Hot! Tiny Lovebird Nest Pincushion

As part of 30 Days of Pincushions, Rika has generously provided this pincushion for one Sew Weekly reader to win! IAdditionally, she's providing Sew Weekly readers with a 10% discount off anything at her shop. Instructions on the discount and how to win this pincushion can be found at the bottom of this post.

image from Name: Rika Kurdyla-Smith
Shop name: RiKARiKA
Location: Seattle, WA
How long on Etsy: I have been a member of Etsy since 2006, but have only started selling actively since last year – 2010

Describe your aesthetic in three words:
That's a difficult one, and I am going to deliberately fail in answering the question. I'm a bit of a chameleon when it comes to taste and aesthetic – I like to play with everything in the spectrum… I have a tremendous love for the delicate, poignant, colourful and lush pieces – while simultaneously I do enjoy wacky creations specifically for fun that generate a reaction. I'm sorry this is not neatly boxed into three words – I am just very unpredictable when it comes to creating things. I create whatever strikes my fancy – the instant surge of creativity and inventiveness is what keeps my inspiration alive. All that really translates into every object I make is that a lot of care and careful attention to detail went into every piece.

Who (or what) is an inspiration for your pincushions?
My love affair with pincushions has been a long one – since age 4 when I started stitching. I have had many I have used since, created since…it is an indispensable tool for all of us who sew. (I do have an impressive vintage pincushion collection as well which I am very proud of!) Because I have used so many in my life, I know what makes one practical. The one peeve I have with pincushions is the fact that sometimes they are made too deep – and you can "lose" your pins inside the cushion. With that, and other utilitarian factors in mind, I created my little bird nest pincushions. They are shallow enough that you can easily pluck your pins out effortlessly, and they are very small so they will fit anyone's sewing box. The felt used in them are made of wool, which will prevent your pins from rusting easily. Added to that, you have two little birds hanging out with you as you sew – which makes them adorable as well as useful. You can't lose with those features!

Do you sew for yourself?
Oh yes, always. I am always, always sewing. My main forte has always been creating garments for women out of vintage kimono silk, which I market both on Etsy as well as in independent designer boutiques. However I have always been an "antsy artisan" – always needing to be making something different, something new, something fun – because I am constantly inspired. I am constantly fighting monotony and boredom, and always seek to stay inspired and have a fresh mindset. So I had started to create some subsidiary items – whether it be my KimonoStories vintage kimono art panels (which I made for myself initially because I wanted something attractive and very unique for my wall), or the PetCosy (which not only was inspired for the comfort of my dog, but also to demonstrate my quirky sense of humor). I always have a new trick up my sleeve – I've never been a one-trick pony :)

Thanks, Rika!  Be sure to visit her Etsy shop and check out her other pincushions for sale! Sew Weekly readers will receive 10% off their orders until May 15 by using the discount code: SEWWEEKLY at checkout.

Want to win this pincushion? You just have to answer the following question:

When you sew, who or what would you say is your biggest inspiration?

Each giveaway is open for twenty-four hours from the time of posting. Please only post one comment in each thread. Winners will be announced each Monday in April. Winners can only win once but are encouraged to answer all the questions! 



Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


Comments are closed.

  1. Super cute pin cushion!
    Inspiration – My Mum, I guess. She is not a great seamstress but she has always encouraged creativity and helped me to purchase my first sewing machine. I also have my Grandmother’s manequin – she was a much better sewer than Mum or I.

  2. my mum too, and the idea that it was normal for people to makr their own clothes, soa generation of women from the past

  3. I agree with Charlotte–women from the past! They are so inspirational!

  4. Often people I see on the street- some people out there have mad style and I think “Oooh! I want one of those!”

  5. Anything and everything! Images from the past, movies, patterns, colours, nature, sculptures and architecture, fabric, textures, cartoons – everything! I don’t know if I have a ‘biggest influence’ – I think it changes too often, really!

  6. margueritedesigns

    I think this is a ‘what’ for me. I look around the shops and in the past few years, things seem to have become shoddier in quality of fabrics used, yet the price tag remains the same or even more! I also look at ‘where’ these garments are made and am very conscious of anything made in a ‘sweatshop’. I just don’t want to encourage that kind of manufacture. So, I’m re-visiting my sewing skills and having a lot of fun on this site, getting inspired, using up my stash, hunting out fabric from all kinds of places. Plus, I find I talk to my mum a lot now about the kinds of things she used to make.

