Dorset Button Needle Minder


This lovely and practical linen needle and thread holder is an enjoyable project for stitchers of all levels. The project was inspired by the spring bluebell flowers and the Dorset button industry of Dorset County, England. Join Pat Olski to learn traditional buttonry techniques, needle weaving, colonial and french knot, cross stitch and the finishing required to assemble it all together.

See below for class and partial kit details.

Important Dates:

Registration opens: May 6, 2020
Registration closes: June 3, 2020
Class starts: August 5, 2020
Class ends: Last Lesson posted August 19, 2020
Lesson Schedule: Posted every week. Lesson post dates are Aug 5, Aug 12, and Aug 19.

SKU: ONL_DorestButtonNeedleMinder Category:


This lovely and practical linen needle and thread holder is an enjoyable and accessible project for stitchers of all levels. First, you will learn how to craft a gorgeous thread wrapped button, and then you will embellish the fabric with a crisp counted cross stitch border, and finally, you will construct the needle and thread holder. Dorset button making was a significant industry in south west England for over two hundred years. The sparse stalks, massed flower heads, and straight leaf button design is reminiscent of the native bluebells which grow in abundance in May on the floors of ancient woods in Dorset County, England.

This contemporary floral variation melds traditional buttony techniques, such as casting, and laying, with needle weaving and colonial and French knot embroidery to create a mini fiber masterpiece. The linen needle holder is comprised of two pieces of linen, with a simple tracery of cross stitch. You will learn a neat seam to attach the two pieces of fabric together, and then you will construct the needle holder.


Class Project Details
  • Design Size: 4.75″ x 3.5″
  • Skill level: All levels
  • Prerequisites: None


Class Only— ($40):
  • Class Fee ($40)
  • Student will need to provide all of the supplies for completing the project:
  •      Ground Option #1: 14 count (worked over one thread) even weave fabric, 10″ x 12″/25 x 30.5 cm OR
  •      Ground Option #2: 28 count (worked over two threads) even weave fabric, 10″ x 12″/25 x 30.5 cm
  •      (Ground in class image is 28 count Lugana, DMC Charles Craft, Color: Irish Linen, 12″ x 15″)
  •      Threads:
  •           DMC #5 Perle Cotton (100% Mercerized Cotton), 1 skein each (27 yard/25 m)
  •                Ring Covering (color A): #503 Blue Green – Medium
  •                Laid Stems (color B): #3347 Yellow Green- Medium
  •                Needle Woven Leaf (color C): #469 Avocado Green
  •                Bow (Color E):  B 5200 White
  •          DMC #5 Pearl Cotton Variations (100% Mercerized Cotton)
  •                Flowers (color D): #4240
  •          DMC Six Strand Embroidery Floss, 1 skein (8.7 yard/8m)
  •                Cross stitch: #B5200 White
  •           (Threads pictured on the four thread storage rings are not included in this supply list)
  •      Rings:
  •           1.5″/3.8 cm plastic or metal ring, qty 1
  •           1″/2.5 cm plastic ring, qty 4
  •      Needles:
  •           Tapestry: #16 and #24
  •           Chenille: #18
  •      Cardboard/Plastic: 6″ x 6″/ 15 x 15 cm (acid-free cardboard or mat board is ideal)
  •      Small amount of fiberfill stuffing
  •      Sewing thread to match your fabric (if using linen fabric, thread pulled from the length of fabric can be used)
  • Students will also need the following embroidery supplies:
  •      Tape measure or ruler
  •      Embroidery scissors
  •      Fabric scissors
  •      (Optional) embroidery hoop or frame for the cross stitch
  • Please review the “Working from Your Stash” notes below


Class & Rings Kit— ($46) (US Locations Only):
  • Class Fee ($40)
  • Kit Contents ($4):
  •      1.5″ /3.8cm plastic ring for the floral button, qty 1
  •      1″/ 2.5 cm rings for the thread keeper, qty 4
  • Shipping Costs to US location ($2)
  • Student will need to provide all of the supplies listed  in the “Class Only” option listed above.


Working From Your Stash

From teacher Pat Olski: This is a great project if you wish to exercise your creativity. I highly recommend that a first-time button maker use the Pearl Cotton #5 for the floral button, as it will provide the best coverage for the ring, leaf, and stems and will not split. For most of the steps a 5 yard/4.6 m piece of thread should be sufficient. I would suggest keeping the ring color and the stem color similar in intensity, so that the stem section, which is wound over the ring, blends into the ring color. Both of the colors I selected are in the “medium” range. I think that the contrast of both the white border and the matching white bow on the flower against the darker fabric and flower colors is an attractive feature, but of course, you may experiment.

The actual design area of the cross stitch is 53×53 stitches. The finished piece is seamed with a border of 6 squares around the entire design. The sample piece has finished dimensions of 3 ½ x 4 inches (9×10 cm), even though the design was stitched on even weave linen over 2 threads. Keep in mind, when selecting fabric that is different from the fabric listed above, that a design stitched on fabric with “truer” squares, such as Aida will result in a project that is squarer than the sample. For this reason, I do not advise that you cut the cardboard insert until you have finished stitching the design onto the fabric of your choice.


Learn more about this class and teacher Pat Olski here.

Please note: Online Studio course and kit fees are non-refundable.