Putting Everything In Its Place

March 9, 2010

I am not a naturally organized person. With two kids, two dogs, one cat, a home schooled family, a work at home job, and a husband that travels, I have no other choice but to find ways to keep our lives straight. Over the past few months, I have found small projects to create that helps to keep our laundry down, our paperwork in order, and our days a little bit less chaotic.

After a load of frustration last week with making sure that for each day’s appointments, each meeting or visit, we had everything that we needed, and for all of the letters that needed to be mailed, the coupons that were collected, and the registration forms that were supposed to be dropped off, I looked like a walking disaster of chaos.

I decided to try and make a quick project that would allow me to use the passenger seat of my car to store papers, etc. for each day’s appointments and work.

Below is a passenger seat organizer that has one large pocket, and three smaller ones, which I use to organize everything that we need for the following day’s activities. The larger pocket is used for file folders, magazines (for sitting in waiting rooms), notebooks, etc. The three smaller pockets are used for my creativity journal, which I am never without, coupon books that I always want to have with me, just in case, and a pocket for my cell phone or iPod.

I have loved having the space and ability to be organized, without having to try and carry yet one more big bag, or keep everything in my hands. Planning the night before, whether my kids clothes, my own clothing, our paperwork, etc. has been a life saver. Although I have a long way to go, these few changes have made huge differences.

I hope they do the same for you

Materials

4 Fat quarters in coordinating colors
1 yard of heavy fusible interfacing
Ribbon or bias tape (one large piece)
Matching thread

Choose three fat quarters for your two pockets, and one for the inside lining
Choose another fat quarter for your backing.

Decide how large you would like your pockets. For the small pocket, I cut mine at 8×22
For the larger pocket, at 15×22


Cut three pieces of your fusible webbing the same size as your two pockets, and one inner lining fat quarter.

Following manufacturer’s directions, fuse each piece of webbing to it’s coordinating pocket/fabric


On one long end of both of the two pockets, fold down 1/4″ and press, then fold again 3/4″ Top stitch for a clean edge.

Place the small pocket, wrong side up, on top of the larger pocket, also wrong side up. Pin in place. Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew all three sides. Trim the corners as close to the stitches as possible, without cutting through. Turn right side out.

Using a few items that you feel might be of use, lay them over the smaller pocket, and determine the length of each of the sub-pockets. I made three pockets for use. One for my journal, one for coupons or mail, and one for my cell phone or ipod.

Keep in mind that you will go through two other seam allowances before your project is completed, so allow extra room for the two end pockets.

Using a pin, mark the top of where you want the sewing lines to begin. Sew the line and create the pockets, being sure to back stitch at the top and bottom.

With wrong sides facing up, pin the two pockets to the larger inner lining. Using a 1/2 seam allowance, sew all the sides. Trim your corners, as well as any excess seam allowance.

Turn right side out. Using a knitting needle, or chopstick, push your corners out. Press

Take your ribbon out to your car, and determine the length that you want your organizer to hang. Be sure to leave a few extra inches room (explanation to follow).

Determine where your ribbon should be placed. We are making a ribbon loop, rather than ties.

With right sides together, pin your lining and outer fabric. Beginning in the middle of one side, with a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew around the entire piece, leaving a three inch opening

Again, trim corners, and excess seam allowance. Turn right sound out and press. Turn the opening in 1/2″, and press. Top stitch the length of the top of the organizer, making sure to sew the opening closed while doing so.

For those moments where your passenger seat is occupied, simply turn the bag around to hang in the back. These bags do also make great backseat organizers for the kiddos as well.

To ensure that the bag hangs in a way that supports the weight of all of it’s contents, draw the bag up the seat, and tie a knot in the back on the ribbon.

If you make this project, please let me know, I would love some feedback.

Enjoy!

Bernadette had a great suggestion to make this project with bias tape all around.

Cut your fabric as directed and apply the fusible interfacing. Place back of organizer wrong sides together and set aside. Place your pocket pieces for the large pocket right sides together and stitch along the top. Flip over so wrong sides are together and topstitch. Repeat with the small pocket.

Layer all of your pieces so the back of the organizer is on the bottom, then the large pocket, then the small pocket. Pin in place. Sew a basting stitch around all four sides. At this point you can use disappearing ink or chalk to mark your pockets. Stitch, being careful to only stitch through the two pockets, and not all the way through to the back side. Backstitch at both ends of your pocket divisions.

Now you can pin your double-fold bias tape around all four sides, and stitch in place. Then attach the ribbon as directed.

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