  7. Reading the blogs of other sewers, reading old magazines and particularly old family photos. My grandma, two great grandmas and my mother all sewed. I am inspired by all the things they made over the decades and love the idea of being able to carry that on another generation.

  8. I’m inspired by everything around when I’m sewing. My initial inspiration, before a garment or object is even started is usually things I see on the internet, on other people, in movies. While sewing, I’ll change a pattern on a whim, sometimes with disastrous consequences. My sewn clothing rarely comes out exactly as it was first envisioned.

  9. I would say it would be a toss up between the lovely fabrics on the market or the wonderful blogs I read daily. Both of those are a great inspiration to me.

  10. My inspiration comes from the whole history of fashion. I love it all! I want to make it all!

  11. I am often inspired by other sewers, including the lovely ones here on the sew weekly.

  12. Old movies for their timeless glamour and sewing blogs for their creativity and awesome tutorials.

  13. Right now, Sew Weekly completely inspires me. The passion this community shares with each other, their plans, struggles, rewards and beautifully made garments…all I can say is WOW. There is nothing like seeing a finished garment made from a picture on an envelope. I also love seeing the beautiful vintage garments, I’m so incredibly inspired by these talented women! I would call this group Sew Awesome!

  14. Such great comments by all! I agree with all of the sewers from the Sew Weekly community. Inspiration first starts with my mom. When I look back at old photos, I want to make what she made. Fortunately, she kept many of her old patterns. This sewing blog also provides inspiration as people are so kind to share their stories, their ideas, and their projects.

  15. My biggest ‘who’ inspiration is my mentor Nancie. She’s fantastic at everything and I pretty much want to be her when I grow up. My biggest ‘what’ inspirations are probably fabrics and existing garments. I see something already made and think, “that would be perfect if it only had…” and then my head starts reeling with how I could make it better. I’m kept up nights sometimes thinking about how to create something.

  16. The person that inspires me the most when I sew would be Mrs. K. a teacher that I have, this self taught sewer is amazing.

  17. Old movies and vintage pattern illustrations. I have aspirations of one day making Nora’s wardrobe from the Thin Man :)

  18. My largest source of inspiration? Burlesque community here in Vancouver. Also pin-up style with a dash of “alternative” (piercings, tattoos, punk, goth). A lot of the burlesque girls in my city blend the vintage with the alternative to get this awesome modern pin-up vibe to their style.

  19. Sew Weekly is my main source of sewing inspiration! I see all of these lovely creations and I want to join in with my own :)

  20. I have so many inspirations..first my grandmother,who lovingly made me a dress from her stash, to my mom..who didnt sew as well..but clothed her 4 girls as best she could, when times were hard.
    Mena..and her dress a week for the year [last year], was so inspiring ,it encouraged me to sew for me.
    And now Sew weekly..Oh my!!!!!! I am so addicted.. These wonderful girls and there beautiful garments.. I just look so forward to seeing “what’s next?” Even,if I become discourgaed over a garment or a yucky picture..some nice lady… will encourage me to go to the next garment.. And the sewing bug,hits again..thankyou all for everything.

  21. Shannon Burchard

    I am inspired by photos from that past of lovely dresses in wonderful colors.

  22. I love fashions from the past but I have to say that my main inspiration is fellow bloggers. I love seeing what other bloggers have created and it encourages me to try more and keep learning new techniques!

  23. My mom, most definitely. The idea that someone could make a garment was instilled in me by her from a very early age.

  24. mine would be those ever popular japanese sewing books. They designs are so sweet, the fabrics so lovely and the styling so inspirational!

  25. My inspiration varies from paintings to movies, clothing history books to magazines. Sometimes I see a button and know that it needs a special piece of clothing and other times I see a pattern and know that it needs a special piece of fabric.

  26. /my grandmother’s maid/cook/seamstress who sewed the most beautiful clothes for my mom– if only I could sew like she could!

  27. GOD seems to be my biggest inspiration. Sew many of my art projects, philanthropic quilts and even clothing seem to revolve around faith.