USB Electronics Organizer - Sew Useful




Sew Useful USB - Cellphone - Camera - iPod - Electronics Organizer

Do you need a place to keep your handheld electronic devices? Do you want to be able to quickly locate the "RIGHT" USB cord or power cord? In that case, this is the product for you.

After having brain surgery in April, I realized I really needed help with organization. I forget where I put everything. I was not really that organized before the surgery.

My family has three different computers, cameras, cell phones, MP3 players and numerous other devices we need to charge or connect to our computers. This nifty wall hanging will help you keep all your handheld electronic devices matched up with their power cords and USB cords.

Fortunately, the surgery did not affect my ability to create or make the crafts I love. I came up with this idea after hearing about the contest. My sewing machine broke the next day so while it was being fixed I made a no-sew version as well. Look for it soon.

If you don't want to make it, then you can buy it at:

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Step 1: Supplies

Here is what you will need:

a. Sewing machine, strong thread, and denim needles
b. Paper for copying the pattern
c. One sheet poster board cut to 14 inches by 21 inches
d. One half yard fabric
e. One half yard clear light - medium weight vinyl
(sold at the hardware store on rolls with tablecloth fabric)
f. Self-healing mat, ruler, and rotary cutter
g. Markers for writing on fabric and plastic
h. Pins
i. Paper clips
j. Adhesive cloth hangers
k. Eyelets or grommets
l. Bias tape, quilt binding trim, ribbon or seam binding in various sizes and widths

Step 2: Some Things to Keep in Mind

When sewing through vinyl, at times your machine may become resistant because the vinyl will stick. When you can, sew with the fabric up and the vinyl down. If this is not possible, place thin paper over the vinyl as you sew and tear it away afterwards.

Any holes you sew through vinyl will show so be careful when pinning. It helps to use paper clips.

Step 3: Make a Pattern (This Step Is Optional If ... feel comfortable measuring and marking directly on the vinyl and fabric. (You will still need to refer back to this step for the measurements or you can download the documents.)

Download the documents below which show the measurements visually. The corresponding photo precedes the downloadable file. I am also listing all the measurements here. Feel free to skip ahead if you download the files.

Cut three pieces of pattern paper:
5 1/2 inches x 20 inches - Pattern Piece One
4 inches x 17 inches - Pattern Piece Two
4 inches x 15 inches - Pattern Piece Three

Pattern Piece One: These are the measurements for the bottom and middle pockets. The middle pocket is only four and one half inches tall. Draw lines and the corresponding letters at (A) 3/4 inches, (B) 1 3/4 inches, (B) 5 3/4 inches, (A) 6 3/4 inches, (A) 7 inches, (B) 8 inches, (B) 12 inches, (A) 13 inches, (A) 13 1/4 inches, (B) 14 1/4 inches, (B) 18 1/4 inches, (A) 19 1/4 inches.

Pattern Piece Two: This is the top pocket. Lines are drawn at these intervals: (A) 3/4 inches, (B) 1 1/4 inches, (B) 5 1/4 inches, (A) 5 3/4 inches, (A) 6, (B) 6 1/2 inches, (B) 10 1/2 inches, (A) 11 inches, (A) 11 1/4 inches, (B) 11 3/4 inches, (B) 15 3/4 inches, (A) 16 1/4 inches. Again, we have 3/4 inches at the end.

Pattern Piece Three represents the sewing lines. It is used for marking packet placement on the fabric. They should all be labeled A, as they will match up with the A marks on the vinyl pockets. Draw lines at: 1 1/4 in., 5 1/4, 5 1/2 in., 9 1/2 in., 9 3/4 in., 13 3/4 in.

Step 4: Measure and Cut

Cut two pieces of fabric
15 inches by 21 inches (front)
14 inches by 21 inches (back)

Cut four pieces of vinyl:
5 1/2 inches by 20 inches
4 1/2 inches by 20 inches
4 inches by 17 inches
10 inches by 15 inches

Cut tag board (if not pre-cut) to 14 inches by 21 inches

Step 5: Mark Lines on Vinyl

Place the first two vinyl pieces on Pattern Piece One (one at a time) and use the lines to mark bottom of vinyl with A and B lines. It is okay to use a Sharpie because the small marks will be covered when you sew over them.

