This little caddy is a great size to sit on smaller surfaces. Finishing at 12” wide x 5” deep x 6” high, you can put on a desktop, bath or kitchen countertop, sewing table or anywhere you need some very pretty organizational help.
The pocket panel wraps all the way around and is divided into eight sections in a variety of sizes. A standard quilting cotton with a layer of mid-weight fusible is just right to create a firm, crisp set of pockets. Because it’s quilting cotton, the options for color and motif are virtually unlimited! Dig into your stash (what we did) or buy new to best match your favorite decorating style.
The main body of the caddy is a substantial canvas. We used what’s called #10 Duck Canvas, which was perfect without any added stabilization. If you have trouble sourcing this heavier weight, you could use a lighter canvas but would then need to add a layer, or even two layers, of a mid-weight fusible interfacing between the exterior canvas and the inner cotton lining.
Our thanks to our friends at Janome America for sponsoring this project. We are always especially grateful for our Janome studio machines when working with thicker layers. The power and precision of all the models in the Janome line is unequalled. In fact, although we do list a Walking/Even Feed foot or a built-in fabric feeding system as an option for this project’s construction; we didn’t need it at all. From start to finish, our fabric fed smoothly and evenly.
We did use the new Janome Bi-Level foot to create the beautiful topstitching you see along the top and bottom of the wraparound pocket. Take a look at our full review of this super handy specialty foot. It’s a must-have for so many applications.
At the top of each pocket division, you’ll spot a rivet that adds extra support when taking items in and out of the pockets. As you’ll see below, we added our rivets mid-way through construction – prior to the lining, so the interior of the basket remained completely clean. If you think you may want to store heavier items in the caddy, you could opt to add the rivets at the very end, inserting them through all the layers: pocket panel, exterior, lining, and the base of the handle. If this is your choice, consider getting double cap rivets with a longer stem.
As mentioned, because we used a #10 Duck Canvas, we did not use any additional interfacing between the exterior and lining on the sidewall of our caddy. However, we did add a super firm fusible interfacing to the base panel to insure the caddy would sit flat and stay stable as items were loaded in.
The caddy goes together with exposed interior seam allowances. This makes the overall construction so much easier and keeps the lining flat and smooth. We show you steps below for creating custom binding from the quilting cotton. This is the best look, but if you can find a good color match, you could also choose to use a packaged binding, such as Wrights Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Binding.
You can see some of the fun ideas we had for how to use the caddy in our photos here. From office tools to sewing notions to knitting/crocheting skeins and needles to a tabletop serving caddy for casual dining. What could you use it for?
With holidays around the corner, it would also make a delightful gift basket. Fill it with yummy homemade goodies or tiny wrapped treasures. The double looped handles make it easy to carry.
Again, the finished size is approximately 12” x 5” x 6”. The handles have a 5½” drop.
And, a big shout out once more to Janome America for their support, which allows us to bring you this project idea, its pattern, and all the step-by step instructions FREE of charge. Enjoy! To find out more about the amazing Janome machines, visit their website, follow them on social media, and – best of all – visit a local dealer for an in-person test stitch.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing machine and standard presser foot
- Zipper foot; optional but helpful for narrow topstitching
- Bi-Level Foot; optional, another very helpful foot for narrow topstitching
- Walking or Even Feed foot; optional, but can make handling the thicker layers easier – you could also engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system, such as the AcuFeed™ Flex system we love to use on many of our Janome studio machines – we opted for our standard feeding throughout the project
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ⅓ yard of 50”+ wide heavy canvas for the main exterior panel and base; we used #10 weight duck canvas in natural
NOTE: As mentioned above, the very heavy #10 canvas may be hard to source in your area. You can opt for a slightly lighter canvas, in which case, you’ll want to add a layer or two of mid-weight fusible interfacing between your exterior panel and lining panel.
- 1 yard of 44”+ wide quilting weight cotton for the pocket, lining panel, base lining, and the binding for the interior seams; we used a cut from our S4H stash: Icing Rose in Tangerine from the Sugar Bloom collection by Verna Mosquera for FreeSpirit Fabrics
NOTE: The yardage shown above allows a bit extra for fussy cutting the pocket’s outer panel.
