DIY Segment Pumpkin

Learn how to make your very own segment pumpkin or pin cushion in this tutorial. Perfect for creating some lovely pumpkins for Autumn or Halloween; why not try your hand at making a pin cushion for your sewing box? Check out our corresponding YouTube tutorial: DIY: Segment Pumpkin / Pin Cushion Tutorial.

Start by thinking about the fabric you wish to use, we recommend choosing a cotton or lightweight upholstery fabric. You are welcome to use one colour or make the segments in a variety of different colours. We have designed two different sizes a small and large pumpkin shape, download the template for free here: Pumpkin Pattern.

What materials and equipment will you need:
– Fabric
– Felt
– Thread
– Stuffing (100% Polyester)
– Wadding (optional quilting)
– Template (Pumpkin Pattern)
– Scissors
– Pencil or Chalk or Removable Pen
– Pins & Needle
– Ruler or Tape Measure
– Hot Glue Gun or Fabric Glue

Once you have downloaded the pattern from our website we recommend you draw this out onto paper or card for ease.

If you would like to quilt your fabric we would recommend completing this BEFORE cutting out the segments, quilt the fabric as a whole layer and then cut out the segments in the quilting fabric. Check out our YouTube Tutorial on how to quilt fabric: How To: Quilt Fabric. We quilted the fabric for the pin cushion we created from this pattern, we quilted the fabric at a 1/4″ (5mm) distance and used a lightweight cotton wadding (thicker wadding may be too heavy to work with). Quilting is perfect if you wish to use this design as a pin cushion, supporting the shape and creating a stiffer finish.

Position the fabric with the WRONG side facing up. If you are working with a directional print or pattern you may need to think about the placement of the pattern on the template.

Position the pattern piece onto the fabric, measure across to the selvage to check that the pattern is in line with the grainline of the fabric, or matches with the print on the fabric. Draw around the template with chalk or pencil. Remember to leave room around the pattern for seam allowances, the pattern has NO SEAM ALLOWANCES.

Draw seam allowances around the pattern using a ruler. Add 1/4″ (5mm) around the whole of the pattern.

Complete the above process until you have drawn 8 segments in the colours and fabrics of your choice. Cut out all of the 8 segments along the seam allowance line (outer line).

Lay the segments in the order you wish to see in the final pumpkin. It may be helpful to order the pumpkins 1 to 8 (working from left to right), or take a picture so that you can remember the order. Be sure that any prints and patterns (especially direction prints) are placed the correct way up.

Think of the pumpkin segments in pairs, starting from the far left and working to the right. In pairs take the segment on the RIGHT and place it on top of the segment on the LEFT. Why not check out our YouTube tutorial for a better understanding of this process: DIY: Segment Pumpkin / Pin Cushion Tutorial.

You will be sewing along the RIGHT hand edge of each segment, joining the two segments together. Pin the fabric together along the drawn stitching line, this will make sure that you get the corners and shape correct. Start by pinning the top and bottom points together and then work along the stitching line.

Sew on the sewing machine, starting at the top of the segment (sew along the RIGHT side that you pinned), you may start and finish beyond the points of the stitching line.

Stitch using a standard straight seam and 2.5mm stitch length. Backstitch at the start and end of the seam to secure the stitching. Complete for all of the 4 pairs.

Trim the seam allowances down to 1/8″ (3mm).

Next position the segments onto a work surface in the same order you started with, however you should now have 4 pairs of segments. You will now be joining the 4 pairs together, pairing up the 4 pieces working from left to right. Take the segment on the RIGHT of the pair and place it onto the LEFT. This consistency will make sure that your pattern is in the same order as you planned at the start. Make sure that the patterns are in the correct direction and place the fabrics RIGHT side together.

Pin the stitching lines together starting at the top and bottom point.

Stitch along the RIGHT hand seam.

Trim the seam allowances down to 1/8″ (3mm).

Lay out the remaining 2 pieces of fabric, in their original position. Again take the segments on the RIGHT and position them to meet the segments on the LEFT. Open up the segments to match the RIGHT sides together.

Pin the stitching lines together and stitch along the RIGHT hand seam on the sewing machine.

Now you should now have 1 seam remaining, you will need to leave a gap in this seam to enable you to stuff the pumpkin or pin cushion. Pin the seam together matching the stitching lines, starting with the points at the bottom and top of the segment.

Leave a gap in the centre of the segment, for about 2″ (5cm). Stitch on the sewing machine from the top point to the gap, and from the gap to the bottom point.

Trim the seam allowances down to 1/8″ (3mm). However we recommend that you don’t trim the seam allowances around the gap, this will make it easier to hand sew the gap once you have stuffed the shape.

Turn the shape around to the RIGHT side. Stuff the shape using a 100% polyester stuffing, you will need to stuff the shape quite firmly to get a good finish.

Pin the gap closed and complete an invisible slip stitch or ladder stitch to fasten this. If you are new to sewing a slip stitch or ladder stitch, check out our corresponding YouTube Tutorial: How To: Invisible Stitching.

Now it is time to create the pumpkin shape. Take a large needle with a double thread (bring a thread through the needle eye and bring it back to the same length as the start of the thread, knot together).

Secure the needle and thread at the bottom of the pumpkin, then position the needle and thread through the centre of the pumpkin from the bottom to the top, and back again. This will create the dipped shape of the pumpkin. It can be tricky to complete especially with the larger pumpkin, we recommend asking a friend for help (get them to hold the pumpkin flat whilst you push the needle through), or use a pair of pliers.

Continue working the needle through the centre of the pumpkin until you are happy with the final shape.

The final step is to create the pumpkin stem, we chose to work with felt because it doesn’t fray or require finishing. Cut out the following size or design your own. If you are working with the pin cushion we recommend finishing both the top and bottom of the pumpkin with a small circle of felt to cover the untidy threads.

Small: Height 1″ (2.5cm), Width 2 1/2″ (6cm)
Large: Height 2″ (5cm), Width 5″ (12cm)

Draw the stem shape onto felt with a chalk pen and cut out. Roll the felt along the longer (width) measurement.

Pin the felt and complete a small slip stitch to fasten the felt closed. Watch this on the corresponding YouTube tutorial (DIY: Segment Pumpkin / Pin Cushion Tutorial) for a closer look.

Alternatively use a glue gun or fabric glue to secure the felt.

Use a hot glue gun or fabric glue to stick the felt stem onto the top of the pumpkin.

To neaten the bottom edge of the pumpkin, cut a small circle of felt and using a hot glue gun or fabric glue attach this to the bottom of the pumpkin.

If you are working with the pin cushion we would recommend that you add a small circle of felt onto both the top and bottom area to cover any threads.

Congratulations you have created a pumpkin or pin cushion. Hopefully you enjoyed the tutorial and learned some new tips and techniques. Why not share your makes with us on  Facebook and Instagram.