Introduction: 3D Printed Sewing Kit

About: I'm a farmer, teacher and tinkerer.

I teach at a great school that embraces technology and engineering education. My students in 6th grade make stuffed toys with circuits, and I got tired of losing needles and mixups with the "regular" scissors so I created a little caddy to hold the fabric scissors, pin cushion, seam ripper and needle threader. It's nice because students have everything they need in one package. I also use it as an example of iterative design. The first version (on the left) falls over when scissors are put in vertically. The second one had too much support material that was really hard to remove. The third worked ok, and there were a few more variations on that until the final (version 8) used less material and held the scissors more securely.

Step 1: Print Caddy on 3D Printer

I have attached the .stl file for the final version. I don't do anything special for printing. I use Simplify 3D with standard settings for PLA with support. Because of the open end, it's not too hard to get the support material out, but if you have the dissolving support material, use it.

The final caddy fits my Fiskars 8 inch forged scissors really well. I really like these scissors for cutting fabric because they are heavy and sharp. You can also download the original Fusion 360 file and make changes you need to fit your scissors.

Step 2: Cut Out Pincushion

The final pincushion is small. It's 2.5" wide by 1.5" deep and 0.5" tall when assembled. This prevents students from sticking pins and needles so far in that they're hidden (I found 7 needles in one pin cushion that I disassembled before beginning this project). I have attached the Corel file I use to cut out the felt on the 50 W Epilog laser at school with the following settings:

Speed 75

Power 30

Frequency 2500 for cutting felt.

I have also included the dimensions of the pincushion "pattern" if you don't have access to a laser cutter.

Step 3: Assemble Pin Cushion

Starting at the corner, press the edges together and sew them together. Sew along the top and bottom edges to create a pocket leaving the short end open. You should have an extra flap of felt to help seal in the filling.

Cut a chemical-free stainless steel scouring pad into a piece a little smaller than the pocket. I put some dry rice and a piece of pot scrubber inside the pocket. The rice fills in spaces and adds some weight. The scouring pad helps keep the needles sharp.

Sew the final end together tucking the flap inside and sewing along the corner. Just before sealing the short end, add rice until the pin cushion feels firm enough. Make a little cone of paper to help get the rice into the corners.

Step 4: Put It Together

Put the pin cushion in the space. Add a seam ripper and needle threader. Slide the scissors into the space. I have printed nine using a variety of filament and felt colors. Each pair of students shares a caddy.

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