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Five-Pocket Sofa Arm (& More) Caddy: Go Back-to-School in Style

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Handy. Who doesn't want or need things to be handy? Have you ever heard anyone say, "No thanks, I'd prefer everything be just out of reach" ?!  Whether your back-to-school crew is struggling to keep their own bedrooms organized or they're heading off the tight confines of a dorm living, this caddy can help corral important items in just a few feet of space. The top section of the caddy is extra long (32") and should easily fit over most upholstered chair or sofa arms. It can also be slipped under a seat cushion, between a mattress and box spring, or even looped over a hanger in your closet to hold accessories and jewelry. 

We all have so many devices these days for our entertainment, it can be a challenge to keep them all together. It's hard to relax if you spend all your time popping up and down to fetch a remote, phone, tablet or book. This over-the-arm caddy is designed to keep the things you need close at hand. Use the caddy's five pockets to organize what you want and keep it all where you want. Thanks to the beautiful fabric from Hawthorne Threads, our caddy is both functional and fabulous!

It's designed to fit over the arm of a sofa, but as mentioned above, you can use it in other situations as well. We love the idea of placing it over the back of a chair or repurposing it in the closet. Simply loop the top over a hanger, clip in place with a couple of clothes pins, and you have a perfect caddy for small accessories. 

Gripper fabric on the back helps hold it in place even when loaded up.

The pockets are sized to fit the most common entertainment options, such as magazines and small books, smart phones, eReaders, digital tablets, and remotes. 

We recommend a blend of three fabrics for the best look. Be sure to check out the options at Hawthorne Threads. All their in-house collections are available in a number of color choices. 

We also suggest using a Walking or Even Feed foot to help handle the multiple layers on this project.

The caddy finishes at approximately 13" wide x 32" high. 

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • 2 yards of 44"+ wide cotton fabric for the caddy back and binding
  • 1 yard of 44"+ wide cotton fabric for the caddy front and angled pocket
  • ½ yard of 44"+ wide cotton fabric for the two main pockets
  • ½ yard of 45"+ wide medium weight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon 809 Décor Bond
  • 1 yard of 20"+ fusible fleece; we used Therm-O-Web Heat 'n' Bond Fusible Fleece
  • ½ yard of non-slip fabric; we used ONE package of Dritz® Anti-Skid Gripper Fabric
  • ONE ¾" - 1" button for pocket accent; we used a wood button, purchased locally - in the photo above, we show several button options which would look great
  • All purpose thread to match fabrics
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Straight pins
  • Hand sewing needle

Getting Started

  1. From the fabric for the caddy back and binding, cut the following:
    ONE 13" wide x 32" high rectangle for the back panel
    TWO 2" x 13" strips for the pocket binding
    From the remaining, cut enough 2" strips to equal approximately 94" in total length for the outer binding
  2. From the fabric for the caddy front and angled pocket, cut the following:
    ONE 13" wide x 32" high rectangle
    For the angled pocket, carefully fussy cut ONE 10½" wide x 14" high rectangle
    NOTE: For both pieces, make sure your "feature motif" is centered both top to bottom and side to side.
  3. From the fabric for the two main pockets, cut the following:
    ONE 13" wide x 15" high rectangle for the large pocket
    ONE 13" x 13" square for the small pocket
  4. From the gripper fabric, cut ONE 6" x 13" strip.
  5. From the medium-weight fusible interfacing, cut the following:
    ONE 12" x 7" rectangle
    ONE 12" x 6" rectangle
    ONE 9½" x 6½" rectangle
  6. From the fusible fleece, cut ONE 12" x 31" rectangle.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Caddy body