Place the 17 inch piece of vinyl on Pattern Piece Two and mark bottom as above.

You can also refer to the Adobe downloads from Step 3

Step 6: Mark Lines on Fabric

Draw vertical lines on the right side of the front piece of fabric (15 inches) with chalk or fabric marker.

You can use Pattern Piece Three or measure from the side.
Draw lines at 1 1/4 inches
Draw lines between or at 4 1/4 and 4 1/2 inches
Draw lines between or at 9 1/2 and 9 3/4 inches
Draw lines at 13 3/4 inches.
These are your stitch lines/pocket sides.

Add notches to the lines, measuring from the bottom at:
2 inches, 7 1/2 inches, 8 1/2 inches, 13 inches, 14 inches, 18 inches.

These are the top and bottoms of your pockets.

Set aside the other piece of fabric to use as the back.

Step 7: Sew Pockets' Top With Trim

Using paper clips or pins, attach trim to the top of each piece of vinyl.

I used wide double fold bias tape. You will need 45 inches which is about one half a package.

Sew through all layers of folded bias tape at edge.

Remember to remove paper clips or pins as you sew.

Using pattern pieces or A and B lines from bottom, mark top lightly with a fabric marker to match bottom lines. You do not need to label them with the letters A and B since the bottoms are labeled.

Step 8: Sew Middle and Side Lines

Before you can sew all three pockets onto your background fabric, you will need to baste them on.

Using a needle and thread tack down all letter A points on the vinyl to the corresponding point on the fabric. You will notice that the vinyl is one half inch away from the edge. This is to give you a little wiggle room when you attach it to the board later.

I am using a bright contrasting thread for demonstration purposes.

The largest pocket on the bottom and the smallest is on top.
Pin quarter inch ribbon or seam binding from top to bottom on the lines. If your machine has a small or non-stick presser foot, the ribbon should be enough to prevent sticking. Otherwise, use paper here.

Sew through outside lines first and then through ribbon covered middle lines.

Remove any visible basting thread.

Step 9: Make Folds and Stitch Down

Bend vinyl so that letter B now touches corresponding letter A. Pin or clip folds down at top and bottom.

The A line on the fabric and vinyl is probably covered, so use the edge of the quarter inch ribbon as your A line.

It is not as important that the top B meets A because this is the top of the pocket and it will not be sewn down.

The top pocket has only a tiny fold so it difficult to pin down. Just force it and do not worry if it is not perfect.

Sew bottom of pocket down using 1/4 inch seam. Paper helps here too.

Step 10: Sew Ribbon or Trim Over Bottom of Pockets

Pin ribbon or trim over bottom of pockets. I used 5/8 inches grosgrain ribbon. Make sure you cover the seam and bottom of the vinyl.

Sew across twice, once through vinyl and once below the seam.

Repeat for all three pockets.

Step 11: Attach Back Pocket at Sides

Sew wide double-faced bias tape to top (15 inches) of large pocket.

Line up edges of pocket at bottom and sides. Pin or clip 10 inch sides of pocket to sides of back sheet of fabric (14 inches)

Place vinyl side down and sew 1/4 inch side seams. Leave the bottom open for now.

Step 12: Stick Hooks on Tag Board (Optional)

The hooks are for hanging any carrying cases. You could also sew picture hooks through after the whole thing is done or leave it with no hooks at all.

Following instructions on packet, glue hooks to the exposed side of tag board at 2 3/4 inches, 7 inches and 11 1/4 inches.

Leave hooks sticking over the edge.

Step 13: Sew Bottom of Pocket Down

Pin bottom of pocket to back sheet. This will require a little gathering, as the plastic is one inch wider than the back sheet. Pin from the middle and work towards the sides. Keep pushing the excess vinyl outwards in each section, pinning halfway as you go.

Sew down pocket with 1/2 inch seam. The vinyl is a little bumpy now so sew down with paper, fabric side down.

Step 14: Clip Front to Cardstock

When the hooks are dry, center the pockets over the front of the cardstock (the hook side, hooks on the bottom) . Clip or staple the top and bottoms together pulling fabric to reach. If it does not reach, you can trim the card stock at the top.

Pull the vinyl to the edges of the cardboard and clip it down. Here is where the extra fabric may come in handy. If you happened to gather some of the fabric, you should still reach the edge. If there is excess fabric, trim off the excess fabric.

