As a college student, my life is about trying to cram as much stuff into my lovely 6ft by 6ft room as I can. And how can I do it without spending money that I don't have. I saw this on one of those "10 things you MUST HAVE for your dorm" room lists filled with decorative pillows, trite signs and one actually useful thing. And as much as I'd love to have easy access snacks from my bed, it is just some hanging pockets.
Honestly, I haven't sewn that much since starting college, and doing this made me realize that I really miss it. I love my major, but sewing is fun in such a practical way. I started this because I love finding cool instructables and contests bring out my competitive side, but actually working on this made me think about all the late nights I used to spend sewing funky clothes. What I'm trying to say is that if you follow my tutorial, you might remember how much fun sewing is in addition to getting a very chic, functional bed skirt organizer.
I'm going to give you the list of material I use, but you can totally customize it. It's made out of regular fabric, so you can cut it however you like!
- Flat sheet - free (I'm moving into a new dorm with a larger bed come August, so this is useless now)
- 3 yards of elastic - $2
- 1 yard of fun fabric - $9 (You could definitely get it cheaper, but I really liked this pattern)
- Sewing Machine
I didn't need the full length of fabric and elastic that I bought. I'm always nervous that I'm going to run out, so I buy extra. You need elastic the length you want pockets. You need fun fabric twice the depth you want your pockets plus seam allowance.
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Step 1: Step 1: Cutting Out the Pocket Fabric
The short edge of my flat sheet is 64 inches, and the long edge of my pocket fabric is 49 inches, so I had to cut two strips of my pocket fabric and stitch them together. I used a straight stitch with the right sides* of the two pieces facing each other.
I cut the width that fit best and went with the design of the pocket fabric. If your fabric doesn't have a geometric design you want you will have to measure the depth of the pocket you want plus 1-2 inches for seam allowance.
*For future reference the right side of the fabric with the more vivid pattern that you want facing out is the right side. The side of the fabric with the slightly muted pattern meant to be hidden is referred to the wrong side.
Step 2: Step 2: Adding Elastic to the Pocket Fabric
Pick one edge of the pocket fabric, and use a stretch stitch to sew elastic onto the raw edge. While I put it through the sewing machine, I stretch out the elastic and leave the fabric in its rest state. Once it is sewn, the elastic will scrunch up the fabric.
Step 3: Step 3: Getting Rid of the Exposed Seam
Then to get rid of the exposed seam, you fold the edge in on itself 2 times, and sew it while in its stretched position. Make sure that you keep the fabric stretched out as you pull it through the machine. When the fabric is stretched out, it should look like a regular hem line. It will only bunch up after it is released.
Step 4: Step 4: Attaching the Pocket Fabric to the Flat Sheet
Lay your flat sheet out with the wrong side facing up. Lay your pocket fabric on top with the right side facing down. I know it's usually right sides together, but remember, we want to see the right side of the pocket and the right side of the flat sheet from the same view point when we flip it over. You want to sew it down the sides with a straight stitch.
Step 5: Step 5: Sew Bottom of Pocket
Because there is elastic across the top of the pocket fabric, there's a lot of excess fabric. The fabric won't line up neatly, so you must scrunch up the fabric as you feed it into the machine as shown in the picture. I'm only scrunching up the pocket fabric, not the flat sheet.
Step 6: Step 6: GIANT Pocket
Then when you flip it inside out, it hides the seams. Now you have one, lovely, giant pocket.The only problem is that there's a bit of the flat sheet poking out the bottom. This won't be as much of an issue when you sew the individual pockets, but I still think the next step is important.
Step 7: Step 7: Ironing(Optional)
Ironing is that part of sewing that I feel like people always forget but it makes such a difference in the final quality. It's just a little nicer. It would still be perfectly functional without it. If you decide to make this out of some other material that isn't compatible with an iron, I understand. If you don't have an iron, I understand. I still implore you to iron though.
This does take two hands so no photo with the iron. With one hand hold the fabric with the seam line how you want it. You shouldn't see any of the flat sheet fabric, and you should try to allow the least about of fun fabric to fold under. With the other hand, iron around it. I feel like I shouldn't have to say this, but don't touch the hot part of the iron with your hands, not even to tell if it's hot. If you want to know if it's hot, iron something and touch the freshly ironed surface to see if it's warm.
Step 8: Step 8: Dividing Up the Pocket
What I love about the geometric pattern I chose for my pocket fabric is that I can use the pattern as the basis for my measurements. I picked the pocket depth because it was at a convenient point in the pattern. Likewise, I picked the pocket sub-length at nice points in the fabric, every 6 squares felt about right. I sewed along the square. If you for some crazy reason picked a fabric without this, you'll have to measure the length and divide by the number of pockets you want.
I pinned down the pocket fabric at the sub-length intervals and used a straight stitch. I used blue thread so you could see it.
If you want to do the other side of the flat sheet, repeat steps 1-7. I've always had my mattress pushed against a wall, so that undoes any benefit of doing the other side. But if you need more pockets, then have more pockets!
Step 9: Step 9: Set Up
Get a friend to help you move your mattress. Lay the flat sheet part on your bed frame with the pockets hanging off the side. Put your mattress back, and make your bed.
That's all! Put it underneath your mattress with the right pocked hanging over the edge of your bed frame, and store water, snacks, your phone, your retainer, your charger(s)...whatever you need!
Step 10: Step 10: Done!
Start having anything you might want within an arms reach!
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Sew Tough Challenge