  1. Place the caddy back wrong side up and flat on your work surface.
  2. Center the fusible fleece on the wrong side of the caddy back. There should be ½" of fabric showing beyond the fleece all around. 
  3. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the fleece in place.
  4. Find the strip of gripper fabric. Finish the edges with a zig zag stitch.
  5. Flip the caddy back right side up and flat on your work surface. 
  6. Place the gripper fabric right side up (gripper side up) across the top of the caddy back. The top edge of the strip should be 4" from the top raw edge of the caddy back fabric. The ends of the strip should be flush with the raw side edges of the caddy back fabric. Pin the strip in place.
  7. Edgestitch the strip along both long, finished edges.
  8. Place the caddy front panel and the caddy back panel wrong sides together, sandwiching the fleece between the layers. All four sides of all the layers should be flush. 
  9. Pin the layers together at wide intervals, giving you ample room for your quilting stitches.
    NOTE: You can choose to thread the machine with a matching or contrasting color in the top and bobbin, depending on how much you want the lines of quilting to stand out. We used a contrasting thread.
  10. If possible, attach a Walking or Even Feed foot
  11. Lengthen your stitch. 
    NOTE: To determine your quilting lines, you can follow our diamond suggestion shown below, which was a lovely match with our Stitch Floral fabric. Or, you can follow a motif within your fabric. 
  12. Use a see-through ruler and a fabric pen or pencil to mark all lines. You are working on the right side of the fabric, so make sure the marking pen or pencil is one that will easily wipe away or vanish with exposure to the air. 
  13. Make a large "X" through the center of the front panel, drawing from the top right to the bottom left and the top left to the bottom right. Using these lines as your guide, draw additional lines at 4" intervals to the left and to the right to fill the panel.
  14. Quilt across the entire caddy, first in one direction and then in the opposite direction, following your drawn lines. 

Large caddy pocket

  1. Find the 13" x 15" pocket panel. Fold it in half horizontally, wrong sides together, so it is now 13" x 7½". Press to set a center crease. 
  2. Unfold, wrong side up, so the crease line is visible. 
  3. Find the 12" x 7" piece of fusible interfacing. Center the interfacing side-to-side and place one 12" side along the fabric's center crease line. You should have ½" of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on both sides and along the bottom. 
  4. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing in place. 
  5. Re-fold the pocket wrong sides together.
  6. Find one of the two 2" x 13" binding strips. Fold the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press to set a center crease. Unfold so the crease line is visible. Fold in each long raw edge to the center crease line. Press in place. 
  7. Re-fold along the original crease line and press again.
  8. Slip the binding strip over the top raw edges of the pocket panel and pin in place.
  9. Edgestitch in the binding in place, re-threading the machine if necessary with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin.
  10. Find the main quilted caddy panel. Place it right side up on your work surface. 
  11. Place the large pocket on the caddy panel 1" up from the bottom raw edge of the panel. Pin in place across the bottom edge.

    NOTE:
    The folded edge of the pocket panel is the bottom of the pocket. If you are using a directional fabric, make sure you flip the pocket to the correct side prior to pinning in place.
  12. Edgestitch the large pocket in place across just the bottom edge. |

Small caddy pocket

  1. Follow the same steps to create the smaller main pocket. Find the 13" x 13" pocket panel. Fold it in half horizontally, wrong sides together, so it is now 13" x 6½". Press to set a center crease. Unfold, wrong side up, so the crease line is visible. 
  2. Find the 12" x 6" piece of fusible interfacing. Center the interfacing side-to-side and place one 12" side along the fabric's center crease line. You should have ½" of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on both sides and along the bottom. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing in place. Re-fold the pocket wrong sides together.
  3. Find the remaining 2" x 13" binding strip, and following the same steps as above for the large pocket, create the top binding and edgestitch in place. 
  4. Set the small pocket aside.

