Shoe etui set 1: bobbin pincushion

A couple of years ago, I bought a pdf chart for a beautiful cross stitch shoe etui set, from Chantal of Mamilou Creations, based in France. It’s a really innovative design, and I love it! I’m stitching it on 28 count pale lilac evenweave fabric from Wichelt (bought from SewandSo in the UK). Chantal creates many beautiful etui sets in chart form for you to make (email her for details of how to buy, as her blog doesn’t sell directly to the public, but the blog has many lovely photos of her work).

The wooden bobbin was bought from Etsy – there are several people selling them on there, so there’s a lot of choice of sizes – all vintage. The pattern calls for a bobbin that has a spindle 4cm wide, to accommodate the design.

Pincushion 1

I hunted around for a while for a suitable colour scheme to stitch it in, and finally decided to stitch it in variegated deep purple/cerise, with metallic silver highlights, using Petite Treasure braid. The Gloriana thread is very pretty, but I realised once I started stitching with it that the changes of colour are a bit too subtle for this project – it just looks like solid purple once stitched! I could have used my Anchor stranded cotton stash really, and saved myself £5 for the one skein…..

Pincushion 13

I’m making the bobbin pincushion first. The design is really easy – in fact, it was a bit TOO easy for me, and I got a bit bored with the scrolly bits at the side, and kept putting it aside for something more challenging sometimes.

Pincushion 2

But the finished result is worth it:

Pincushion 3

To make the panel into a band ready to attach to the centre of the bobbin, the instructions say (in French, so I’m guessing a bit here!) to iron a piece of interfacing to the reverse side, just inside the outer line of stitching. Then press the seam allowances in, right on the edges of the stitching – pressing the straight sides first, then also across the corners at 45 degrees.

Pincushion 5

The seam allowances are then tacked into place (badly!!), taking the stitches very lightly through the interfacing only.

Pincushion 6

The is the panel, ready to be wrapped round the centre of the bobbin.

Pincushion 7

Now I’ve just got the assembly to complete…



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7 thoughts on “Shoe etui set 1: bobbin pincushion”

  1. Simple design, but once stitched it does not look boring. I love the silver mixed with the purple. Once assembled, it will look very pretty.

  2. I have just had another look at the photos and I have 3 questions. Is the fabric you stitched to the embroidery piece muslin? How easy is it to keep the tension on the hoop? Thirdly, what hoop make do you use?

    1. Yes, it’s muslin. I bought a huge piece on Ebay a few years ago, and I cut lots of squares of it, and got them ready to use with apertures cut out in various sizes, to use with my hoops. With the hoops I use, you can get incredibly tight tension in the hoop, which doesn’t loosen. I use Susan Bates plastic hoops – they have a small lip on the inner ring, which holds the fabric taut, so you don’t need to bind the inner ring with tape first, and plastic doesn’t mark the fabric, like wooden ones can. I’ve been using them for decades. You can get them on – a 6 inch one is £4.

      1. Many thanks. I thought I could only get those hoops from Australia. Will order from sew and so.

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