Friday, January 28, 2011

Sewing Tool Caddy Tutorial

On occasion, on the HGTV quilting forum, we have Friday night PJ parties. I think this is the second year (could be the third). Whoever has a project that others want to learn how to do...she is the teacher. In 2009, I was involved in a swap on the HGTV quilting forum - All I Want For Christmas. We shopped and created for 10 months, then mailed to our intended recipient. Jackie/Wenonah, sent me several neat things, including this...
Look closely at the red and white thingy on the left. It is a sewing tool caddy...a sleeve with pockets slipped over an acrylic photo frame! When I attended the Houston's quilter's retreat in August (when the tree limb totaled my 4-Runner), I took my caddy along. Several, "I want one of those" later...it was decided that this would make a great project for the HGTV quilter's forum Friday Night PJ Party. After contacting Wenonah, she gave us permission to create a tutorial and have the party! Jill/WillQuiltForChocolate and I worked on a sample. We took tons of photos! WQFC put it all together and e-mailed it to me. I fine tuned it and hosted the party a couple of weeks ago. And here it is for you!


You need one FQ or three prints from your stash.
And a free standing frame – acrylic or metal. Can be found at dollar stores and Wal-Mart for about $1

Cut fabric pieces as follows:
Main fabric (cubes): 6" x 15"
Deep pocket (stripes): 6 1/2" x 14"
Little pocket (solid): 6 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Fold the two short rectangles in half width-wise and give 'em a press. Then mark the centers. On darker fabrics, I use a sliver of soap.

Lay your unfolded piece (my block fabric) down on your work surface. Top it with your large folded piece (my stripes). Put the small folded piece behind it (orange). Not like the photo. Line up all those short raw edges matching centers. Stitch in 1/4" seam.

Pull the short piece out, press up and over the large pocket. When you press it up, it will look like this...raw seam inside and covered up.

Flip it over. Do you notice how the pockets are just a bit wider? Trim them at an angle from the seam up. You want it even at the bottom seamed edge and wider at the top of the pocket. The pocket needs some fullness or all you'll be able to get in there is a ruler.

After trimming, turn it over. With your favorite marking tool draw the center line through the pockets and enough of the main fabric to center the pockets. Then draw another line each side of the center - halfway between the center and edge of the fabric.

I don't have a photo of this, but if you want the back pocket to be just two large pockets, pull the pockets to one side and stitch the two outside marked lines through the pockets only...not the back. Clear? Then flip the pockets back up over the base fabric.

Otherwise...Sew the center seam through all layers to the top of the back pocket.
Line up the raw edges and stitch each of those with a scant 1/4" seam.
Then stitch the lines on either side of the center line.

On the end opposite the pockets, either finish the edge by serging or zig-zagging or fold up ¼” twice and ‘shirt-tail’ hem it. Now, fold in half right sides together and stitch the side seams with a ¼” seam – no larger.

In this photo, one hem is serged (on the left) and the other turned up and stitched "shirt-tail." Whatever seam finish you want to do on the end opposite the pockets.

Turn it. Poke your corners. Slip over your frame. If it's too large, you can turn it inside out and reseam.
Someone mentioned that their 'sleeve' was a tight fit. Taking into account that the frames could be thicker or thinner from different manufacturers, you might want to measure the width and thickness of your frame and add possibly another "ooch" to the width of your fabrics.

Now what could be simpler and more useful? An 8 x 10" caddy? Of course! It should be fairly easy for you to do the math and make a larger caddy.

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