Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 11: assembling the spoolholder wall and lining it

The instructions for assembling the spoolholder in Carolyn Pearce’s Home Sweet Home Workbox book are very detailed. This is how many layers of various materials are needed in the construction of the spoolholder:

Spoolholder 25

Both thick and thin interfacing are required, as well as acetate, some stuff which I think is similar to Bondaweb, and ‘template plastic’. Some of the brands listed in Carolyn’s book aren’t available in the UK (she’s from Australia), so I had to improvise. I found that a cheap ring binder made of a flexible plastic was ideal to use as material for the plastic liner for the side wall, top and base!

Spoolholder 26

Here are the embroidered pieces,  cut out to the seam allowance markings and ready to be assembled:

Spoolholder 27

The embroidered wall is placed right sides facing with the lining fabric, with interfacing backing the embroidered side. Then a small seam is made along the long side at the bottom edge of the wall.

Spoolholder 28

I trimmed the seam allowances, layering them to reduce bulk.

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Then I turned down the long edge of the lining by half an inch, tacking it in place, and stitched a seam along the short sides of both the lining and wall, making a tube.

Spoolholder 30

The instructions then go into a very complicated way to make the cylinder out of the plastic, and then to fix the wall and lining around it. I found it easier to roll up the plastic very tightly, insert it behind the embroidered wall part, then let go until it had unrolled to fill the space, then fold the lining up into the centre of the tube and smooth it out. I poked a bit of sticky tape along the join of the plastic to hold it in place, but I didn’t feel that was really necessary – the plastic couldn’t move at all, due to the tension as it pressed against the embroidered wall.

Spoolholder 31

I folded the seam allowance of the embroidered wall into the tube, then smoothed the lining against it, and oversewed the two fabrics together, then removed the tacking stitches. This oversewing was tricky, as I didn’t have a curved needle, and the diameter of the tube is less than two inches. The lining is a bit bumpy and twisted in places, but when it’s finished, that won’t be seen, as the spool placed inside will cover it up, hopefully!

Spoolholder 32

That’s the fiddliest part of the project completed, now, so I just need to add the lid and base….


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6 thoughts on “Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 11: assembling the spoolholder wall and lining it”

  1. I’m really glad you’re posting about this project. I have amassed my fibers and fabrics but have yet to start it. When I finish the Christmas ornaments I’m stitching for family and friends, I think I’ll re-read all your posts about Home Sweet Home and begin mine. I’ve switched out some threads and made a few changes to the embroidery (in my head). Despite the work, I still think it will be a fun project.

  2. Oh this is so cute! I’ve got Carolyn’s book on my wishlist, so it’s really interesting following your progress with this project. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished holder complete with it’s lid. 🙂

  3. Your work is beautiful. I own the book but haven’t started to work on the project as yet. Now I’m working on her embroidered teddy bear.

  4. Hi Janet,
    I have just come across your blog, via Mary Corbet. I am yet another one with Home Sweet Home on the bookshelf and the ‘someday’ list, so I was really pleased to find someone else stitching it! The progress photos are really helpful, as you’ve noted, instructions are clearer with diagrams, and take some of the mystery out of the process. I have not yet collected the supplies, but I did spend rather a large amount of $NZ getting the charm set (twice what the book cost!). I will definitely be making thread substitutions when I come to stitching it, and like many, the scariest part will be the construction.
    I now look forward to devouring the rest of your gorgeous blog posts, and learning a whole lot more while I’m at it.
    Keep up the inspiring work!

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