Sewing Ideas for Senior Living

Sewing Ideas for Senior Living
There are times when fabric can transcend its form and function to become a carefully thought out needed gift of convenience. For example, a simple bed pocket organizer can keep items within easy reach once settled into fluffy bed covers for the night; a dining scarf or bib-like clothing protector helps with discreet dining challenges; an interesting fabric cover for a wooden chair back or stand-alone computer monitor or TV can bring some vibrancy and a little whimsey into a monotone color scheme.

Consider the following sewing ideas:

Bed pocket organizer - tucked under a mattress with the pockets hanging down alongside the bed edge, eyeglasses, remote, cell phone, paperback book or eReader can be easily reached when lying in bed. A non-slip grip shelf liner can be sewn to the pocket organizer edge to be used to tuck out of sight between the mattress and box spring holding secure the organizer pockets.

First cut fabric in a rectangle 20-inches wide by 16-inches long, fold in half wrong sides together so fabric piece is then 10-inches wide by 16-inches long. Press. This will be the pocket backing.

For pockets - cut another rectangle of fabric 20-inches wide by 24 inches long, fold in half right sides together so fabric piece becomes 10-inches wide by 24-inches long and press. Stitch in a ¼-inch seam along the long edge to form a tube, then turn right-sides facing out, press. To make the holding pockets, lay the longer rectangle over the other matching the bottom and side short ends.

Next, divide the excess fabric in the middle into pocket separations with several equally spaced small pleats at the bottom edge, pin to temporarily hold the pocket shapes. They should pouf out a bit. Stitch vertically where pinned. Stitch around what will be the bottom and side edges, adding binding tape to these edges if a more finished look is desired. Stitch the non-slip grip liner to the top of the pocket organizer. Be sure to leave a generous amount of liner to tuck under the mattress.

Dining scarf or Bohemian bib - chic and dignified at the same time. Free printable patterns for adult dining clothing protectors showing bandana-style, scarf or no-tie towel incorporated styles are readily available at a variety of online sites.

For the scarf-like style that lies across back of the neck and simply drapes down the front of clothing a lined cotton fabric rectangle (light-weight muslin works well as lining), mostly finished in size would be 8-inches wide and 50-inches long, makes for an easy clothing protector when dining. The fabric that will lie at the back of the neck can be folded a few times, according style, stitched to secure with one row of a simple straight stitch at neck edge that will keep the fabric protector comfortable when worn.

For the Bohemian (or triangle shape cowboy) bib style that gently ties at neck back (or stitch on hook and loop tape for closure), cut a very large triangle of fabric (cut a tissue-paper template to first determine size) and a similar size of terry cloth or same fabric. (Note: Cutting one side of the triangle shape that will lie against the neck edge with a slight scoop curvature from triangle point to an adjacent point gives the Bohemian bib some easy style) sew right-sides together all around the triangle edges in a 1/4-inch seam leaving an opening for turning. Turn right-sides facing out, press, then stitch opening closed by hand or machine. The large now lined triangle is worn loosely tied at neck back, or hook and loop tape can be stitched to two of the triangle’s end-points for easy press and close. This is a discrete yet practical clothing protector.

Chair back slipover - fabric chair back cover for wood kitchen or dining chairs adds color and distinction to any room. No need to know in advance the chair back size as the slipover is open on the sides! Measure and cut two pieces of fabric for finished size approximately 40 inches long by 15-inches wide adding 1/4-inch for seam allowance all around. For side ties, use the same or coordinating fabric or ribbon to make four ties each 10-inches long. Place both fabric pieces, right sides together and include ties sandwiched inside placed along each side seam. Place each tie approximately six inches from each side end, two to each side. Stitch all around leaving an opening for turning right-sides out. Press, then hand or machine stitch opening closed. The finished fabric chair cover can easily drape over any chair back by tying the sides closed. Note: Smaller sizes can be made as dust covers to cover a stand-alone computer monitor or size adjusted for a flat screen TV.

We may all be conditionally able-bodied, enjoying our mobility and abilities, however our seniors aspiring to aging-well can remind us of an eventuality to consider at some point in our lives.

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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This content was written by Cheryl Ellex. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.