"Best Smelling Boot in the West" Pin Cushion

Posted by SamanthaW on Friday, September 7th, 2012

Printer Friendly Instructions:

Click here for a multi page PDF you can print with pattern pieces and full instructions

Course Instructor: Samantha Walker

"Best Smelling Boot in the West" Pin Cushion

Course Materials:

1/3 yard Pink Saddle Designer Cloth from Samantha Walker Saddle Up collection

2 to 3 oz of Poly-fil

1/8 yard Pel-Tec (you only need a small amount for boot base...took me forever to find it because I didn't have the technical name...I asked the lady...I'm looking for the "stiff stuff" people put between fabric on totes...she looked at me strangely...the lady next to her looked up and said, "oh, Pel-Tec and led me to the right spot.)

1 cup rice (or other favorite base fill, I used short grain sushi rice because it is nice and compact.)

1 vanilla bean (optional)

Hi, Samantha Walker checking in...I'm so thrilled to be able to share this pin cushion project with you made with my Saddle Up collection of fabrics.

Boots have a bad rap for being old, worn, and stinky...probably because those that use them, live in them. They are a cowboys work horse. In the sewing room, pin cushions can be a seamstresses work horse...and thought it would be fun to also make it a room freshener as well. I love cowboy boots and think they can be adorable...they come in all shapes and sizes...so I used a boot as my inspiration for this pin cushion and added vanilla beans in the center for a yummy aroma. 

Please be patient with my instructions as I may not have all the technical sewing lingo down...as I am still learning. (I'm a paper crafter turned sewing enthusiast...but there are still "holes" in my knowledge--the lingo being one of them. I can say that I tested this pattern, and it works to the best of my knowledge.)

pattern pieces laid out

Lay out your pattern pieces on the squares you want to feature. This cloth is great for giving your project a multi fabric look with only one fabric to buy.

cut pieces arranged

Lay out your pieces so you can easily grab them in order of steps.

Lining Up front of boot to top of foot

We will work with these two pieces first. (front boot shaft and top foot)

pin boot front shaft and top foot

Pin the top of boot foot fabric to the top of the front of boot shaft fabric.

Next, baste the top foot to front boot shank. Make sure that the sides align (the pattern pieces note side alignment.)

baste top foot to front boot shaft

Now stitch a decorative stitch to conceal raw edge.

decorative stitch

I used a scalloped satin stitch on my edge...choose what works best from your machine selection.

Next, remove basting stitch.

Now you will create a series of 4 small tucks (or darts...not sure on the terminology here. ;o) Just look at the pictures to see what I'm talking about. I just wasn't sure if you still call them darts when it didn't refer to a dress. ) 


sewing top foot darts

Start the first dart as shown in above picture. 

first dartMy darts are a little over an inch wide, and tuck in only 1/4 inch of fabric. I did a series of 4 darts somewhat evenly spaced. (Mine aren't perfect, so yours don't have to be either...just be sure not to tuck too much fabric...we are just adding a little shape and decoration to the top of the boot here...not shrinking the foot area.)

series of darts on top foot

The above photo shows 3 finished dart tucks...just need one more.

back boot shaft and back foot heel

Now we are going to get these two pieces and attach them...the back boot shaft and the back boot foot heel.

pin back foot heel to back boot shaft

Now we will pin the back of the boot shaft to the foot heel with fabric facing.

sew foot heel to back boot shaft

Now attach the back boot shaft to the foot heel with 1/4 inch seam allowance. 

align front boot shaft and back boot shaft

Now we will align the front of the boot shaft and back of the boot shaft. 

pin front to back

Now pin the front to the back as shown...yes, that is with the face fabric showing.

sewing the front shaft to back shaft

Stitch the front piece to the back piece, leaving 1/2 inch seam allowance. This extra space will allow for us to cut a cute ragged fringe in a later step.

stitch front to back

Now we will turn the boot into position...then flip it inside out.

turning boot into position

Pull from toe area and turn boot 1/4 turn into position...

boot in position

this is what it should look like...we will only keep it here briefly...just wanted to show you how it should look when positioned from the outside, because we will need it in this position but turned inside out. 

mark darts

After it has been turned inside out...we will mark the darts on the back of the boot shaft and the back of the foot heel. Sew on these lines making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your lines. 

Now flip the boot right side out again. 

Cut 4 one inch by eight and one half inch strips of fabric (don't worry about where you cut them on your fabric...any section of this print will work.) 

Now pin two strips along the joining section of the shafts on both sides. (photo will help here.)

pinning strips to joining section of boot shaft.

Turn the boot wrong side out...now you will sew the fabric strips on.  You can either do one straight stitch down the middle, or two straight stitches that barely straddle the joint. This part is a little tricky because it requires turning the fabric out as you go...see picture below...it will make more sense as you sew it, as you will see where you need to turn the fabric.

sewing on strips...


heel assembly

Heel assembly...lay out your pieces...find the two marked "back of heel." Sew them together with fabric facing along the diagonal edge.

lining up heel pieces

Now we will line up the heel pieces so that the "v" of the back of the boot heel envelops the back of the curve on the bottom of the heel.

flip back of boot heel down

Now flip the back of the boot heel down (fabric facing) making sure to center the edge of the curve, and the seam of the back of the boot heel line up. Place your first pin here, then work around the edge.

pinned heel

Sew together with 1/4 inch seam allowance. Then pin on the front of the heel, let 1/4 inch over hang the open portion of the heel (pattern pieces in the PDF are marked for this 1/4 inch lip) Sew the front of the heel at the sides and the bottom, leaving the 1/4 inch lip. 

pin sole and heel to boot foot

now you will pin the boot heel to the inside of the boot foot heel. Pin the sole too, start with the center pin at the toe, then work around. Sew around the sole and boot heel. Then join the boot heel and the sole. You will have 1/4 inch of fabric from the sole that you will join with the 1/4 inch of fabric from the heel. 

