Sew a Handy Organizer for Your Needle Packs

Beauty shot 1

Sew a Handy Organizer for Your Needle Packs

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Beauty shot 1

By Emily Jansson, Nancy’s Notions guest blogger

I’ve been going a little overboard on projects lately. With Sewing Weekend 2016 fast approaching, my studio is looking more and more like a tornado hit it. When my supplies are in chaos, so is my mental state. Something needed to be done.

What do I do when I’m feeling out of control? I organize like a madwoman. This project was born when I thought I’d run out of sharps in the midst of a late-night stitching spree. I needed all of my needle packs fully visible, and in one place…and fast.

This organizer whips up in an afternoon, and boasts 32 slots for your needle packs. The clear vinyl allows you to see your whole inventory at a glance. The elastic closure lets you pack it up neatly to store out of sight or pack for class. Hope you like it! 


  • 1/3 yd. Peltex 2-Sided Fusible Interfacing
  • Outer fabric: scrap measuring at least 10″ x 15-1/2″
  • Lining fabric: scrap measuring at least 10″ x 15-1/2″
  •  1/8 yd. Clear Vinyl
  • 1 pack Fuse ‘n Bind Fusible Binding Tape
  • 10″ Elastic 1″ wide or less (We used a decorative 1″ wide elastic.)
  • 6″ x 24″ Ruler
  • Marking pen
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Iron and ironing surface
  • Teflon sheet (or parchment paper)
  • Pins
  • Wonder Clips
  • Teflon Foot
  • Sewing machine, etc.


Begin by cutting the following:

  • Peltex 2-sided fusible interfacing: 10″ x 15-1/2″
  • Outer fabric: 10″ x 15-1/2″
  • Lining fabric: 10″ x 15-1/2″
  • Clear vinyl: 4 strips, cut at 1-1/2″ x 15-1/2″
  • Elastic: 10″
  • Approximately 54″ of 2″ wide strip for binding (You may need to piece for length.)

Use a Teflon sheet or parchment paper to protect your ironing surface. Lay the lining fabric right-side-up on the Peltex 2-sided fusible interfacing. Fuse.

Mark the lining side as shown:

Marking Spec 1

  • Attach the Teflon Foot and set your stitch length to a longer stitch—around a 3–4.
  • Lay the clear vinyl strips in marked areas and secure with Wonder Clips at the ends. Stitch a scant 1/8″ along the bottom of each strip to secure.
  • Stitch the divider rows that run perpendicular to the strips, as marked, but do not stitch the foldlines. It’s best to sew these rows from bottom to top of the organizer, so that the vinyl lies as flat as possible.

Stitch divider rows

  • Fuse the remaining outer fabric to the other side of your divider. At this point, you may need to remark the foldlines on the inside if they’ve disappeared while you’re fusing.
  • Stitch the marked foldlines through all layers.
  • Place the elastic on the outer back of the divider 1-1/2″ from edge and stitch at both ends to secure.
  • Mark 1/2″ in from the left side of each corner with a pin, as shown.

Pin Marking SPEC

  • Center the fusible (rough) side of Fuse ‘n Bind to wrong side of the binding strip (10 seconds without steam).
  • Fold one short end toward the inside and press to make a crisp, finished end.
  •  With the folded end on your left, fold the lower long edge of the binding up to the inside, along the Fuse ‘n Bind Fusible, and press.

Fold over binding

  • Align the unpressed long side of binding to the lower right edge of the inside of your divider, and secure with Wonder Clips. Starting about 1″ from the short side of your binding, stitch 1/2″ from the edge until you’ve reached the first of your marking pins. Backstitch to secure.
  • Fold the binding up at a 45-degree angle, aligning the cut edges of the binding with the cut edge of the divider.

45 degree angle copy

  • Now fold the binding back on itself, matching the binding fold to the bottom edge of the divider, where you just finished stitching. The raw edge of the binding should align with the side of the divider.

Fold back down

  • Begin stitching again, a 1/2″ seam all the way to the next corner’s marking pin. Backstitch, and repeat that folding technique at each corner.
  • When you’ve reached your starting point, tuck the end of your binding into the beginning, trim any excess fabric, and finish the remaining seam.
  • Press the binding up, flip over to the front of the divider, and clip. At each corner, make the same mitered fold on the outer side (I like to use Nancy’s suggestion and pin this part.).
  • Stitch the binding down, a scant 1/8″ from the open edge.

Beauty shot 1That’s all there is to it! Arrange your machine needle cases in this handy organizer, and simply fold the elastic over the front cover to secure when not in use.

Thanks to Emily Jansson and the Nancy’s Notions Team for sharing this tutorial!

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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  • Barbara Anderson
    April 26, 2016

    Thanks for this one Nancy! I’m going to make it! I’m trying to get my sewing area organized and this will certainly help!

