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Travel Accessories: Lingerie Caddy

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Mark Twain, one of my personal heros, had these wonderful thoughts on the topic of travel: "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." It's the season to pack your bags and venture onto new paths. But... you can't face new adventures without a bag full of your familiar stuff! We've come up with a series of nine travel accessories created in Anna Maria Horner's beautiful new Loulouthi fabric collection for Free Sprit Fabrics. This unique series is part of our second Free Spirit Artist Trio Series, which features Anna Maria. Today, we start with something to organize and hold the one thing you simply cannot forget: your underwear. Our eight-pocket lingerie caddy rolls up to discreetly stash your unmentionables in a tidy package within your suitcase.

When your get to your destination, unroll the caddy and clip it to a hanger in the closet. The width is a perfect fit for a standard hotel wooden hanger. The finished flat size of the caddy is approximately 14" x 21".

Our Travel Accessories series is sponsored by Free Spirit Fabrics, as part of our Artist Trio Series introducing Anna Maria Horner's amazing Loulouthi fabric collection. Today's project is also sponsored in part by Fat Quarter Shop, who graciously provided the two featured Loulouthi prints; they have a great selection of Loulouthi in stock and ready to ship.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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  • 1 yard of 44-45" wide fabric for caddy body and pockets: we used Loulouthi Summer Totem in AH37-Grapefruit by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics
    NOTE: You may need to purchase slightly more or less fabric based on the direction and size of your fabric's print. Extra fabric is recommended for large scale prints with one way motifs such as our Loulouhti.
  • ¾ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for caddy back: we used Loulouthi Hugs and Kisses in AH45-Pink Lime by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics
  • 2 yards of 20" wide lightweight fusible interfacing for caddy and pockets
  • 3½ yards (two packages) of extra wide double fold bias tape for top pocket edges and entire outside edge of caddy body: we used Wrights Extra Wide Double Fold bias binding in Berry
  • 2 yards of ½" - ¾" coordinating satin ribbon; we used Berry to match the binding
  • All purpose thread to match fabric and bias binding
  • See-through ruler or yardstick
  • Fabric marker, pen, or tailor's chalk for marking fabric
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. From the fabric you are using for the main body of the caddy and the pockets (Loulouthi Summer Totem in Grapefruit in our sample), cut the following:
    ONE 14" x 21" rectangle for the main body of the caddy
    TWO 20" x 10" rectangles for the upper and lower pockets
    ONE 18" x 12" rectangle for the middle pocket
    NOTE: We Yoga Sling.
  2. From the fabric you are using for the back of the caddy (Loulouthi Hugs and Kisses in Pink Lime in our sample), cut ONE 14" x 21" rectangle.
  3. From the fusible interfacing, cut the following:
    TWO 14" x 21" rectangles for the Caddy Front and Caddy Back
    TWO 20" x 5" rectangles for the upper and lower pockets
    ONE 18" x 6" rectangle for the middle pocket
  4. From the bias binding, cut the following:
    Cut ONE piece of binding 18" long for the top edge of the middle pocket.
    Cut TWO pieces of binding, each 20" long for the top edges of the upper and lower pockets
    Cut ONE piece of binding at least 72" long (2 yards) for the perimeter of the caddy

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Adhere the fusible interfacing to all pieces

  1. Place the Caddy Front wrong side up on the ironing board. Following manufacturer's directions, apply a matching 14" x 21" rectangle of fusible interfacing, making sure all edges match.
  2. Repeat for the Caddy Back.
  3. Fold the 18" x 12" pocket (the middle pocket) in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Press along the fold line, creating a sharp crease. The pocket is now 6" tall x 18" wide. If you're using a directional print as we did, pay attention to which way is up; the fold line will become the bottom edge of the pocket.
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  4. Unfold the pocket and place it wrong side up on the ironing board. Apply an 18" x 6" rectangle of fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric, aligning one 18" edge of the interfacing with the visible crease.
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  5. Fuse in place, following the recommended manufacturer's instructions. Re-fold the pocket wrong sides together and press again.
  6. Repeat these steps for the two remaining pockets (the upper and lower pockets), using the 20" x 10" rectangles of fabric and the 20" x 5" rectangles of interfacing.

