I made this organizing tool in order to secure and to round up the odds and ends that seem to migrate to the bottom of all of my bags. You can cater the sizes of the pockets to the items that you wish to wrangle. I made a few different sized pockets, and you can see that the finished product held small items like a pencil or a key chain swiss army knife. I completed this in about 20-30 minutes so it is definitely amenable to beginning sewers!
I made it at Techshop!
TechShop Pittsburgh: http://www.techshop.ws/pittsburgh.html
TechShop Homepage: http://www.techshop.ws
Step 1: Gather Up All of Your Materials
- Fabric (three cut-outs: one 11"x17" and two 5"x7")
- Thread (not pictured, but I used white)
- Ribbon or something else to tie the whole thing together
- Standard sewing machine (I used the one at TechShop!)
- Water soluble pencil (or chalk) - anything that you can use to mark the fabric
- Optional: iron/ironing board (This makes creating hems easier, especially if you want tiny allowances.)
Step 2: Hem the Sides of the Inside Pockets
To hem the inside pockets, take the one of the 5"x7" pieces and iron down about a 1/4" on each of the lateral sides (left and right). Then fold inside half of the once ironed flap and iron again so the final hem size is 1/8". Pin every 2-3".
Straight stitch the lateral sides (don't sew over the pins).
Do the same with the other two sides.
Repeat with the second 5"x7" piece.
Step 3: Sew on Your Pockets
After hemming your two inside pockets, you are now ready to sew them onto the large piece of fabric. Before doing this step, I used a water soluble pencil to mark where my stitches would go (the pockets on the pockets; I know that sounds confusing, but I think it makes sense if you look at the finished product). You can alternatively use chalk.
Pin the soon-to-be-pocket in place and straight stitch around the three sides (remember that you want one to be open for a pocket). In place, it is relatively easy to straight stitch the "pockets on the pockets" - the little compartments for the specific items. When you are marking how large or small these will be, be sure to account for the depth of the pocket, too.
Repeat with the other pocket(s). I chose to forego the compartments for this one so that it could be a catchall type pocket.
Step 4: Sew the Large Piece and Add a Tie Mechanism
In order to sew the large piece together, fold the long side in half (hamburger style) so that the good side is on the inside of the fold (see the top picture). Before sewing the sides together, figure out where you want the ribbon to come out. You will be sewing the ribbon as you sew the side of the large piece. Put the functional part of the ribbon (used for the tie) on the inside with a small allowance on the outside (second picture). Pin three sides together.
On the fourth side (the one where you will leave a hole to flip it inside out), iron down a 1/2" of the fabric. Repeat with the piece that touches it. Pin these two ironed pieces together to make the fourth side, leaving a hole big enough to reach in with your hand.
Straight stitch all around except for this hole.
Step 5: Close Up the Resulting Hole and Enjoy What You Made!
Reach in the hole and flip everything inside out. Be sure to poke in the corners because they will be a little jumbled.
Straight stitch close to the edge for the entire length of the hole. This will make the stitches less noticeable.
Ta-da! You can now use your finished product.