#1 Needle Roll,  Craft with Racaire,  Embroidery,  German Brick Stitch Pattern #2,  Hand-Sewing

Craft with Racaire – Project #1 – Step 3 – basic assembling of the needle-roll

Welcome to step 3.1 of my first project for “Craft with Racaire” – this time we assemble the needle-roll.

In my opinion needle-rolls are a perfect little gift for everyone who uses needles in one way or another. Years ago I got my very first needle roll from my dear friend Gunnhild from Hamburg. It already shows several signs of usage because I took it with me wherever I travelled. To Germany, Finland, England, Sweden and even to the USA. This lovely small needle roll still contains all my sewing and embroidery needles and reminds me of my friend and the events we both went to…

Spring 2012 I got another lovely small needle-book from the King and Queen of Meridies at the event Knight’s Gambit in Alabama – from Sir Kenneth Grey, the king of Meridies at this time, and his wonderful lady Sabine d’ Orliens, the queen at this time. I also love it and it is a great home for the two bone needles which where already inside as well as all my veil pins. I can tell you, the rate of lost veil pins significant decreased since I got this needle-book… Btw. – funny side note – Gunnhilds needle-roll is the only piece of blackwork I own and she does beautiful blackwork. *lol*

2014-02-26_12_52_50_racaireYou can say that I really love needle-rolls and needle-books and furthermore I also love to make them. …and now that I am thinking about it, I think that giving them away is even more fun than making them. Yes, they are a great way to store and transport needles, they make lovely and unique little gifts and if you are working with wool from time to time, they are also a great way to recycle wool leftovers. It definitely makes sense to have a small box with wool-fabric-leftovers for projects like this.

…but now I should definitely get back to the topic of this posting. 🙂

For the assembling of the needle roll you will need:

[emember_protected not_for=4 do_not_show_restricted_msg=1]…I am sorry, but this content (text and photos) is restricted to users with Premium – “Craft with Racaire” membership.First things first – the most important thing for this project is:

  • Your finished piece of embroidery in the size your embroidered needle-roll shall finally have.


If you haven’t finished your embroidery yet, you can find some hints and more about this step – #2 for this project – in my posting “Craft with Racaire – Needle-roll #1 & German Brick Stitch Pattern #2“.

Furthermore you will need:

  • Sewing/embroidery needles
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • 1 piece of wool fabric
    -> the patch should have at least the size of the finished embroidery and a convenient seam allowance at all sides ( better more than less)
  • 1(or more) smaller wool fabric leftovers for the “inside padding”
  • Extra wool thread for the border decoration & tassels
  • Sturdy thread for the sewing
    – preferably the color of the border of the embroidery you are sewing into!


…and now let us finally begin:

The wool for the inside:

Take some wool fabric that is as big as (or slightly bigger as) your embroidery including the seam allowance and cut it to the size of the fabric with the embroidery (including the seam allowance!).

Because this will become the inside of your needle-roll where later the pins will be stuck into, you should assure that you use (wool-) fabric you can also put slightly bigger needles through without using a lot of force. For that just bend your wool fabric slightly over two of your fingers and try to put one of your bigger and smaller needles into it (rather parallel to the fabric) – you can try this with needles with point and without. Please be careful when testing the fabric with the needles with point. If the density of the fabric is too high and you find it rather difficult to get your needles into the fabric – this is the point where you can still find some other fabric to exchange it.

We start pinning now:


We start at picture 1a) – fold the corner to the inside (to the back of the embroidery – as you can see on picture 1b). Then fold the sides to the inside – see picture 2) for this step. As soon as you folded the fabric to the inside, use some pins to keep the fabric in place. When one corner is finished continue with the other corners and use some extra pins to pin the border between the corners – at the long and short sides – to the back of the embroidery.

You should have something similar to what you can see on the pictures underneath:


Cut the inner padding:

Now you can use up some of your wool fabric leftovers – “recycle” them and give them a meaningful life again. 😉

Cut out 1-2 small patches (or more if you use thin wool fabric)  that are smaller than your embroidered outer side. You can take about 1-2 cm away from the size because you need to fold in the rather thick wool thread of the “inside” of the needle-roll and will get an small but extra layer at the sides – too much fabric here would make the whole thing too bulky and blunt. Place this 1-2 (or more) inner padding-patches at the inside – about in the middle of your fabric patch.


Continue with pinning the inside:

Start with your first corner – it’s the same procedure as described before:


Make just one corner! …and then proceed to the next step underneath.

A hint for you – you know how much seam allowance you added – extract that from both sides and you know where you need to put your point of your new corner or where you need to fold in the corner to get the point… This is not an exact science! If your corner is some Millimeters “off” you don’t need to worry if you still have enough seam allowance  at your sides. You should just try to keep your new folded borders as parallel to the outside borders of your fabric as possible. It’s no fun when you still have some border to fold but no fabric anymore.

Pin both sides – inside & outside – together:


Picture 1) – place the corner of the “inside” layer next to the corner of the “outer” embroidered layer. The folded in sides go to the inside – you should have just smooth embroidery and fabric on the outside! Repin now like shown on picture 2) ! 🙂

Hint: if you placed pins on the inside to help yourself, this is a good moment to remove them – if you try this later, it is not much fun – been there, tried this already, was no fun at all – I can assure you. 😉

Fold in the rest of the “inside” wool fabric:

Proceed with folding in the short side. As you can see – the new point for the corner should be placed at the same height as the corner of the “outside” fabric with the embroidery.

By “rolling” this corner between your fingers you will see that you can easily make small adjustment where the point of the corner is.
Try following – take a thread between your pointing finger and your thumb and move your pointing finger forward and back – you will see that the thread is moving between your fingers – you can make the same with your fabric – just imagine the border of your fabric corner instead of the thread.
If it doesn’t work immediately you need to try it with less or more pressure between your finger and your thumb. This way you can easily shift the point of the corner in and out a little. This “technique” is only good for small adjustments and don’t forget that you also have some padding inside!


Now also fold in the other side of the border to the inside of the corner and pin both corners to each other.

You should now have something like this: the inner and outer layer pinned together at one side and some padding:


Fold in the border of the wool fabric along the long side and pin the long sides of the “inside” and “outside” with the embroidery together. Proceed with the other corners as you just did for the last step.


Don’t forget to also add some pins at the other long side – to pin the sides together:


Here another detail picture of a corner:


Concerning the padding – before you ask – I put the padding “underneath” the folded in sides of the “inside” wool fabric as you can see here:


…and last but not least – the last corner:



Troubleshooting – too thin padding:

Btw. if you “feel” that your padding is too thin somewhere there is an easy solution – cut out 1-2 small patch(es) in the estimated form of the missing padding (or use one of your small wool-fabric leftovers):


Unpin the long or short side next to the place with the missing padding – not the corner, that would be more work than necessary – and carefully insert the extra padding with your finger as shown bellow:



Repin again when you are finished and your extra padding is hidden inside.

Finally you should have something similar to this:


A lot of fabric and embroidery with many pins everywhere.


Good luck & happy pinning! 😀 

…and in the next posting I will show you in a detailed photo tutorial how you “sew” both parts together at once with the “Finishing the seams of 14th/15th century pouches” technique and also how you can make a proper start and ending.

Best regards Racaire