For years I had an “unmentionables drawer.” This had a double-meaning (double entendre for my fancy-schmancy friends): I kept my unmentionables in there (undies and the like), but it was also a drawer I preferred not to mention because it was such a MESS. I was always digging around, looking for something, tossing things about like a giant salad. Yikes! This easy over-the-door, nine-pocket caddy is much better at keeping my fine-wear and lingerie tidy and within reach. Plus, the Woodland Delight fabric is so bright and fun. You could also use the big pockets for larger jewelry, like beads and bangles. Even lightweight active wear, such as yoga tops and running shorts could be easily stashed.
Paula Prass’ Woodland Delight collection is one of our favorites here at Sew4Home. The rich, saturated colors and bold designs just make me smile. I need to be smiling when I pull out my undies… don’t you?
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome 3160QDC)
Fabric and Other Supplies
- 1¾ yard of 44-45″ wide fabric for caddy front and pockets: we used Paula Prass’ Woodland Delight Pebble Stone in Brown
- ½ yard of 44-45″ wide fabric for binding: we used Paula Prass’ Woodland Delight Brick Path in Brown
- ¾ yard of 54″ wide heavy white cotton duck or canvas: we used white cotton duck
- ¾ yard heavyweight fusible interfacing: we used Pellon’s Décor Bond
NOTE: For more about this topic see: Understanding Interfacings
- Two 1-9/16″ drapery grommets to coordinate with fabric (they come in packs of 8; you will only use 2): we used Dritz®Home Drapery Grommets in Pewter (they’re snap-on!)
- All purpose thread to match both front fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pencil or pen
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Straight pins
- Tape measure
- Cut one 21″ x 31″ rectangle from the main body fabric (Woodland Delight Pebble Stone in Brown in our sample).
- Cut three 12″ x 22″ rectangles for the pocket panels also from the main body fabric.
- Cut one 21″ x 31″ rectangle from the cotton duck/canvas (white cotton duck in our sample).
- Cut six 2½” x width of fabric (WOF) strips from the binding fabric (Woodland Delight Brick Path in Brown in our sample).
- Cut one 21″ x 31″ piece from the heavyweight fusible interfacing.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
The caddy body
- Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of thecotton duck/canvas piece (the caddy back).
- Layer the caddy front (the Brown Pebble Stone) and the caddy back (the cotton duck) WRONG sides together, matching all raw edges.
- Using a long basting stitch and a ½” seam allowance, sew around the entire outside edge to hold these layers together. Set aside.
NOTE: A basting stitch is simply a straight stitch set at a very long stitch length; you don’t back tack or lock the seam at the beginning or end because the stitch is used to temporarily hold things together until a final seam in is in place.
Preparing the pockets
- Fold and press each of your three pocket panel pieces in half widthwise, wrong sides together. Set aside.
- Fold and press three of the binding strips in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.
NOTE: These are the binding strips for each pocket. You will use the remaining three for the door caddy body later.
- Pair up one binding strip to one pocket panel.
- Line up the raw edges of the folded binding with the raw edges of folded pocket panel. In other words, the folded edges of both pieces are facing away from the raw edges. Pin in place.
NOTE: Each binding strip will be longer than the pocket piece; that’s okay… you can trim off the excess once it’s sewn.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, sew the binding to each pocket piece. Press the binding up, away from the pocket. Trim off the excess binding from the sides.
- Using an overcast stitch, a zigzag stitch, or a serger, finish the raw edges along both sides of each pocket panel.
- Fold the binding over to the back of the pocket panel, aligning it just beyond the previous stitching line. Make sure your fold is even along the length of the pocket panel. Press in place.
- On the front of each pocket panel, place pins ‘in the ditch’ of the binding seam line, which is right along the seam line of the panel and binding. You will remove the pins as you sew your seam.
- Using a straight stitch, sew ‘in the ditch’ – again, this is right along the seam line of the panel and the binding.
NOTE: You can sew in the ditch with a regular presser foot, you just need to be very careful placing your foot on the fabric and aligning your needle. Then, sew slowly and keep your fabric along running along a needle plate guide line. We’re very lucky to have Janome as our signature sponsor, because they have a wonderful Ditch Quilting foot that worked great for this project. It has a handy guide that runs along the previous seam to keep the ditch stitching perfectly straight.
- Fold back both sides of each pocket panel ½”. Press in place.
- Place each pocket on a flat surface with the right side (the front side) facing up.
- Line up a tape measure along the bottom edge of each pocket panel. Your overall pocket panel should measure approximately 21″.
- Using a fabric pencil or pen, place a mark at 7″ and 14″. Repeat for the remaining two pocket panels.
- Fold and press at the marked lines. These are your pocket sections.
- Again, place the pocket pieces wrong side up with your tape measure running along the bottom.
- You are going to make marks at specific points in order to create the pleats of each pocket. Place a mark at each of the following measurements, working from left to right:
For the left pocket: 3″, 3½” and 4″
For the middle pocket: 10″, 10½” and 11″
For the right pocket: 17″, 17½” and 18″
- To make each pleat, pinch the outside marks and fold them in to the middle mark. For example, for the left pocket: pinch the fabric at the 3″ mark with your left hand, pinch the fabric at the 4″ mark with your right hand, then fold both sides in to meet in the middle at the 3½” mark. Press well.
- Repeat for each pocket on each pocket panel.
- Using a basting stitch, sew across each pleat close to the edge to hold it in place.
- Here’s what your finished and basted pleat looks like from the bottom… it’s like two little “Zs”.
- Set all pocket panels aside.
