and now the beautiful Lake District in the UK. Just wanted to let you know how you touch others lives x

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  22. This needle book is so cute, I am going to make it as a cloth book for my Granddaughters 2nd birthday, by telling a story about her, using vintage fabrics, scraps of lace and old buttons that I have collected over the years.

    I can’t wait to receive more ideas, thank you so much Ann

  23. Jeni Barnett

    Thank you so much for this! It is just what I was looking for, simple, cute, easy to make. What a great way to begin the new year!

  24. eek! so cute! i tried to have the pdf sent to my email if i signed up but then it said i’d already signed up (help!) can you help ann? can’t wait to make this!! xoxo

    • Hi Lori! Thank you! You are on the mailing list but it looks like they are not making it to your inbox – try adding – info@annwoodhandmade.com to your contacts list.

      And check your spam folder too – they might be hanging out there.

      I’ll forward the email with the download link for the needle book sewing pattern in a second.

  25. Valerie

    Thank you for this pattern. I love to hand sew and this little book spoke to me. It is something my hands can do. I look forward to checking out your work. I love what I have seen so far. Thank you for the information and inspiration. Valerie

  26. What a truly sweet needlebook! I am involved in a bit of historical sewing with a local living history museum and your book seems to be a mixture of the old & nostalgic with more modern & new. I do love it, thank you for sharing! Have you checked out more historical needlebooks? I love the old “housewives” or “hussifs” from around the world centuries ago.

  27. I love your little needlebook and I will make this!
    Thank you so much for the tutorial.

    For travel or even for walking down stairs or outside I have found a little sewing box from prym.
    It is like a luchbox or a layered box for meat cuts, you can leave layers out to make it smaller. And when it is in my hobby room it is stacked up.

    This is for my traveling and walking outside with my needle work.
    I love it very much, it has a handle so its easy to pick it up.

    https://www.johnlewis.com/prym-click-box-system/p301729

    Just lóve the little needlebook! Thanks

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