Sewing Closet Organizers

Sewing Closet Organizers
Sew some hanger covers to keep dust off the shoulders of favorite but little used garments, add a few easy to sew garment bags, a hanging shoe keeper to corral a growing population of must have shoes and some fabric storage baskets for scarves, fun caps, belts and other odds and ends and a beautiful, organized closet emerges.

It is best to choose a heavy fabric, such as canvas or sailcloth, when making hanging organizers. Sailcloth is made from a variety of natural fibers such as flax (linen), hemp, bamboo or cotton. Duck canvas fabric is usually sold in wide widths and is available in beautiful solid colors. It is a heavyweight woven all-cotton utility fabric. These are very durable fabrics however be sure to wash and iron first so that any sizing or stiffening will not, over time, interfere with the fibers of other garments. Use a sewing machine needle for densely woven materials often identified for use with denim fabrics. Pretty cotton or cotton-blended prints are more than adequate and charming for hanger covers and fabric boxes. Use an iron-on interfacing for firm support for fabric boxes.

Hanger covers are easy to sew; most require less than one-half yard of fabric. The size of the hanger chosen will of course determine the size of the fabric cover. Use the hanger as a guide to create a template for the pattern. Trace the outline of the hanger onto paper and add 1/2-inch for the seam allowance. Extend the length of the bottom of the pattern an additional 6 to 8 inches. Cut two, sew the sides, leaving an opening for the hanger top to poke through. Hem the bottom of the hanger cover. Clip any curves, turn, press, and add trim to the bottom of the cover if desired.

Garment bags, without or without a zippered front, are really just an oversized hanger cover. Make it any length desired. Sew an elastic ponytail holder to center bottom of the garment bag, on the outside, that can be used to fold the garment bag in half by looping the elastic over the hanger top. Great for when hanging space is a premium.

Hanging shoe keepers can fit over a clothes hanger too. Rather than sew the traditional pleated or gathered pockets try a series of horizontal open-sided slings. Cut two pieces of fabric, each 72 inches long by 10 inches wide. Stitch right-sides together, leaving an opening in one short side for turning. Turn, press, and stitch the opening closed. Fold in half, short sides together making one long sling. Stitch across 8 inches (or more if desired) from the bottom making the first open sling. Divide the remaining doubled length into equal compartments and stitch at intervals across making about 4 equal compartments. Stitch the top together. Each compartment can hold a pair of shoes or a few sandals or flip flops. Stitch ribbon ties or sew self-fabric ties to tie onto a hanger.

Fabric storage baskets are charming, useful and easy to sew. An outer fabric and inner fabric as well as heavy weight interfacing is needed to keep the fabric basket upright. Cut out an outer piece and a lining piece of fabric that are both approximately 36 x 12 and 1/2 inches. (Adjust the size as needed.) Cut two pieces of interfacing that same size. Fuse or sew the interfacing to the wrong side of both fabrics. Then sew both separate fabric pieces into individual cylinders by sewing the two shorter ends right sides together. Turn the outer fabric cylinder to the right side, fold flat with the seam to one end. Press. Mark the opposite flattened side with a pin to determine an opposite seam. Open up the cylinder and flatten once again to quarter mark what will be the remaining sides. Press. Pin mark the lining cylinder the same way. Slide the lining wrong side to match up with the wrong side of the outer cylinder matching pin marks and aligning all raw edges. Turn under the outer and inner fabrics of the tops and top stitch all around. Do the same with the bottom except stitch the bottom closed. Once stitched, make triangular boxed corners for the bottom of the fabric basket. Fold down the fabric basket top a few inches so the lining fabric shows.

Every closet is unique. A great way to clear up clutter and an economical one is to sew some fabric organizers.

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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