Remember to pull out the staples before you sew.

Step 15: Sew Trim Around Edges.

Place back to front with all pockets facing in the same direction.

Clip or pin seam covering over top and bottom edges. Be careful that hooks remain sticking out. I used single fold bias tape on the front and back, top and bottom. However, any ribbon will do. You will need four pieces 14 inches long. Double-fold bias tape binding will work at the top but only work on the bottom if you did not use hooks.

Clip trim to sides removing previous clips. You may also staple here as long as you remember to remove stapes as you sew along. I used double fold extra wide bias tape. If you want to use quilt binding that works too and you can skip the side ribbons on the front because they may be covered. You will need two pieces 22 inches long. Tape will extend 1/2 inch beyond top and bottom edges. Tuck these under as you sew around.

Sew tops and bottoms together with a seam that reaches edges on both levels. When you reach the corner be sure to move side trim out of the way. Be aware that the hooks are sticking out as you sew by.

Sew sides with seam, tucking overlap under. You could also trim side seams to length of piece and use mitered corners if you want to get fancy.

You can try to sew around again with a 1/4 inch seam but my old machine could not handle going through all those layers again. Sewing through the large card stock is tricky because you have to keep lifting the whole thing as you sew while keeping the seam straight.

You might want to hand sew the bottom edges closed if it does not look closed.

Step 16: Add Grommets

If you do not want grommets, large paper holders are good as long as the items are not too heavy.

Follow directions on eyelet package to attach them at same intervals as hooks on bottom.

You may need to punch a small hole through the material first, as there are three layers.

You can hang from a nails, picture hooks, or tie picture wire through grommets and hang that way.

Step 17: Enjoy Your Organizer!

Hang your organizer and fill with devices and cords.

I used top for USB cords, middle for power sources, and bottom for devices.

Hang it anywhere and enjoy! Thanks for reading this far and if you don't know how to sew, be sure to check out the No-Sew version. Also stop by Etsy where both are on sale but please wait until after July 18th when the contest ends before you buy them.

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    24 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I like this idea, and will get to making it sometime soon since we now have far too many electronic devices and cords


    11 years ago on Introduction

    there is a much easier way -- i made something like this made of cardboard a couple of years ago. you need a lot of ?curguated? cardboard, glue, a usb cable, and something to mount everything make a base and build a small cardboard house-like thing with shelves. cut open a usb wire and use the red and black wires as the general power you will need a lot more wire to distribute the power among the devices inside the house i will see if i can find a pic of mine-- which was a really cool all in one organizer for my wallet, ipod, cell phone, keys, some cash, business cards, change, ect.

    2 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah this was pretty complicated but I really wanted to win the computerized sewing machine contest. I worked really hard and I thought it was the perfect combination of sewing and electronics but alas...I don't think the judges even gave it a second glance.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    sorry to hear that but i dont think mine had any sewing involved mostly cardboard, glue and nails


    11 years ago on Introduction

    whoa. i want one. my sister also had brain surgery. good to hear you're doing well! and from what i can see, you're creative side is still booming like my sister ahaha. you inspire me :-) hehe


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Hah, sorry. I mean source code. The lettering on that backing.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    And more importantly, does it still compile after all this... refactoring?


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    I bought that fabric at my local quilt store. I don't remember the brand but I bought what they had left because it looked like the perfect fabric for a project that combined sewing and technology.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you. My friends all want me to make them one. If you make one, can you send me a picture?


    12 years ago on Introduction

    that's a great idea, but would be easier to buy one of those cheap plastic shoe organizer and personalize it.

    3 replies

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, we can find shoe organizers with clear pockets. But yes, your works is remarkable ;)


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for your observation. I did think of that but those shoe holders are large and cumbersome and not really designed to be on permanent display. Do they come with clear pockets? I am hoping my design is just small and attractive enough to be placed somewhere visible and also convenient. The pocket size can be adjusted to your own personal devices and needs. It is also quite strong, not cheap, and handmade.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    This is amazing! I can never find all these things when I am looking for them, especially the chargers for each item. If my time was billable, this would save thousands of dollars that I would no longer have to search!!! Thank you for such a great idea Aly!!!

    1 reply

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks so much! Necessity is the mother of invention. Thousands of dollars? Wow! Maybe I should charge more for it.