***Note: Yankee Bill–stop reading right now!***
When Walmart asked me to do a Father’s Day post I decided that it would be fun to sew Yankee Bill some sort of car organizer. After all my local Walmart has a good sewing section (yes, we are one of those lucky stores!), and I figured it would be a great excuse to get back into some sewing.
But then I got to the sewing department and sort of lost my mind. I blame it on all the pretty fabrics.
Never mind that I haven’t had my sewing machine out in almost a year. Never mind that I was going to be gone on a trip the week prior to this post being due. Never mind that I’m going crazy with spring gardening and mulching and school ending and everything else. I picked out not one but TWO organizers I wanted to make, and in two different fabric combinations.
That’s right–I picked out Simplicity 2553 and figured that I’d make the small seat back organizer shown on the upper right and the cool side of the seat organizer shown on the lower right.
For fabric I chose a “Harley-esque” flame pattern with orange to coordinate, and a sort of muted fall tree and leaf pattern that is a bit camouflage like with a coordinating green (you can see the bolts in the picture above behind the piece she is cutting). My thought process was that he’d have a set of both the side of organizer and the small back of seat organizer (which he could flip around to the front when he doesn’t have a passenger) for both his truck and his car that he drives to work each day.
That’s 4 projects folks. As I said, I lost my mind.
These projects required the pattern, two colors of fabric for each item, double fold bias tape in a color that either matched or coordinated, coordinating thread, parachute buckles, velcro and fusible interfacing (I used the heaviest craft type). All of that I found easily at my Walmart sewing section. I had some of the webbing for the straps at home already and I somehow missed the fact that I needed “Polyester Fleece”–which is not the stuff you use for blankets but rather something that looks a bit like a really super flat quilt batting–it’s to add padding and a bit of bulk. I wound up picking that up later.
After getting an extension on the due date and getting back from my trip (seriously–the folks at Walmart are SO super to work with) I got to work. The first part of making any pattern is the least glamorous. You really need to wash and dry any fabric you are going to use so that any shrinking it is going to do happens BEFORE you cut anything out or sew anything together. Once it’s washed and dry then you have to iron it all so that it will be wrinkle free and hang right.
Then I took the pattern and looked at the directions. That’s right–make sure you check the directions folks. You need to have an idea of how you will be sewing this thing and make sure you didn’t forget any materials or notions you need. I notice that the way this particular pattern was constructed every single piece was made from 2 identical pieces basted together with a layer of interfacing in between. Then those pieces had bias tape added in various ways and the pockets were sewn together sort of in layers.
Since I had an idea of what I was doing, it was time to cut everything out.
I try to streamline things whenever I can–so I laid the two different sets of fabric on top of each other, pinned the pattern pieces through both layers and was able to cut out the fabric for both the “camo” sets and the “flame” sets simultaneously. then I laid the pieces over a double layer of the fusible interfacing and cut out both patterns worth of that as well. Similarly I cut out the padding layers for each pattern.
The directions had you ironing on the interfacing to each piece as you were getting ready to baste it and add it into the correct “layer” of the organizer. Again streamlining, I just went ahead and did them all at once for all four items. Then I pinned the layers together and did the basting around each piece for all four items. Once that was done I followed the instructions as written for just the small back of seat organizer and worked on just the Harley-esque patterned one.
This pattern wasn’t hard, but it was fiddily. I wouldn’t recommend it for a brand new sewer. There were a few places where I misunderstood how it was being constructed and had to rip out a seam (at least twice). I have not done much with bias tape so I found that part a bit nerve wracking and in a few places had to go back and sew again since I didn’t catch the bias tape on the back. I just didn’t want to mess with machine sewing the velcro, so I’ll be adding that by hand. The very final piece of construction when I had all the layers together and was trying to encase that entire thickness at the bottom with the skinny bias tape was a bit of a pain (that was in total 10 layers of fabric, 5 layers of very stiff interfacing and a layer of padding plus the bias tape–it was THICK). But when it was all done I was so dang proud of myself.
I mean seriously, it looks fantastic! In person it’s much more impressive. You can’t really see the pockets well in the photo, so I made this really cheese-y version to show you where all the pockets are and to highlight the fact that there are 3 pockets in the front:
As for the rest? Well I’ll be working on the side of seat organizer tomorrow (and will update with a picture when it’s finished). Since I’ve already done all the cutting, fusible interfacing and even all the basting for all three of the other projects they should be completed fairly quickly. Pinning and sewing on all the various bias tape is what will slow me down.
Even though it will be done this week I’ll probably reserve the “camo” set for Yankee Bill’s Birthday in August. Because seriously–not only was sewing 4 projects too much to do, it was really too much to give all at once..
Now I had a due date to share this with all of you well before Father’s Day–but completing the one project really just took me a day. If you already know how to sew and wanted to make something similar you could work on it for a few evenings and get it done in plenty of time for Father’s Day on June 16!
What do you think of my insanity and my project?