Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sew Organized

While browsing the sewing patterns early this summer, at Value Village, I came across one by Simpliclity for a variety of organizers.  I thought this would be great for our truck.  The girls sit on either side in the back, and Hugh either sits between them (if both parents are going), or he sits in the front.  When it's just the girls in the back seat, they tend to take over, and use the seat for "storage", so that the next time Hugh gets in the back, they have to quickly re-locate everything.  They have large pockets on the back of the front seats, but it's just one pocket.
I searched through the stash and came up with this combo--the seersucker with gold metallic is the last bit of fabric left from a ring sling made in 2006, and the brown cord is from around then too.  I used purchased bias tape.  And lots of it.  I think I used a little more than the pattern requested, even though I eliminated the CD slots.  However, the packages I bought didn't list yardage.
When I got the large yarn donation in the winter, it came with fabric and quite a bit of interfacing.  Plus, I had bought some really stiff interfacing to sew fabric boxes (but never got to), so except for the trim, this all came from stash.  I did have to piece some of the interfacing for one of the backing pieces, and some pockets have sewn in, instead of iron on.
Sewing this was a love-hate thing.  I loved that I was making something useful, out of stash fabric.  I hated some of the steps.  You start with basting the back fabric, the interfacing, the batting, and the front fabric.  I had a hard time keeping the layers together and even.  I'd end up with way too much lower fabric left at the top.  Tried easing it in.  Trimmed some.  It just did not go well.  I think this might contribute to the curving inwards it does when hanging in the truck.  I think next time I would do a few lines on the back fabric to quilt the batting and interfacing, then sew the pockets on just the front, then quilt along some of the sewn lines to adhere it to the back.

This was my first time doing detail with bias trim.  I've used it for armholes, etc, but that was to be invisible.  I wasn't too happy with many of my corners, and top stitching, and where the start/end placements were on the first pocket in particular.  I  also don't like the contrast of the print fabric with so much solid bias tape.  I'd be really tempted to reduce the amount of tape by making the pockets with traditions "right sides together, turn outside out, topstitch". 
In the picture above, you can see that I forgot to sew a vertical line from the flap to the bottom, to divide the open pocket from the flap pocket.  Really, I don't think so much detail was needed.
The water bottle pocket (top right) is a little too shallow for most water bottles.  I thought about lowering it and making it taller, but realized you need to be able to get into the pocket below it.  So, for the bottom pocket, I moved the stitching line that divides it over to the left a little, so the water bottles would fit down there instead.  Much better spot.

You were supposed to use webbing and buckles and little loops of bias tape for the top hanging loop.  I didn't like the look of the black or white webbing, so I used just the bias tape and no buckles.  I take the headrests out and slip these over.  For the bottom, there were to be little loops on the bottom, and a long shoelace threaded around the seat.  I don't know if it's our seats or what, but that would have been too low.  I did loops on the side, and pieces of ribbon instead.

There are some issues though.  One is that the organizer hangs away from the seat back a little.  The lower pocket, in particular, hangs forward--even with nothing in it!.  It makes it even more difficult for Hugh to get into the middle seat.  As well, the sides of the organizer curl inwards a little.  At first, I thought we'd be able to take these in and out (like when we get to Grandma's and they want to take all their little stuff in the house), so being able to roll or fold it would be handy.  But that's not happening, and I wish the backs were of a more rigid material.

While things might be more organized for the girls, Hugh doesn't get anywhere to put stuff, and these actually narrow the space for getting in/out.  And Rob thinks the fabric is dull.  I wanted it to be "mature" and blend in in case he takes co-workers places.  Not sure if I'd ever make these again...SO many little bits of fabric, cutting, sewing....

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