I’ve been getting a steady number of orders on my shop lately and I couldn’t be happier. Sewing gives me such satisfaction and pleasure, things I never thought I would get from it, at least a few years ago. It’s mostly book sleeves and zipper pouches but lately people have been requesting fresh stuff, new stuff and I just LOVE making new things.
I got an order for a sleep mask yesterday and laptop sleeve a week before, it was challenging but so much fun. The reference I used was from a written tutorial blog post and it helped out immensely. I’ve done written tutorials before (2 if you’re asking) but I feel as if I didn’t go into much detail or precision, especially when it came to the images.
I hope to change that with this blog post where I would be putting down “how to sew a pocket organizer” in ink, as it were. The design is completely my own, meaning I didn’t use anything as a reference or a guide for this. It doesn’t mean that no one else has made something like this before.
Things You’ll Need:
- Your basic Sewing Essentials
- Fusible Interfacing
- Two fabric prints, one will serve as the main outer piece and the other as the, uh, not-main? outer piece. I suck at this, forgive me. Basically both pieces will be visible on the outside and you’ll also be able to use one of them as a lining for the pockets. The main one will be facing towards you and it’ll have pockets while the other one will be facing the wall without any pockets.
I chose this super-awesome and cool map/stamp/animal print which is African themed and a simple black fabric. These are both incredibly sturdy.
Step 1: MEASUREMENTS & CUTTING (Duh):
- 3 pieces from each fabric print of your choice measuring 7.5″ x 9.5″. That’ll be 6 fabric pieces total of this size. These will make the 3 pocket holders.
- 3 pieces of interfacing of the same size.
- 3 pockets for 3 pocket holders. The first and the third pocket will be of the same size 5.5″ x 6.5″ along with their lining. That’d be a total of 4 pieces of this size.
- I decided to do two pockets for the middle pocket holder. These will obviously be of shorter width. Again, you will also cut the lining so another 4 pieces measuring 5.5″ x 4.5″.
- The connector pieces that would join the three pocket holders together into one mighty pocket organizer would be 4 in total measuring 4.5″ x 3″.
- The hanging strip or the piece that would be used to hang your organizer on the wall would be 22.5″ x 1.5″.
- Lastly, you would need bias tape to give the edges of the pocket holders a beautiful and finished edge. You will need 3 strips of fabric measuring 1.5″ x 35″. If you can’t cut pieces that long, just cut smaller ones and sew them together now.
Step 2: IRONING:
- Do all the iron work right now starting with fusing the interfacing to the 3 of the 6 outer pieces. Wall-facing 3 or you-facing 3, doesn’t really matter.
- Iron the edges of the 4 connector pieces as shown below. This will make sure that you don’t need to fold anything while sewing to hide the raw edge.
- Iron the hanging strip in the same way, making sure to fold and iron over both shorter edges as before.
- Iron the three strips of bias tape in exactly the same way.
Step 3: SEWING:
- Start by sewing along both edges of the 3 connector pieces and the hanging strip as shown in the picture. You will not sew the edges of the bias tape yet.
- Put each of the main 3 pieces with the 3 wall-facing pieces WRONG sides together and sew with a quarter inch seam allowance. The bias tape will cover the edges later.
- Now sew the bias tape along the sides of each of the three pocket holder pieces. It’s hard to describe it but basically what you do is, you put the middle crease of the bias tape with the edge of the pocket holder piece, folding the creased side edges of the bias tape symmetrically over the top and bottom of the pocket holder. In that way, when you sew along the top, the stitches appear exactly below securing the bias tape perfectly. I will assume that you did not understand of word of what I just said. In that case:
Take care when you come to the curving point. Stop sewing about an inch away and make an L by folding the bias tape like so:
Don’t worry if you can’t do it the first time. I, myself, did it on the third try. Your pocket holders should now look like this:
As you can see, I wasn’t satisfied with a single stitch so I doubled it and stuff. I’m paranoid like that. Also, the bias tape is about 4″ larger than the perimeter of these pieces so it would overlap where you started. Just sew over the first edge, make sure the second edge is folded inside and the raw side is hidden.
- Once you’ve sewn bias tape all around the three pieces, it is time to attach the hanging strip. Pick one pocket holder piece and place it right side down. Now place both ends of the strip about a half an inch from the top edge and 2.5″ from the sides in such a way that all the strip is downwards. Pin the ends and fold them over, now sew over the strip in a rectangle securing it to what is going to be the top pocket holder piece. The strip should now be facing upwards.
(I should probably mention the fact that if you had ironed and sewn the strip as I had instructed, you would not need to fold the strip like I’m showing you now. I did it because I forgot to tuck in and sew the shorter edge so mine were raw. I folded them to hide the raw edges. So yeah, do that if your edges are raw, if not, just place the strip and sew.)
- Place all the pocket pieces and their linings right sides together sewing with a quarter inch seam allowance. Leave about a 2 to 3 inch opening for turning the pieces inside out. Iron them and top stitch.
- Now place the pockets on the pocket holder pieces positioning them in the middle. Pin them in place and sew the pockets. You will sew the sides and the bottom, not the top. That’d be silly.
- Take two connector pieces and position them at the bottom of the back of one pocket holder piece, on both sides of the pocket but a little lower, close to the bias tape. Pin them if you want and sew them in place. Now take the other ends of the connector pieces and position them on the second pocket holder piece but at the top instead of the bottom. Repeat with the remaining pieces essentially joining all the pocket holders together into one glorious organizer. Voila!
There you go! One pocket organizer locked and loaded. This was my first ever so I will be trying variations.
Also, this wasn’t as neat as I wanted it to be. My machine is from the Dark Ages and it broke about 453636 times while I was doing this project. Stupid old rust bucket.
I realize now that the words I was looking for in the beginning were “front” and “back”, not “wall-facing” and “you-facing”. They completely evaded my mind. Human brain does that sometimes. So this was the back and here is the front.
Really looks like a chalk board, doesn’t it? Weeeell, I tried. You cannot fault me for that. Let me know if you try it and show some pictures!