Angled caddy pocket

  1. Find the 10½" x 14" decorative pocket panel. Fold it in half horizontally, wrong sides together, so it is now 10½" x 7". Press to set a center crease. Unfold, wrong side up, so the crease line is visible. 
  2. Find the 9½" x 6½" piece of fusible interfacing. Center the interfacing side-to-side and place one 9½" side along the fabric's center crease line. You should have ½" of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on both sides and along the bottom. 
  3. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing in place.
  4. When the interfacing is securely fused in place, refold the pocket panel right sides together. Unlike the other two pockets, on this pocket, the raw edges are the pocket bottom and the folded edge is the pocket top. Place the folded pocket on your work surface. 
  5. Find and mark the center of the top fold (5¼" in from each raw side edge).
  6. Along both raw side edges, measure 5" up from the bottom (the raw edge) and make a mark. 
  7. Using your see-through ruler and a fabric pen or pencil, draw a diagonal line from each side point to the center point.
  8. This creates a peak along the pocket's top folded edge.
  9. Trim along the drawn lines.
  10. With the pieces still right sides together, pin together along both sides and across the angled top. 
  11. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the angled top. Remember to pivot at the corners. At the center point of the angled top, we simply allowed the two lines of stitching to cross.
  12. Clip the corners and trim the top seam allowances down to approximately ⅛". 
  13. Press open the seam allowances and turn the pocket right side out through the bottom opening. Using a long, blunt-end tool, such as a chopstick or long knitting needle, gently push out the corners and the top point so all are nice and sharp. Press flat. 
  14. Find the small pocket. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface. Place the angled pocket right side up on top of the small pocket. The angle pocket should be centered on the small pocket, approximately 1¾" in from each side. Pin the two pockets together.
  15. Using a fabric pen or pencil, draw a vertical line down the center of the angled pocket, from the top point to the bottom raw edge. This splits the angled pocket into two sections.
    NOTE: Remember, you are again working on the right side of the fabric. Make sure you use a fabric pen or pencil that will easily wash or wipe away or vanish with exposure to the air. 
  16. Draw a second vertical line 1¼" in from the right edge of the angled pocket. This creates the pen pocket.
  17. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the angled pocket. Topstitch along each drawn vertical line.
  18. Then edgestitch along both outer side edges of the angled pocket. This secures the two pockets with four vertical seams.

Final assembly and binding

  1. Find the main caddy with the large pocket sewn in place. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface.
  2. Place the double lower pocket right side up on top of the caddy panel. The bottom and side edges of the caddy panel should be flush with the bottom and side edges of the double pocket. This means the double pocket is overlapping the large pocket, leaving a large pocket reveal of approximately 2". Pin the layers in place.
  3. Machine baste the double pocket to the main caddy panel along the sides and across the bottom, staying close to the outer raw edges.
  4. Find all the remaining binding strips. Stitch them together, end to end, at right angles to create small diagonal seam lines. You should end up with approximately 94" of binding.
  5. As you did above for the pocket binding strips, fold the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press to set a center crease. Unfold so the crease line is visible. Fold in each long raw edge to the center crease line. Press in place. Re-fold along the original crease line and press again.
  6. Starting at the center of the caddy bottom, slip the binding over the raw edges and continue wrapping around the entire perimeter.
  7. Miter each corner for a crisp turn. 

    NOTE:
    When pinning through so many layers at once, things can easily shift. You may find it helpful to pin the front side of the binding to the caddy top first, then flip the caddy and pin the back in place. This helps keep everything lined up.
  8. Edgestitch the binding in place around the entire perimeter of the caddy. 
  9. Stop approximately 2" from the end and lock your stitch. 
  10. Overlap the head of the binding by about 1" and trim away any excess binding. Turn under the raw end of the binding tail and lay it back down into position to create a finished overlapped end. 
  11. Drop your needle back down exactly where you stopped and finish the edgestitching seam. 

    NOTE:
    If you are new to working with binding, we have two handy tutorials: A Complete Step-by-Step For Binding Quilts & Throws and Bias Binding: Figuring Yardage, Cutting, Making, Attaching.
  12. Find the button. 
  13. Handstitch the button in place at the top point of the angled pocket. 

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Leah Wand

Section: 

Comments (4)

mary coakley said:
mary coakley's picture

I like your caddy very much and as someone who constantly cannot find the remote its totally practical.

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

@mary - Thanks! You can never have too many organizers, right?! 

madhu said:
madhu's picture

Thats a good one. I would love to make it and gift it to my husband. Thanks for sharing. 

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

@madhu - That sounds like an excellent idea! So glad you like the project.

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