Friday, 13 May 2016

Bedside pocket for loft or bunk bed

My kids have loft beds with small tables so the books, water bottles and such aren't a problem but clothes are. Either they are piled up on the other end on the bed - or they are on the floor. I decided to try if bedside pocket helps something. The idea is that the clothes that are still ok to wear the next day would be put in the pocket and the dirty ones (at least in a dream world) would go to the laundry basket. In my dreams this means rather tidy kids room. Yeah right. But you never know, it might work.

I found many beautiful ones with many pockets and I considered that too for a while but then decided that just one big pocket is enough. I made straps with buttons to attach it on the bed and used elastic band for the pocket to keep it in shape. Here is a small how to:

As the theme is, everything is recycled, or at least second hand, except the elastic band. Here is what I started with:

Two old worn out bed sheets and one old crib padding. The sheets are in my opinion almost cheating when it is about upcycling as they are similar to use as new fabric but this project needed quite a lot of fabric and in spite of having many things stored, I didn't have anything else suitable at the moment. The crib padding is my kids' old, I have tried to sell it on second hand stores on a whopping price of 2€ for couple times. It seems that since couple of the ribbons used for attaching it on the crib are loose, it isn't even worth of those 2€. I considere to give it away for charity but then decided to keep it for the fabric. Lucky I did, it helds a nice amount of  foam mat that I could now use to give support for the pockets. Then of course, I needed a seam ripper.

The padding was over 3m long and I thought it might take ages to take it apart but I was in luck. The stitch used was long and quite loose. Also there is a handy way to use in the seams like this. Just put the ripper agains the seam with the small ball under it and push along the seam carefully. Nice and fast. This way you will end up with plenty of bits of thread but you can get rid of those easily with tape roller (or just with tape).

Start with cutting the padding for the size you want and also cut two pieces to cover the padding (add the seam allowance and about 1cm extra if you are using thick padding like I did here). Pin them together with padding in middle and sew around.

I don't use that much pins but here you should. The thick padding makes it hard to keep everything in place without the pins. In this picture you also notice that I have rounded the corners, I did that to make it easier to finish the edges later on. Of course, smart move would have been to attach the straps now as well, talk about planning before hand...

Then prepair the pocket itself. I cut mine a little lower than the background and few centimetres wider to give it nice look and also more space. If you want to attach any decorations, now is the moment to do that.

I decided to decorate these with reverse applique. In reverse applique you sew the pictures on the back side of the fabric so that the right side of the picture is against the wrong side. Like this:

I was rather boring this time and made them circles but the form could be anything. I also sew around each picture twice to highlight the border. The pictures are cut from jersey scrabs that are left from making clothes for kids. I use pretty much every fabric to the last bit, literally. I make clothes by connecting some smaller pieces, even smaller ones I use for appliques and the smallest scrabs go to the basket that will be used as a filling for something and is also almost endless source of material for kids' crafts.

Now take small, sharp scissors and cut the actual fabric covering the pictures:

Cut close to the seam but carefully to avoid cutting the thread. You can live 1-2mm fabric, it will just fray a little bit (until the seam) and I think it gives it a nice look.

Then I decided to make free machine embroidery, just circles and loops around the fabric. Nice and fast I thought. Right. Even the fabric is cotton sheet that isn't elastic, still, this might happen (and I should have known it):

It doesn't look nice and this one here, is the ironed version so it wouldn't get any better than this. So I made myself coffee, took my seam ripper again and started taking the embroidery off. Luckily I had used quite long stitch, but even so, I had sewn twice around to make the embroidery bolder so twice as much work. After few cups of coffee and couple chapters from audio book (I like to listen those while sewing) the job was done and I could continue with the actual work. I then did what I should have done in the beginning, used tear-away stabilizer. I haven't bought any "real" tear-away stabilizer as I use the backgrounds of paper napkins and I happen to have a box full of them because I have bought them for decoupaging. Best of all, this is how to use the backgrounds that are left over from decoupaging and I can save the picture layer for decoupaging. The paper napkins often are made with three layers so just separate the layers:

First layer is the one with the picture and two white layers under it and you just need one layer. So one paper napkin gives you two sheets of tear-away stabilizer and one for decoupaging if you need it. Or of course you can use all three as tear-away stabilizer.

Just put your stabilizer on the back of the fabric and attach few pins to make sure it will stay and sew around (on the right size though, just a picture to show it looks like on the back).

Then you can tear it off.

Much better:

Then finish the pocket, sew elastic band on top edge of the pocket and attach it to its place. Make and attach the straps.

Almost ready! I made this green one first but with the pink one I did it in different order that is faster but also might need a bit more experience. With that one I finished the straps first, prepared the pocket, then pinned everything together and sew just once around it. Much faster.

Also the button holes would have been easier to make before attaching here. Now cut bias binding (45 degrees angle to straight grain) and sew it on place. Try it on its place to determine button places, attach buttons.


And the pink one as well so both children have their own with their favourite colours and favourite pictures.

Thanks for reading and welcome to follow me on Pinterest!

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