The Scrappy Organizer: A 1-day Sewing Project

Loose sewing tools

A recent post on Sew Daily offered some suggestions for keeping one’s sewing supplies in order, particularly the mountains of luxurious fabrics that can accumulate. The author suggested that having fewer fabrics in your stash can foster creativity, by forcing you to use up scraps and design projects around what you have.

Because my own fabric stash only includes three fabrics, left over from the Renaissance costume I made for the boyfriend, I took this as a challenge. Spurred on by the theme of “organization”, I dug out the fabric scraps to create a holder for my sewing tools (scissors, chalk, measuring tape, needles, etc.). The flexible roll-up fabric mats used by artists (and sometimes archaeologists) were my inspiration.

Pockets sewn in place

I used an organic poplin (what I used for the costume pants) for the tool holder. I chose not to use the medium weight fusible interfacing between the two backing rectangles because I wanted more flexibility when rolling it up. The size of the mat and the pockets were determined by the fabric scraps I had on hand. The blue contrast stitching is intended to reinforce the seams that separate the pockets. I used the button hole stitch option (step #1) that is available on my sewing machine.

A place for everything and everything in its place

The large scissor is tied to the mat with a strip of bias tape that was sewn to the backing. The red rectangle is a patch for holding needles with a protective flap to prevent accidentally pricked fingers (I expect Sleeping Beauty to appreciate that feature). Pockets were formed around the materials, pinned in place and pleats were added as needed to allow for bulkier items (i.e. rolled up tape measure).

Folded up with a bow

It took me one day to complete, while watching a Fringe marathon. While I feel good about finding a functional use for some of my random fabric scraps, but I did repeatedly tear out a lot of tread because I was making up the design and the order of assembly on the fly. My bobbins and threads still need a system for storage and transportation, but when I attend that corset-making class later this month at least my fabric tools will arrive in style.

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