Turn boot right side out. snip fringe

Then snip a fringe into the strips that are on the seams of the boot shafts, by snipping in toward the joining seams without snipping the threads. 

boot turned right side out.

Now we will add the boot pulls (okay for those who have eagle eyes...yes, I have the boot pulls on already in the previous step...I forgot to snap the fringe snipping picture before I put the pulls on.)

cut 2 from 6 inch square

Cut a bandana square from the fabric, which is a 6 inch square...now cut it in half so that you have two 3X6 squares. 

fold strip in half

Fold strip in half, then sew around two edges (1/4 seam allowance fabric facing in) leaving one short end open.

turn out tuck end

Now turn the strip out and tuck in the end about 1/4 inch. Make two of these strips.

sew on boot loops

Now sew the boot straps to the boot with a square and a decorative X in the center.  Make sure to leave 1/3 to 1/2 inch at the top to allow for joining the top piece of the boot. Do this on both sides.

cut three tops

Cut three identical pieces that will become the top of the boot...only one of the fabric matters for pattern and color, place that one on top, and stack the fabric up.

pin top

Now pin the fabric together. Then pin the top of the boot to the top of the shaft of the boot. 

pin to top of boot

The narrowest part of the top of the boot will pin centered to the dip in the shaft in the boot...start at the center, then work your way around with pins.

leave opening for stuffing

Leave one 2 to 3 inch section open for filling.

Sew around edge leaving raw edge out and exposed. Cut a fringe into this edge as we did with the strips on the side of the boot. cut fringe on top

cut the fringe far down enough to come close to the seam thread, but not all the way.

wash rinse and dry

Now wash and dry your boot to start curling your fringe. (I can't believe I'm showing you my dirty laundry...there it is in all it's glory...I have more of that where that came from!)

fill boot with rice vanilla bean and poly-fil

Cut a piece of Pel-Tex to fit into the boot heel, and sole for stiffness. Use the sole and heel pattern pieces to see where to cut the Pel-Tex, cut from just inside the seam line so that it fits into the boot. (you can skip this step...but I like the firm flatness it gives to the bottom of the boot.)

Now fill the bottom of the boot with about a cup of rice...break up one or two vanilla beans and put them in with the rice. Stuff the rest of the boot with Poly-Fill (fiber-fill...or "stuffing" as I called it to the lady in the fabric store who helped me find it.)

finished boot

Now you have a finished boot.  Yeah!  

Thanks for stopping by this tutorial. For more tutorials in fabric and paper from me and my creative team, visit me at: www.samanthawalkerdesigns.net.  You can also find me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/samanthawalkerdesigns 


Category: Pincushions


  1. This is just so adorable, love it! Thanks for the detailed instructions too!
    by Jamie Cripps
    September 07th, 2012 at 6:43 a.m.
  2. I think I'm lost. When I clicked the link to the PDF, it took me to Samantha's designer page. It had great info and I loved learning more about her, but I didn't see the link to the pattern. Am I missing something? thanks so much. This is too cute to pass up.
    by Heather W
    September 07th, 2012 at 6:54 a.m.
  3. I love this! Fun tutorial! I am gonna have to try this!
    by Guiseppa Gubler
    September 07th, 2012 at 7 a.m.
  4. the pattern link goes to a profile page... :( I am from Texas and just love this lil cushion... thanks so much for sharing it... its just darling.
    by deedee
    September 07th, 2012 at 7:30 a.m.
  5. The pattern link goes to a profile page.. This lil cushion is just darling.. I am a Texas girl so this is just my style..thanks for sharing it..
    by deedee
    September 07th, 2012 at 7:31 a.m.
  6. WOW...this is such an inspiring tutorial!!! I am amazed at this work of art...learned so many ideas and just adore this project!
    by Eva Dobilas
    September 07th, 2012 at 9:28 a.m.
  7. I just clicked on the printable PDF and it was linked to the pattern. Email cindy@rileyblakedesigns.com with any questions. Happy Sewing!
    by Cindy
    September 07th, 2012 at 9:44 p.m.
  8. Love, Love this pattern...however, when I went to assemble the boot, the back part of the pattern was not included in the pdf. I have a call out to Samantha right now and we will have the complete pattern for you soon!
    by Pat
    September 14th, 2012 at 1:48 p.m.
  9. I was so happy to find this darling boot...for a friend with ties to Texas. I even found the fabric locally, but I have the same problem of not having the back part of the pattern! HELP! I want to give this as a gift on Friday of this week!Hope to have the rest of the pattern soon! ***Samantha was going to re-upload the printable pattern today. Please download the new pattern.  Let me know if you have any other problems. Happy Sewing!
    by Robin
    September 18th, 2012 at 8:45 a.m.
  10. Thank you so much for the pattern correction. I have completed my boot and was excited at how well the boot finished.
    by Pat
    September 18th, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.
  11. Good news Pat. We would love to see your finished pincushion. Post a picture on our Riley Blake facebook page.
    by Cindy
    September 18th, 2012 at 11:32 a.m.
  12. Hello, Could this been enlarged to make a pillow?
    by angel
    September 25th, 2012 at 5:35 p.m.

toll free: 888.768.8454 phone: 801.816.0540 fax: 801.816.0542 address: 468 West Universal Cir. Sandy, UT 84070