Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sewing Projects to get your Back to school more organized

Adults and some teen may enjoy making these items to help the student by more organized for the coming school 2013-2013 school year. 

Hanging Homework Tray

Materials:  fabric, stiff cardboard, and a couple of old wire coat hangers

Use a pair of pliers to untwist and shape the coat hangers into a shape that would slide onto the shelf and then form the sides of the in-tray.
2 x Base pieces 37 x 28cm (14.5 x 11")
4 Long side pieces 37 x 10cm (14.5 x 4")
2 x Back pieces 28 x 10cm (11 x 4")
2 x wire cover strips 45 x 8cm (17.5 x 3")
Cut your pieces, lay them out and pin together like 2 in-trays.  Stitch along the sides and edges, then put them one inside the other - right sides together.  pin all around the top edge.  Stitch, and then turn right sides out.  Cut a piece of stiff card slightly smaller than your 'back' fabric piece, and insert into the back of your in-tray.  Pin around this card in the seams, and also along the two longer edge seams too.  Cut some cardboard slightly smaller than your fabric sides and base and insert.  Slide in your re-shaped wire coat hangers.

Take your long wire cover strips of fabric.  Fold in half lengthways with right sides of the fabric together and stitch across one short end and along the length. Do this for both strips.  Using a chopstick or knitting needle, turn your 'tubes' right sides out.  Slip these covers over the wire coat hangers and tuck the raw edges into the in-tray.  Tuck the ends in on themselves and pin together.  Stitch the ends close. 

Stars and Stripes Locker Pocket

Materials:  1/4-yard wavy flag, 1/4-yard navy with white stars, 1/4-yard red with white stars, 1/4-yard polyester fleece, matching thread, and 1”-wide twill tape or grosgrain ribbon
From wavy flag cut: 2 pieces 7 1/2" x 19 1/2" for front and back
From navy with white stars cut: 2 pieces 6” x 7 1/2" for upper pocket
From red with white stars cut:  4 pieces 4

From fleece cut: 1 piece 7 1/2" x 19 1/2"
1/2" x 7 1/2" for two lower pockets



Pin navy pocket pieces right sides together and sew along both 7 1/2" edges, leaving remaining short ends open for turning. Repeat for remaining two red pockets. Turn all pockets right side out and press.
For front, pin one wavy flag piece right side up on top of fleece, with raw edges even. Baste to fleece along edges. Pin pockets in place with raw edges even, spacing as indicated in Figure 1. Baste in place alongside edges. Stitch pockets to front piece by sewing close to each lower pocket edge.
Cut a 9” piece of twill tape or grosgrain ribbon and fold in half crosswise. Pin to center top of locker pocket front with raw edges even and loop towards the locker pocket; baste in place.
Pin locker pocket back to locker pocket front, right sides together and with raw edges even. Sew around all edges leaving an opening for turning along the bottom edge. Clip corners and turn right side out through the opening. Stitch opening closed. Stitch divisions in the pockets as desired. We stitched three 1” divisions in the center pocket to hold pens or pencils, and a center division in the remaining two pockets.

Nifty Knotted Pencil Case

Materials:  3/4 yard main fabric, 1/2 yard lining fabric, and 1/2 yard lightweight interfacing

Fuse interfacing to wrong sides of all 4 main and lining pieces.
Cut 1 of the main pieces and 1 of the lining pieces in half. Using a rotary cutter makes this easier. Leave the other pieces whole, this is just for the top to insert the zipper.

To insert the zipper, lay it face down on one side of the main (gingham) piece. Pin in place and baste. Then put the lining piece on top, face down and sew at 1/4″. Repeat on the other side of the zipper and press when your zipper is inserted.
To finish the lining of the pouch, pin the whole lining piece to the lining piece that were just attached to the zipper.
Now sew it up all around. When you get to the zipper part it will be a little tricky. Just pull the main pieces out of the way.
Leave a 2-4″ opening on one of the straight edges to turn later. (I forgot to do this and had to unpick one, so don’t look for the opening in the picture!)
Turn it over so the lining is on the bottom and the zipper is facing up.
Lay the second main piece on top of the zipper and pin it on. If you have too much fabric, pin a little pleat over the zipper.
Sew it on all the way around. Don’t leave any openings. Sew the lining and main pieces together where indicated below.
Trim and clip the seam allowance and then turn. The corners will be a little tricky to turn, but you can do it! Push the lining into the bag. Now stitch up the opening you left in the lining with a top stitch or a hand slip stitch.
Tie the corners into individual knots or tie two together to make bows.

Share your ideas on this or anything here on the blog either here or e-mail me at  I look forward to hearing from you!

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