- 1 yard of 45” + wide mid-weight fusible interfacing for the pocket; we used Pellon Décor Bond
NOTE: If you are unable to find the wider interfacing, you can piece together multiple pieces of narrower interfacing to stabilize the pocket.
- ¼ yard of 20”+ wide super firm fusible interfacing for the base; we used Pellon Déco Fuse
- 1 yard 1” wide webbing/belting for the handles in a color to coordinate with the canvas; we used a polyester webbing, which allowed the handles to stand up on their own more easily than would a cotton webbing
- FOUR double cap rivets and appropriate rivet setting tools; we used Dritz double cap rivets and tools in nickel
- All-purpose thread to match fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors and/or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Download and print the FOUR pattern piece required for the pocket.
IMPORTANT: This PDF contains FOUR 8 ½” x 11” sheets. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. The pattern is designed to print horizontally (landscape rather than portrait). There is a guide rule on each page to confirm your print out is to size.
- Cut out each of the pattern pieces along the solid lines. Using the printed arrows as a guide, line up the four sections (A, B, C, D) to create the full pocket pattern. Butt together the pieces, do not overlap, and tape.
- From the canvas fabric, cut the following:
ONE 35” wide x 7” high rectangle for the exterior side panel
ONE 13” wide x 6” high rectangle for the exterior base
- From the cotton fabric, cut the following:
ONE 35” wide x 7” high rectangle for the lining side panel
ONE 13” wide x 6” high rectangle for the lining base
ONE 2” x 36” strip for the base seam binding
ONE 2” x 8” strip for the side seam binding
Using the assembled pattern, cut TWO pocket panels – if possible, fussy cut the one exterior pocket panel to best center your chosen motif so it will look great all around when finished
- Cut back the pocket pattern along the dotted seam line, and use this trimmed pattern to cut ONE from the mid-weight interfacing.
- From the firm interfacing, cut ONE 12” x 5” rectangle for the base.
- From the webbing, cut TWO 14” lengths.
NOTE: If your chosen webbing is prone to raveling, you can tape the ends with clear cellophane tape.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Find the canvas base panel and the matching panel of firm interfacing. Center the interfacing on the wrong side fabric so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on all four sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
NOTE: This type of interfacing often takes more pressure and heat to achieve a tight bond. Be diligent.
- Find the exterior pocket panel and the matching panel of mid-weight interfacing. If you did not do a special fussy cut to determine which pocket panel will be the exterior, simply pick one panel for the job. Center the interfacing on the wrong side fabric so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
Prepare the seam binding strips
- This caddy goes together with visible interior seam allowances, allowing a flatter finish and easier construction. We recommend making custom binding from your cotton fabric for the best look, although you could certainly also work with purchased binding in a coordinating color. If making your own, find the two 2” strips of fabric.
- Fold each strip in half, wrong sides together, and press to set a center crease line.
- Unfold, wrong side up. Fold each long raw edge into the middle, meeting at the center crease line. Press well.
- Re-fold along the original center crease line and press once more.
- Set aside the lining binding strips.
- Here’s a shot of all the prepped elements ready to come together into your cute caddy.
Create the pocket panel
- Find the fused pocket panel and plain pocket panel.
- Place the two panels right sides together with all edges flush. Pin along the top curved edge and the bottom straight edge. The sides remain open.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along the top curved edge…
- … and along the bottom straight edge.
NOTE: As an alternative, you can stitch just the top curved seam first, trimming and clipping the curves, then turning right side out to smooth and press the curves. With the bottom wide open, you’ll have even easier access for smoothing. Once done, place the panels right side together again and stitch the bottom straight seam. This is just an option; when stitching both top and bottom as shown, both sides are still open to access those upper curves.
- Trim back the top curved edge to ¼” and generously clip the curves.
NOTE: For more information about sewing and clipping curves for a smooth finish, see our full tutorial.
