Matchbook Sewing Kit

matchbook sewing kit
UPDATE: Download the free pattern to make your own sewing kit.

Even though I don’t sew, or perhaps because of it, I really love this project. It’s a sewing kit that you can throw in your handbag or desk drawer, perfect for those embarrassing popped-button and/or ripped hem mishaps.

This project was inspired by Phizzychick’s marvelous Matchbook Trees. When I saw what she had done with the “accordion fold,” I just knew there was some sort of “kit” hidden in the process.

Given I never have thread, needles, or safety pins when I need them (or rather, “where I can find them”), a sewing kit seemed like the ideal project.

Within the next couple of days, I’ll be uploading the pattern (free for everyone to download) and a tutorial — stay tuned!

Here’s the exterior front. And no one is more surprised than me that this really does stay closed just like a regular matchbook — nothing is holding it together other than the lid tucked in the bottom panel:
Matchbook Sewing Kit

This is the first panel you see when opening the matchbook:
Sewing Kit Opened

Stretched out, the different “panels” include: two colors of thread, safety pins, a needle threader, a cutting utensil, and needles. I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the safety pins set-up of this one and I think the new and improved method I’ll have in the tutorial (coming soon) is more effective for keeping the pins in place:

Sewing Kit Side 01

Flipped over, the back panels include: two rulers (one on each edge with one imperial measurements and the other metric) and several handy measurement tables:

Sewing Kit Side 02

Here are the three “flapped” sections (threader, cutter, needles). I felt these three sections needed to be under “flaps” either for their own protection (the fragile wire of the needle threader) or the protection of the carrier (sharp, pointy things!):

Tabbed Sections

Closeup of the needle threader:

Needle Threader

Closeup of the cutting tool. For practical purposes, I felt it was important to have some sort of cutting tool. And this bit nearly stumped me. Everything I considered was either unsafe, likely to get airport travelers a private conversation with Homeland Security, or too bulky.

I finally hit on using a portion of the “tearing edge” from a box of wax paper. lol How well does it work at cutting thread? Not as good as scissors, but better than incisors. 😀

Sewing Kit Thread Cutter

And the needles. Which have their sharp ends stuck in a small piece of styrofoam glued to the inside of the matchbook cover:

Sewing Kit Needles

And finally, the back:

Matchbook Sewing Kit Back

UPDATED: Here’s the styrofoam inserted in the base.

And here’s a closeup of how the safety pins are attached.

19 comments for “Matchbook Sewing Kit

  1. Carolyn
    May 15, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    What a fun “little” project. Love the thread cutter idea and the stamps or transfers you used are wonderful! As always, thanks for sharing!

    • Jivvy
      May 15, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      Everything is actually a printout of copyright free b&w graphics (mostly Dover Publications as the source). I colorized them, combined a few, threw it all into Illustrator, yadda yadda… when I post the downloads, the images will be included — all part of the printout!

      • Carolyn
        May 16, 2011 at 7:36 am

        You rock! I will sit here and drool until you post again.

  2. Morgan
    June 5, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    I am in so much love with this project. I cannot WAIT to get the print out.

  3. Annette whitbeck
    March 4, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I would like to know if you have made the sewing kit pattern available yet. I’m m dying to make it.
    Thanh annette

    • Jivvy
      May 13, 2012 at 7:20 am

      Finally, yes I do have the pattern posted (see update at the beginning of this post).

  4. Hez
    June 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    This is soooooo cute! Your whole website is amazing, I was literally jumping up & down in front of my computer when I started going through it all.
    I want to make some of these for friends & family. Can you tell me what kind of paper/cardboard you used? Is it just business card grade? I was looking for instructions on how to put it together, whether or not it was two plies glued together or whatnot, & can’t seem to find them. Some of us are just slow (sigh) & need instructions. Please help!
    And thanx again for a truly unique project!

    • Jivvy
      June 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      The paper was more of a lightweight kraft paper. It’s been a long time since I purchased paper lunch bags, but I suspect those would work. I think anything as heavy as card stock would be too stiff and bulky.

      Yes, it’s two pieces glued together — if you download the pattern, I think you’ll see where you have to cut out two different patterns (front and back). Pieces like the threader and the cutter are glued between the two. Oh and there’s a rectangle you cut out as additional support for the “thread” slots — that’s also glued between the two main pieces.

      If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

  5. Sarah
    June 7, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Are these the correct size when the pattern is printed out?

    • Jivvy
      June 7, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      As long as the printer is setup to print at 100%, yes, the pattern for download is the same size as the one I made.

  6. Chris
    June 10, 2012 at 1:04 am

    This is absolutely fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing it on Craftster!

  7. Sarah
    June 10, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Thanks so much for your reply. This is just too cute.

  8. FlossieBlossoms
    June 28, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I saw this on Craftster and just love it! Thank you so much for doing all the work for us and sharing your pdfs, you are very kind! What a great project!


  9. caroline
    July 27, 2012 at 7:41 am

    This is so gorgeous, I’ve made one, but I’m having great difficult getting to stay close, even without the insert in. I’ve added another reinforcer, hoping this would make it stiffer and keep close, but this has made no difference. Any suggestions?
    Also, can I check, do you glue all the folded pieces? Many thanks for sharing.

    • Jivvy
      July 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      Caroline, so sorry you’re having a problem — can you be more specific about the glue question? I’m not 100% clear on what you’re asking. Also, what are you using in the base (where I use a bit of styrofoam)?

      • caroline
        July 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm

        I don’t understand how you put the styrofoam in the base? The template has the fold lines and the cover is reinforced with the square template, where does the styrofoam come from??? How to you put the styrofoam in? My question regarding gluing, when you fold the template into shape, do you glue into shape? You mentioned having a better way to attach the pins? The pins do seem a bit bulky, I attached a pin through the paper and then attached another pin to that one?? Any better idea? Do you have any instructions on how to put it together? Thanks for your help.

      • Jivvy
        July 31, 2012 at 12:17 am

        Caroline, there is a tab at the base of the long interior section that does glue to the inside of the cover. I’ve added a pic of the styrofoam in the base — after the interior is glued to the cover, glue the styrofoam in place. Sadly, I have not written instructions for how to put it together. Also sadly, I don’t remember what my “better idea” for attaching the pins was… possibly to use ribbon instead of string?

  10. DM
    September 4, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Lovely ! Thank you !!!!

Comments are closed.