  • Patty
    April 26, 2016

    WOW you must have read my mind on this one. Just yesterday when I was sewing and had to change the needle size a couple of times I thought “I need a better way to store my needles and organize them”. Every time I have to get a needle I have to pick up all of the cases and go through them one by one what a pain! I’m going to make this and make my life a lot simpler!
    Thank you so much!

  • Vicky Feliciano
    April 26, 2016

    Love this and have to get the vinyl. Great idea my needles are all over the place. Thanks for all the great easy instructions!

  • Cathy Little
    April 26, 2016

    Thanks, I so love all your ideas. I am going to make the needle organizer. I as sure I have everything right here without having to go to the store. Love it!

  • Cheryl Masters
    April 26, 2016

    It’s nice to know that when I need something unusual, I can usually find some help and/or a tutorial that just fits my need. Any suggestions for doing the same thing for my presser feet? Thanks for always being there when I need some help. Have a great day.

  • Mindy Washburn
    April 26, 2016

    The best ideas are usually the simplest! No more hunt and seek for what needle I have somewhere. I would suggest that when you take a needle out, turn the needle case either upside down or so the back shows so you know what needle you’re using.

    • Emily Jansson
      April 26, 2016

      That’s a fantastic idea, Mindy! I’ve also been keeping the needles that I’ve used just a little (ex: embroidery needles between colors–especially with my crewel embroidery) in the empty pockets next to their pack. That way, I know if they’re only “slightly used,” and can be stretched further. 🙂

  • Brenda Ackerman
    April 26, 2016

    Thank you for sharing this superb organizer! I usually stay very organized but lately everything is getting disorganized. I think this is a great way to keep small items together and the tutorial is well written; I will be making one for sure if not several! Thank you for sharing and have a fantastic creative day!

  • Sally Groff
    April 26, 2016

    I love this! Just recently I was thinking about how I can organize my needle packs rather than just having them in a pile. Thank you!!!

  • Jackie
    April 26, 2016

    What a great idea. Now to make one for myself & one for a raffle gist at my q. guild meeting.

  • Lea
    April 26, 2016

    I have a plastic organizer for needle packs that is falling apart. I love it and have been holding on to it for years. This will be a great replacement. I just got done cutting out the fabric, but I’m attempting to make it with pre-quilted fabric, which I love (I’m lazy). I may use a couple of the slots to keep used but not worn out needles.

    • Emily Jansson
      April 27, 2016

      Lea, I like the quilted fabric idea–let me know how it goes–I’m curious! 🙂

  • Berenice
    April 26, 2016

    Where has this been all my life?!! Such a clever idea!! I am tired of digging through the “needle box” to find the right one. I am starting on one of these tonight.

  • Gail Beam
    April 26, 2016

    Love this idea! My needles are haphazardly placed in a box to rummage through for the right needle pack. This would be a great organizer for handling all of my different needle types.

  • Gail Beam
    April 26, 2016

    A great project! Right now my needle packs are haphazardly packed in a box! How neat it would be to be able to grab the right needle in a matter of seconds!

  • Mary Jo
    April 27, 2016

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Helen Grantham
    April 27, 2016

    Thanks for sharing. I didn’t think about doing this for my sewing supplies! I’ve made a couple for my husbands tools so he can carry a full range of wrenches or drill bits in his toolbox, and they are all in one place and easy to see. And they stay clean!!!

    • Emily Jansson
      April 27, 2016

      Oh wow, I like that idea, Helen! I may have to make one for my jewelry-making supplies… 🙂

  • Ginny
    April 27, 2016

    This project is going on my list of must makes! My needles are currently in a drawer of my parts organizer, and while they fit nicely, the drawer doesn’t like to slide in and out easily, so usually it sits out on my sewing table. This organizer would make things sew much easier.

  • Barb
    May 1, 2016

    The best idea in a long time. I made one up yesterday in just an hour., including hand sewing the binding. I don’t have a teflon foot so I put paper on top ( it came off the fusible interfacing) just line the edge of the paper with the edge of the plastic. After sewing it pulls right off. Terriffic idea. A perfect gift for my sewing friends.

  • Joyce Fitzgerald
    May 5, 2016

    I could hardly wait to get this made, all my other projects were set aside until I finish, I recycled a cloth place mat, I’m making one for rulers and pencils with the pockets going long way, so easy to keep all those items in one place.

  • Emma Carpenter
    May 18, 2016

    This came right on time. I was just thinking I wish I had a tut showing how to make needle case and here it is. Thanks a million!

  • Karen
    May 19, 2016

    This looks like the answer to my needle organization!

  • Cecilia Nilsson
    October 3, 2016

    I made a case with pockets on the right side and on the left side sewed on a table showing sizes on the top and type on the left. I made the table (and reversed it) and photocopied it onto transfer paper and ironed it onto fabric. Any used needle I stick in the correct grid and I put a regular pin (with different colours per sewing machine) to mark the type and size of the current needle in the machine. Don’t know how I ever got on without it 🙂

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