- Press open the bottom straight seam.
- Turn the pocket panel right side out through one of the open sides. Use a long, blunt tool to smooth the curves. A knitting needle, chopstick or point turner would all work well. Press the pocket panel flat.
- The top curved edge need to be topstitched. This is where we pulled out the new Janome Bi-Level foot.
- Using it, we completed the curving topstitching seam, using a slightly lengthened stitch.
NOTE: For more about this cool foot, check out our review.
Place the pocket panel and rivets
- Find the exterior canvas side panel. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface.
- Position the pocket panel, also right side up, on the canvas panel. The bottom seamed edge of the pocket panel should sit 1¼” up from the bottom raw edge of the canvas panel. Pin in place along the bottom edge only.
NOTE: If you are concerned you do not have the required narrow specialty feet to do the final topstitching around the upper edge of the caddy, you can lower the pocket so it sits just 1″ up from the bottom raw edge. Once all your layering is complete, this will give you additional “clearance” to stitch past all the rivets.
- Using the same slightly lengthened stitch, sew across the bottom edge, through all the layers, to secure the pocket to the main panel. We again used our Janome Bi-Level foot.
- With the pocket stitched in place, use the original paper pattern to mark the four pocket division lines, one at each upper curve.
NOTE: Any time you are working on the right side of your fabric, make sure you are using a marking tool that will easily wipe away or will vanish with exposure to the air or the heat of an iron.
- Still using that same slightly lengthened stitch, stitch along each of the four pocket divisions. Start at the the bottom line of topstitching and sew up to the top line of topstitching – in other words, don’t cross the upper and lower topstitching lines.
- At the top of each pocket division line is a rivet. The steps for inserting rivets are summarized here. If you are brand new to this technique, you can check out our full, step-by-step tutorial on riveting.
- Use the cutting tool to create a hole at the top of each pocket division seam. As shown in the photo below, this hole should be just below the upper line of topstitching.
- Insert the double cap rivet from back …
- … so the stem pokes through at the front.
- Pop the front cap in pace and hammer, with the post and anvil tools, to secure.
Add the handles, layer exterior and lining, add vertical side “seams”
- Find the two lengths of webbing.
- Create a loop with each length of webbing. The loops are positioned on what will become the front and back of the finished caddy. The ends sit directly above each riveted peak. Place each end over a peak so the raw ends are flush with the upper raw edge of the canvas panel. Pin in place, double-checking to ensure there are no twists or turns in your loops. Baste each raw end in place.
- Place the exterior panel right sides together with the main lining panel, sandwiching the pocket and handles between the layers. Pin along the top edge only.
- Re-thread with thread to best match the canvas in the top and bobbin.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along the top edge only.
- Grade the seam allowance, cutting back the heavy canvas.
- Turn the panels right side out so they are now wrong sides together. Pull the handles up into their final position.
- Make sure the seam is running straight and true across the top edge. Press flat.
- Slightly lengthen the stitch and switch to a Zipper foot if possible.
- Topstitch along the upper edge through both layers.
NOTE: You will be passing “under” the peaks of the riveted pocket tops and so may need to gently pull the pocket out of the way so you can stitch by.
- Place the layered main side panel right side up and flat on your work surface. Find the paper pattern and use it to mark three “vertical side seams.”
- These seams not only allow the caddy to more easily form its final box shape, they are also helpful guides when inserting the base panel. They are marked in RED on the original paper pattern.
- With the machine still threaded with the thread to best match the canvas in the top and bobbin, and the stitch still slightly lengthened, stitch along each drawn line from the top of the panel, across the pocket panel, to the bottom of the panel.
Stitch the main panel into a “tube” and bind
- Fold the main panel exterior sides together, forming a tube. Pin in place.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the lining in the top and bobbin. Re-set for a standard straight stitch.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch the seam. We recommend a second line of stitching directly on top of the first seam for added stability. We used our Zipper foot, but any foot is fine.