- Place the caddy body right side up on a flat surface. Trim the seam allowance to 3/8″ from the basting line previously sewn. You used a ½” seam allowance, so this means you’re trimming off 1/8″.
NOTE: Pay attention to the overall size of the door caddy; make sure it’s even all around and square at each corner.
- Using a straight stitch and a ¼” seam allowance, sew the three remaining binding strips together end-to-end to create one long strip. Press all seams open.
- Press the entire long binding string in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.
NOTE: Because our project has a definite front and back, we decided to bind the edge in the same manner we bound the pockets. This allows for a clean bound edge on the front with the stitching line only showing on the back. This is different than how we’ve instructed in other tutorials for binding reversible items, such as blankets and throws.
- Starting in the middle of one side or the middle of the bottom, line up the raw edges of the folded binding with the raw edge of the caddy body. Leave about a 6″ tail. Pin in place.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, start sewing the binding to the door caddy edge. Go from your starting point (remember to leave that 6″ tail) to the first corner.
- Stop at the corner. Raise the needle and the pressure foot. Pull the caddy out slightly from under the needle to the left of the machine. You do not need to cut the thread.
- Rotate the caddy. To turn the corner, bring the folded edge of your binding up. This automatically creates a pleat and a 90˚ corner. Pin. Line up the next side’s raw edge with the raw edges of the binding, working your way to the next corner. Pin in place.
- Place the caddy back under the needle and foot to continue sewing the binding, starting about ¼” in from the top edge.
- Repeat these same steps at each corner.
- When you are approaching where you started, stop about 8″ short of this point and back tack. This will allow you space to join your binding end-to-end, and then attach it to the caddy for a clean finish.
- With the 6″ tail you left at the beginning, and the tail you have at the end, unfold the binding strip and place the two binding tails right sides together.
- Determine the point where you can sew a straight seam (just like you did when you joined the binding pieces end-to-end at the start), allowing your binding to lay flat against caddy. Pin the ends together at this point.
- Pull the binding away from the caddy so you can place the it under the foot of your sewing machine.
- Sew a seam where you pinned the binding. Trim the tails to a ¼” seam allowance. Press open.
- The binding should now be a perfect fit against the caddy. Press this loose section of the binding in half wrong sides together (into its original shape).
- Pin the raw edges of the binding to the raw edge of the caddy.
- Finish sewing binding to the caddy from the point where you stopped to the point where you started, matching your seam lines.
- Press the binding up and away from the caddy.
- Fold the binding over to the back of the caddy, aligning it just beyond the previous stitching line. Make sure your fold is even all around the edge. You’ll probably need to futz with the corners a little bit to get the pleats right. Press in place.
- As you did with the pocket binding above, on the front of the caddy, place pins “in the ditch” of the binding seam line, which is just below your original seam line. You will remove the pins as you sew your seam.
- Using a straight stitch, sew ‘in the ditch’ – again, this is right along and just below your original seam line.
NOTE: As I mentioned above, this is a slightly different binding method than we’ve presented before, and if you’re brand new to binding, you might want to review our two tutorials to give you a solid, overall understanding of binding techniques: How to Make Faux Mitered Corners and Bias Tape: How to Make It & Attach It .
- Place the caddy right side up on a flat surface.
- Using a fabric marking pen or pencil and a see-through ruler or tape measure, you will mark the pocket positions. For each pocket panel, you will be marking the position of the bottom, the left and right sides, and the pocket sections.
- Place a long ruler or tape measure at the center, with the top of the ruler at the top of the door caddy (the top of the binding).
- Down the center, place marks at 14½” from the top, 21″ from the top, and 28½” from the top.
- Move your ruler so it is 1″ in from the binding seam (the ‘stitch in the ditch’ seam line, NOT the outside edge of the binding) along the left side of the caddy, and make the same three measurements (14½” from the top, 21″ from the top, and 28½” from the top).
- Repeat with your ruler 1″ in from the binding seam along the right side of the caddy
- Connect each of these three sets of marks to make on long horizontal line.
NOTE: Each line should be approximately 18″ long (the finished length of the pocket pieces with their pleats in place).
- Now, place your ruler along each horizontal line, and mark at 6″ and 12″ (this is where each previously folded/pressed pocket section should line up and where you will stitch the vertical seam lines to create your pockets). Finally, place marks at the ends of each horizontal line, 6″ up (for the depth of each pocket).
- Pin each pocket panel in place, using the lines and marks as your positioning guides.
- Using a straight stitch, edgestitch each pocket panel in place. Start to sew at the top of one pocket side, stitch down, pivot at the corner, go along the bottom, pivot at the opposite corner, and go up the other side to finish. Be sure to back tack at the beginning and end of each pocket panel, and be careful to keep all your layers flat when stitching over your pleats.
- To sew the pocket sections, start at the bottom line of edgestitching and sew to the top of the pocket along the pressed folds from before. You should also be able to get a glimpse of the marks you made at 6″ and 12″ from the panel’s edge. Use this to align your foot to start. Again, be sure to Back tack at the beginning and end.
To better understand how to use Drapery Snap-on Grommets, see our tutorial: How to Use Snap-On Grommets.
- Using the template that comes with the grommets, mark the position of each hole at the upper left and right corners of the door caddy. We positioned ours ½” from either edge.
- Using a zigzag stitch, sew around the marked circle for each grommet’s position. We use a zigzag stitch here to help keep the fabric from fraying in case we ever needed to wash our door caddy.
- Cut out the circle, just inside the zigzag stitching.
- Place one half of the grommet in the hole from the wrong side.
- Snap on the other half on the opposite side.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Jodi Kelly