Vintage Patterns: Sewing Room Organizer

I think this may have been the longest I’ve ever gone without blogging, a whole week! Gosh, playing after-holiday-catch-up with my “day job” has been a bit of challenge. I’ve also been working on surface and pattern designs I hope to license soon, all while gearing up for a road trip to LA next week to the Craft & Hobby Assoc. Winter Conference and Trade Show. Should be awesome! Back to crafting today and in need of a bit more organization in the little sewing nook in our bedroom, (sewing machine cover HERE) I made a fun organizer from vintage sewing pattern envelopes and clear adhesive shelving liner (which I’ll be referring to as CASL). There are several brands of this product that can be purchased at most stores, but I used a roll purchased from the thrift store. Vintage patterns can also be found at thrift stores or garage sales, eBay, Etsy and many other places, for very little money. The basic layout of this project is similar to that of a hanging shoe organizer, like the one in our hall closet that holds all the goods.Choose your pattern envelopes and decide how many will fit along the end of your table or along your wall space. Before you get too ambitious and attempt to make a full wall pocket organizer, consider that the small space in the opening of your sewing machine may do some damage to the laminated paper that you will be cramming in there should you make it too large. At 5 patterns wide, this was just the right size for my table and my machine.Trim the bottom of the patterns off.Trim off the top flaps. Hang on to those, there’s still fun to be had with them. Make sure all your pattern pockets are trimmed to the same height. Width doesn’t need to be identical.On the back of the pattern envelopes, draw a line down the middle.Cut open the envelopes along the lines.Laminate the cut envelopes flat with the CASL, on both the front and the back. Trim off excess adhesive paper.You may find it easiest to lay out the CASL, adhesive side up, taped down to the table at the ends and laying the paper onto the adhesive rather than trying to lay the sticky film onto the paper. Luckily the CASL I was using was very forgiving when I needed to pull it back off the paper and reposition or get wrinkles out.Re-fold the envelopes and fold the cut sections back on themselves. Burnish all of the folds well.For a backing section, I used a couple of the folded instruction sheets that came with the patterns and covered them with the CASL on both sides.Position the folded envelopes onto the backing. In lieu of using straight pins, clear tape is perfect for holding the laminated pieces in place for sewing. For the easiest tape removal, fold each piece over just a bit before using to create a pull tab.Stitch along the edges of the folded back sections, placing each new envelopes section right up against the next. Hold back fold over areas just enough to get your sewing machine needle through the tunnel between the envelopes while stitching.Once all envelope sides have been stitched, sew along the bottoms off all of them.I added vintage labels to the cut-away envelope flaps, laminated them also, positioned them above the pockets, and stitched them onto the backing piece.
Once all pockets and label sections are on, trim away excess backing.Stitch around the entire piece to finish it off.I have a laminate table surface, so I simply used clear packaging tape to attach the finished piece to my table. To avoid damaging your table, create another backing piece to sew to the top of the organizer to lay along the top of the table held down by your sewing machine or other heavy object(s) allowing the organizer to flow off the edge.You can now label your pocket organizer with a sharpie, or like I did, a dry-erase marker, because I change my mind about what should go where all the time.

For more ideas on using clear adhesive shelving liner, check out my latest post over at SC Johnson’s Family Economics HERE!

Disclosure: I am a paid blogger for SC Johnson

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