Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crochet Organizer Tutorial

Here's a little tutorial to make an awesome trifold crochet organizer. I've been using mine for a few weeks now, and I LOVE IT. Seriously, I LOVE IT. Give it a try!

Materials:
1/2 yard of fabric, total (I just used scraps from another project.)
1/4 yard fusible fleece
1/8 yard extra-heavy stabilizer
1 package of extra wide double fold bias tape
13 inches of wide elastic
zipper at least 6 inches long
decorative button

To get started, download the pattern pieces here. Cut as directed. Lay out your pieces to be sure you like how they look together. Also, be sure to ignore the many stains on my ironing board cover. ;)





We will sew the most complicated part first... the zippered pocket. After you have cut the two pieces of fabric for the zippered pocket, you should cut a slit in the side of the pocket, 5-1/2 inches long. Then cut about 0.5 cm to the left and right of the slit at the top and bottom, in the shape of a letter I. Fold the raw edges of fabric under, and press them down. Lay your zipper underneath the hole you've made, to be sure it will fit.


Repeat the cutting and pressing process with the liner fabric for the zippered pocket. Check how the two pieces line up with one another without the zipper in between. You want them to be as close as possible. It won't be perfect, but you can get it really close! :)


 Pin the zipper to the top piece of fabric, and sew the zipper to the top portion only. You'll need to use a zipper foot on your machine and try to sew as close to the inside edge as possible. Just sew a rectangle around the entire thing.


Trim the zipper. 

Now, pin the bottom piece of fabric to the opposite side of the zipper, carefully lining it up as best you can. I sewed blindly, meaning that I sewed just outside the previous stitch, on the top. It was blind because I could not see whether I was catching the lining piece. Fortunately, it all worked out! If you need a little extra help on this step, fabric glue is sometimes a gal's best friend! 

Below, you can see the two rows of stitches next to one another. It looks nice and clean. 


At this point, you should sew the corners of the zippered pockets to themselves. Right sides together, sew each of the corners to themselves. You'll repeat this 8 times. You'll sew each of the outside corners and then sew each of the inside corners. This is the process that gives the pockets depth. (Hopefully that makes sense, as I failed to photograph it. Let me know if not! I can add some photos later.)

Set aside the zippered pocket. 

We will move on to the angled side pocket. First, take your small scissor pocket pieces and place them right sides together.


Place the needle pocket pieces right side together as well. Sew both of these pockets up the side, across the top, and down the opposite side, leaving the bottom open. 


Turn them right side out and press down the bottom edge. Topstitch the pockets closed. 

Iron the fusible fleece to the top piece of angled pocket.

Place the pockets in the appropriate location on top of the top piece of angled pocket. Sew around the sides and bottom of the small pockets to attach them to the angled pocket.

Sew 9 vertical lines of stitch about 0.5 cm apart, on the needle pocket.



Now, sew the top angled pocket to its liner (right sides together), sewing around the sides and top of the pocket.


Turn it right side out and press. Set aside angled pocket.


Next, we will work on the crochet hook pocket. First, press the fusible fleece to the wrong side of the top of the crochet hook pocket. Place the right side of the top of the crochet hook pocket against the right side of the crochet hook pocket liner. Pin together and sew around the sides and top of the pocket.


Turn right side out, and press.  Set aside. 

Press a piece of fusible fleece to the long main body of the crochet hook organizer. 

Pin the angled pocket to the edge of the long main body piece that you have just lined with fusible fleece. Sew  around the sides and bottom of the pocket, backstitching at the top of each pocket, but sewing all the way to the top of the long main body fabric. This is giving you a folding guideline.


Pin the crochet hook pocket against the opposite edge of the same piece. Sew around the sides and bottom of this pocket, backstitching at each end, but again sewing all the way to the top of the long main body fabric to give yourself a folding guideline.


Using tailor's chalk, mark 8 lines about 1 cm apart to use as guides for your crochet hook pockets. 


Sew along each of the lines, backstitching at the top edge of each pocket.


Set aside this piece, and pick up your zippered pocket again.

We will now apply the bias tape to the edge of the zippered pocket. Apply bias tape following package directions.


The edge of your pocket should now look like the picture below.


Next, grab your long main body piece that already has the two attached pockets. Measure 1-1/2 inches from the stitching at the inside of each of the two pockets that are already attached. Draw a line from top to bottom and stitch along that line. This shows you where your zippered pocket should go. It should fit inside these stitch lines. 

Pin the zippered pocket inside the "box" you've just created. 


Sew around the outer edge of your bias tape, as close to the edge as possible, attaching it to the center of your organizer.


Now, you will add the outside of the main body piece. Place the outside fabric WRONG sides together with the main body piece. Sew a line of stitch down each of the sides, over the previous lines of stitch you used to attach your crochet hook pocket and angled pocket.


Next, sew over the inner guidelines. These include the right edge of the crochet hook pocket, the left edge of the zippered pocket, the right edge of the zippered pocket, and the left edge of the angled pocket.


Finally, sew a line of stitch across the entire bottom of the organizer.

Now, we will apply our elastic. Find the center outside of the organizer, on the opposite side from the crochet hook pocket. Pin the elastic to the organizer, right against the edge, making sure there is 1 twist in your elastic, so that it will lay flatly around your organizer when it is closed. 


Zigzag stitch over the end of the elastic several times, sewing it to the edge of the organizer.


Now, cut pieces of your heavy stabilizer to fit inside each of the "pockets" you've created with the organizer. This will give your organizer stability and strength. There should be 3 larger pieces, that should fit between the main body liner and the main body outer portion, at each of the large pockets. There should be 2 thin pieces that fit between the main body liner and the main body outer portion at each of the "spines" of the organizer. You do not need to sew them shut. 


Finally, sew your bias tape around the entire edge of the organizer following package directions. 


Once this was done, I took the top piece of elastic and sewed it flat in the opposite direction, and sewed a decorative button on top. 

All done! 

Just fill it up with your goodies, and crochet away! :)







Let me know if you have any questions! This was a long, and tough one, to explain! :)

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