The school desks where Blondie teaches are too small for holding all the school supplies and books that the children need in the classroom. Tina McCulloch designed the following easily modifiable pattern to help solve the problem. Leave it to a school teacher (or home school mom) to come up with great solutions on a limited budget!
|An ingenious solution for limited desk space designed by |
a 3rd grade teacher!
We found upholstery fabric at the local thrift store and were able to make 26 chair pockets for $7, not including thread. The material is not the most beautiful, but it is very kid friendly. Sturdy, lots of pattern, and dark colored to hide dirty finger marks.
Tina suggests that you pre-wash the fabric before you cut and sew it. We didn't. Blondie and I both have front loaders with gentle cycles. If the chair pockets need washed, we will air dry them after washing in a cold/gentle cycle instead of putting them in the dryer. This fabric shouldn't shrink unless we wash it in hot water and then send it through the dryer.
The Pattern and Directions
|From the strip of fabric, cut a 35" piece (on the left) and a 9" piece (on the right). You might have some fabric from the strip left over. I had a 10" section left--not shown in the photo.|
|Serge the short ends of the 35" piece and one long edge of the 9" piece. I serged both edges of my 9" piece in this photo, but it isn't necessary since one edge will be inside a seam later on.|
|On the 35" section fold 1/2" seam towards the right side on one edge and the wrong side on the other edge. On the 9" section fold 1/2" seam towards the wrong side. If you only serged one edge, hem the serged edge. Sew along the hem. See photo!|
|Fold the 9" section towards the hemmed edge so the right side is up. Stitch along the folded edge about 1/8" away from the fold.|
|Fold the hemmed edge (the edge that is hemmed towards the wrong side) over the pocket and match the bottom of the top-stitched 9" pocket with the hemmed edge.|
|Fold the top corner flat and stitch about 1" away from the point. Stitch the other corner, too.|
|Turn the chair pocket right-side out.|
If you are very careful about placing the 9" pocket you can get the stripes (or pattern) on the 9" pocket to line up with the stripes on the part that hangs on the chair. I didn't worry about it much, and Blondie was just glad to have them done before Back-to-School night next week.
We were able to piece together the extra fabric to make 4 more chair pockets so Blondie would have 26 made of only two different fabrics. I'm fairly certain that the pieced ones will hold up just as well as the ones made from only two pieces of fabric since I seamed them and then zig-zagged the seam open. Unless you look really closely at them, you can't tell they were pieced because the fabrics we used are dark and have alot of colors in them.
You can adjust the pattern by measuring around the seat back of the chair, dividing that number in 2 and adding 1" (for seam allowances). Cut your fabric that width instead of 16". (example: if measuring around the front and back of your chair gives 36", divide 36" by 2 = 18" + 1" seam allowance = 19" strip width. No need to change the pocket sizes unless you want deeper pockets.
If you have any trouble.... call Tina. Or you can leave me a message in the comments and I'll help, too!