Create the pockets

  1. Slip the 18" length of binding over the top raw edge of the middle pocket (opposite the folded edge), encasing the raw edge with the binding.
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  2. Edgestitch in place.
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  3. Repeat these steps to apply bias binding to the upper edge of the two remaining pockets (the upper and lower pockets).
  4. The two 20" wide pockets (the upper and lower pockets) will each be divided into three pockets. To figure out your division points, first find and mark the exact center of each pocket by folding the pocket panel in half. Mark this point with a fabric marker or pin.
  5. Along the bottom fold line of one 20" pocket panel, measure and mark 3-3/8" from the left raw edge of the panel AND 3-3/8" from the right side of the panel. Use pins or a fabric pencil to mark both of these spots. These are the center pocket marks.
  6. Now, measure 3-3/8" from the first right hand mark and 3-3/8 from the first left hand mark. These will be the marks for the two pocket seams
  7. Finally, make additional marks 1" to the left and to the right of EACH original mark (the center, the outside left and the outside right).
  8. Make a pleat at each set of three marks. To do this, pinch the fabric together at outside marks, which means you are pinching ½" on either side of your mark - the mark becomes the edge of your fold. Fold these two sides (the two 'pinched' pleats) together to meet in the middle at the center mark. This is definitely one of those things that is easy to do and really hard to explain. Here's a picture.
  9. Pin in place and press well. You've made a 1" box pleat.
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  10. Edge stitch along the lower edge of each pleat to hold in place for the remaining steps of construction.
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  11. Repeat to form the second 20" pocket panel.
  12. The middle 18" pocket panel is divided into just two sections.
  13. First, fold the panel in half and mark this point. This mark will be the panel's center seam.
  14. Next, along its bottom fold line, measure and mark 4½" from the left raw edge of the panel AND 4½" from the right side of the panel. Use pins or a fabric pencil to mark both of these spots.
  15. Make additional marks 1" to the left and to the right of EACH original mark (the the left and the right).
  16. Create two 1" pleats following the same steps as for the upper and lower pockets.

Place the pockets on the caddy

  1. Mark the position of the pockets with a horizontal line 7" from the upper edge of the caddy for the first row of pockets and 14½" from the upper edge of the caddy for the second row of pockets. The third row of pockets will be aligned with the lower edge of the caddy.
  2. Place the lower edge of the upper pocket panel along the 7" marked line. Align the raw side edges of the pocket panel with the raw side edges of the caddy. Pin in place. Edgestitch along each side of the pocket and across the lower edge, pivoting at the corners.
  3. You should still have your center, inner left and right pin/marks from your original marking and measuring above. After pleating, the center mark is still in the center and each of the outside marks should be approximately 4¾" from the outside raw edge of the pocket panel - one 4¾" from the left, one 4¾" from the right.
  4. At each of the three marks (center, left and right), create a line of pins, starting at the lower edge of the pocket. Work toward the upper bound edge of the pocket, keeping the fabric straight.
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  5. Topstitch a straight line from bottom to top through all layers, following the line of pins and removing them as you sew. Back tack or lock stitch at the top and bottom of each seam.
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  6. You've now divided the panel into three pockets. The center pocket is just slightly smaller than the two outside pockets.
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  7. Use the same measurements to create the lower row of pockets, aligning the lower edge (the folded edge) of the pocket with the lower raw edge of the caddy.
  8. The middle pocket panel is divided into two pockets. Place the lower edge of this panel along the second 14½" marked line. Edgestitch in place along the sides and lower edge of the pocket as you did with the upper and lower pocket panels.
  9. You should just have the one center mark left on this pocket panel. Create a line of pins at this center point and topstitch as above to create the pocket division seam for this panel.
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Assemble the caddy body and bind the perimeter

  1. Place the caddy front and caddy back wrong sides together, matching all edges.
  2. Cut each end of the satin ribbon at an angle and apply seam sealant to these cut edges.
  3. Fold the ribbon in half and baste the folded edge to the caddy back at the top center.
  4. Baste close to the edge around the entire perimeter.
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  5. Flip the caddy over to the front side.
  6. Measure in 7½" from left side of caddy along bottom edge and mark this point with your fabric pencil or a pin. Starting at this point, attach the binding around all edges of the caddy. You are using your final remaining 72" length of binding, which is enough for the entire perimeter plus about 4" extra to make a clean finish at the end.
  7. Be sure to fold and miter the binding at each corner.
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  8. When you return to the bottom edge of the caddy and are almost back to your starting point, stop (lock your stitch) when you get to within about 2". Remove the project from your machine.
  9. Cut away the excess binding so your binding tail extends about 1" past the binding starting point. Fold this tail end back ½", pin in place over the head of the binding, and finish the edgestitching. This clean-finished, folded end will now be 7" from both the left and right sides, which is exactly the midpoint of the bottom edge of the caddy.
    NOTE: Because our binding is fairly wide and the edges mostly straight, we went for the fastest method of binding: simply slipping it over the raw edges and edgestitching in place. If you are new to binding, there are a number of methods. Here are some of our tutorials and projects, which might help if you need a little extra step-by-step info:

Bias Tape: How To Make It & Attach It
How to Make Faux Mitered Corners
Italiano Kitchen: Bistro Placemats (French Binding)

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Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation & Instructional Outline: Michele Mishler



Comments (21)

Pegasusquilts said:
Pegasusquilts's picture

As a very frequent traveler, I suggest adding small ties or a button and loop at each top corner to tie the caddy to an ordinary hanger.  Hotel hangers often don't have the clips shown in the photo. 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

Pegasusquilts - Thanks for your suggestion! You're right; not all hotels offer pant hangers anymore. A button-and-loop could be a handy addition 

melfish said:
melfish's picture

Hello Liz, and fellow Sew4Home sewists,

I am really enjoying the huge range of tutorials on this website, and have already made a couple of your projects. I will continue to work my way through all of the fabulous organisation tutorials, until I have a range of beautifully matching accessories. (I also have the Heart & Ruffle Apron cut out and ready to go!).

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ melfish - We're not quite following what you did, but if it worked for you... that's what counts! There are just the three sets of pleats -- the inner lines are stitching lines only - so you make three sets of pleats (center, one left and one right) then use your inner two lines for the final pocket divisions. But again, if it worked with your divisions, that's grand. And yes, we are also fans of the Wonder Clips!

melfish said:
melfish's picture

Hi Liz,

I was in the middle of sewing when I realised what I'd done, and went back to the original instructions, so I'm sorry for the confusion! This will teach me for trying new projects when I'm supposed to be resting... but resting is so boring!

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, I have no idea what time it is in your neck of the woods!


Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

Hi Melissa - no worries at all - just happy it eventually all made sense . It's Thursday evening here -- not too horribly late!

JPS said:
JPS's picture

I have uploaded so many projects, and now this, I don't know when I will complete all of them. Great site.

sapna said:
sapna's picture

best website on sewing !! very inspiring projects : I had lost interest in sewing for past few years , your website has inspired me to  start again afresh .I have seen many sewing websites ,sew4home is THE BEST !! keep it up . my best wishes for your better future .

Chris Webster said:
Chris Webster's picture
Super idea - also so many lovely ideas on your site - I will be visiting it again.
PinkGranny said:
PinkGranny's picture
Great idea for traveling and it looks so easy! Why spend money on boring plastic accessories when you can have fun accessories like this pop out when you open your bags. Besides, with a bright roll-up like this you are less likely to leave it behind in the hotel room.
Erinsmon said:
Erinsmon's picture
This is very clever and pretty. I'm planning to make one for my best friends bridal shower gift (with a few surprises tucked inside!!). I have sewn for yrs, but somehow I never really knew what a fabric collection was til I started using so many of your awesome tutes. How'd I not get that?smilies/cool.gif
Heidi Wingerd said:
Heidi Wingerd's picture
Love the fabrics along with the entire project. Will make one (at least) for my own closet/wardrobe in my RV/home, as space for a variety of things is always odd. Might just order some yardage when we get to our next stop!
MicheleGranato said:
MicheleGranato's picture
For the person who wants to replace the ties with velcro... velcro snags delicates. I've learned that lesson a few more than I should have. I travel frequently and try to keep velcro out of my suitcase for that reason. I prefer the idea of the ties so I can roll to fit what I need. LOVE the idea of hanging in the closet; nothing touches a hotel drawer and I don't have to open my suitcase. The material you chose is gorgeous. This is something I will make and get a lot of use from. Thanks!
judi r said:
judi r's picture
I just returned from a trip that provided very limited storage. this would have been ideal. I'm getting out material as I send this!
liz1611 said:
liz1611's picture
good idea! i used to throw them all into a drawstring bag... this is a cute way of knowing where everything is, without rooting through the whole bag..also makes me think of sunday-monday organizer cubbyholes. also would add velcro closure and tabs instead of ribbon knots.

definitely on my to-do list! thanks!