- Trim back the seam allowance about ⅛” to ¼”. All the layers should flush, and you want to remove just a bit of the bulk so the 2″ folded binding will wrap correctly over this thick seam allowance. As always, err on the side of removing too litter rather than too much. You can always remove a bit more to facilitate the final wrap.
- Find the 8” length of binding. Open up one side of the binding and align the strip’s first crease with the original side seam. Adjust the binding so approximately ½” extends beyond the top raw edge. Pin in place.
- Wrap that extending end over the top to the “back” of the seam allowance.
- Stitch along in the visible crease line of the binding from end to end, running this new seam on top of the original seam allowance stitch line. You’ve secured the flat binding as well as the folded back end in this one seam.
NOTE: Yep – the binding is a different color in the photos above and below. This happens sometimes as we work through prototypes and steps. Concentrate on what’s happening and roll along.
- Flip over, pulling out and unfolding the opposite side of the binding.
- Re-fold the opposite side of the binding, completing the clean finish at the top, and wrapping it around the seam allowance so the folded edge sits just beyond the seam line. This is where you can, if need be, trim away a bit more of the bulk for a proper wrap. Pin in place.
- Continue pinning down the length of the seam allowance. If there is excess binding at the bottom; trim it flush.
- Flip back over to the original side you started with.
- Stitch in the ditch (stitch right along the original seam line) from the top to the bottom. If, as described, your fold at the back extends just beyond the seam line, this new seam catches and secures the binding in place. The process is similar to binding the edge of a quilt.
Create the base panel, insert the base panel and bind
- Find the interfaced canvas base panel and the plain lining base panel. Place the two panels wrong sides together and, using a ½” seam allowance, machine baste around all four sides.
- Along the bottom raw edge of the caddy, at each of the “vertical side seams,” snip into the fabric — just a small snip, about ⅜” deep. This will help with the insertion of the base panel.
- Turn the main body of the caddy lining side out. Set it upside down on your work surface.
- Set the base panel into the “tube” of the caddy so the base panel and the caddy are right sides together. It’s a bit like placing a lid upside down into a box.
- Lightly pin the base panel in place. This base panel must sit square and straight, which is why you have those handy markings on your caddy. The three “vertical side seams” – with their base snips – should align with three corners of the base panel. The final corner of the base panel lines up with the actual side seam of the caddy.
- When flipped right side up, as shown in the photo below, you can see how those small snips at each corner flare out to help the “tube” to conform to the rectangular shape of the base panel.
- Starting at the corner of the interfacing (which would be ½” in from the actual corner of the fabric), and using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along the first side.
- Stop the seam at the opposite corner at the corner of the interfacing. In other words, your seam is starting and stopping ½” in from the edge of the fabric panel.
- Remove the project from the machine. Turn the corner and pin along the next side of the caddy.
- Stitch each side in the same manner.
NOTE: These steps are summarized a bit here. If you are brand new, check out our full tutorial: How to Insert a Rectangular Base into a Tube.
- For extra security and stability, we recommend going around the base a second time, pivoting at each corner.
- Clip each corner at a clean diagonal and grade the seam allowance – as you did above for the caddy side seam. The photo below shows the caddy, still wrong side out, with the corners clipped and the seam allowance graded.
- The base seam allowance will also be bound but in a slightly different manner than the side seam.
- Find the remaining length of binding. Starting at the center point along one side, slip the binding over the trimmed seam allowance, like you’re slipping on a cap.
- Pin in place.
- The machine should still be threaded with thread to best match the lining in the top and bobbin and set to a standard straight stitch. We chose to use our Zipper foot.
- Stitch through the binding and seam allowance from the starting point of the binding to the first corner. Make sure you are catching both the front and back of the binding in this one seam. Lock your stitch.
- Remove the project, make a simple pointed fold to create a corner, and pin along the next side.
- Replace the project back under the presser foot, dropping the needle in at the corner, and stitch the next side. Repeat to go around all four sides. We used a simple overlapping finish at the start/end joint.
- Turn the caddy right side out and press.
Project Design: Anne Adams
Sample Creation: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever