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FreeSpirit-Rowan 10&10 Series: Closet Hanger Safe in Tanya Whelan/Petal Sateen

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Today in our 10 Designers & 10 Collections series, we step into the romantic world of Tanya Whelan and her Petal Sateen collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics with our now-you-see-it-now-you-don't Closet Hanger Safe. We originally designed this clever little storage solution for the frequent travelers out there. It's perfect to slip onto a hotel hanger, fill with your valuables, then cover up with a hanging garment. But it works equally well in your own closet. It's also a great way - when you're traveling or even just planning your daily work wardrobe - to collect all the accessories that go with a particular outfit. Put lingerie, jewelry, scarves and belts into the zippered and slip-in pockets, then hang up the outfit itself over the Safe. Everything you need for that's day outfit in one handy place! Even with double zippers, clever pockets, ribbon ties and more, the Hanger Safe is surprisingly easy to make.

We made both a pretty floral version as well a more masculine striped version. We love the soft colors of Tanya's collection. They have a warm romantic tone without being overly fussy, and the sateen weight substrate is amazing to work with. As always, we recommend reading through the directions once or twice to really cement the steps in your brain. As we often say, "Make it in your head first, then start sewing!" 

Our thanks to the great folks at FreeSpirit and Rowan Fabrics for sponsoring these four weeks of Resolution Inspiration from ten of their amazing designers. What's Tanya's resolution? It's one I think we can ALL relate to:

"My resolution is to get my work areas organzied and really, actually keep them organized! Also, to get my teenagers alarm clocks and try to trust them to get up by themselves."

Petal Sateen came out in November of 2012. Check out the Westminster Fibers Retail Locator for shopping options near you; we will be continuing to add shops throughout this first week of the series, so if you don't see your fave right away, check back in a day or two. Remember, not all shops take delivery and/or display fabrics on the same schedule, so actual in-stock dates may vary. Also, you can always ask your favorite local independent fabric retailer to special order fabric for you. Petal in a quilting weight is coming this spring. You can sign up for a notification of its arrival at Fat Quarter Shop

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • 1 yard of 54-55" wide cotton sateen (decorator weight) for the body of the safe, the back pockets and the zipper end tabs; we used Petal Dot in Pink (SATW058-Pink) and Petal Dot in Red (SATW058-Red) both from the Petal Sateen collection by Tanya Whelan for FreeSpirit Fabrics
  • ¾ yard of coordinating 54-55" wide cotton sateen (decorator weight) for the front pocket and straps; we used Sweet Rose Bouquet in Parchment (SATW055-Parchment) and Wallpaper Stripe in Red (SATW057-Red) from the Petal Sateen collection by Tanya Whelan for FreeSpirit Fabrics 
    NOTE: We used the stripe fabric for the pocket and straps on our Red sample, but opted to stay with the main pink dot for the straps on our Pink sample. The straps require just FOUR 2" x 13" strips and so can be cut from one WOF 2" strip from the 54" sateen fabric. 
  • 1 yard of 44-45" wide medium-weight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon 809 Décor Bond 
  • 1 yard of 20" wide light-weight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon 950F Shir-Tailor®
  • TWO 16" standard zippers; we used Coats Polyester All-Purpose Zippers in Dogwood (#155)
  • ½ yard ⅜" wide ribbon for front pocket closure
  • ½ yard of ⅛" wide ribbon for the zipper pulls
    NOTE: We purchased our ribbons locally and chose colors to best coordinate with both the fabric and the zippers.
  • All-purpose sewing thread in colors to match fabrics
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • See-through ruler
  • Straight pins 
  • Seam gauge 
  • Seam ripper
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Hand sewing needle

Getting Started

All our pieces were carefully fussy cut to make the best use of all the beautiful motifs in Tanya's Petal collection. If you are new to this technique, check out our tutorial on How To Fussy Cut

The sample shown in our in-progress photos is our Red Hanger Safe. The Pink Hanger Safe was made following the exact same steps. The only difference, as mentioned above, was the choice to the make the straps for the Pink Closet Safe from the main dot fabric rather than the front pocket fabric.

  1. Download and print Hanger Safe Piece 1, Hanger Safe Piece 2, Hanger Safe Piece 3, and Hanger Safe Piece 4
    IMPORTANT: Each pattern consists of ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print these PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Cut out the four pattern pieces along the solid lines.
  3. Butt the four pieces together to create the full pattern, following the assembly arrows drawn on the pattern. Do NOT overlap. Tape together
  4. From the fabric for the for the body of the safe, the back pockets and the zipper end tabs (the Petal Dot fabrics our samples), cut the following: 
    Using the pattern, cut TWO pieces
    ONE 17" wide x 2" high rectangle
    ONE 17" wide x 5¾" high rectangle
    ONE 17" wide x 5½" high rectangle
    FOUR 1" x 2" tab rectangles
  5. From the fabric for the front pocket and straps (the Wallpaper Stripe and Sweet Rose Bouquet fabrics our samples), cut the following: 
    TWO 17" wide x 12" high rectangle
    FOUR 2" x 13" strips for the straps
  6. From the medium-weight fusible interfacing (Pellon's Decor Bond in our sample), using the pattern, cut TWO pieces.
  7. From the lightweight fusible interfacing (Pellon's Shir-Tailor in our sample), cut the following:
    ONE 17" x 2" rectangle
    ONE 17" x 5¾" rectangle
    ONE 17" x 5½" rectangle
    ONE 11½" x 16" rectangle
  8. Cut the ⅜" ribbon length in half into TWO 9" lengths.
  9. Cut the ⅛" ribbon into TWO 5" lengths.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Main panels

  1. Find the two main fabric pieces (the Red Dot in our photo sample) and the two interfacing pieces you cut using the assembled pattern.
  2. On the interfacing pieces, measure 2" down from the top curved edges and make a mark. Do this on both sides. 
  3. Using a see-through ruler and rotary cutter, cut ½" from both sides from the 2" mark down to each bottom corner, then cut ½" off the bottom. 
    NOTE: You can use scissors, but a rotary cutter makes this step faster and easier. If you only have scissors, first draw a line to follow.
  4. Place one trimmed interfacing piece on the wrong side of each main fabric piece. There will be ½" of fabric showing along the sides and bottom; only the top curved edges will be flush. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing in place.

    NOTE:The reason for cutting back this interfacing is to keep it out of the seam allowance. Without first trimming, the multiple layers of the heavier sateen plus the interfacing would be too hard to turn and work with.

Front pocket

  1. Find the two 17" x 12" contrasting rectangles (the Wallpaper Stripe in our photo sample) and the 11½" x 16" piece of lightweight interfacing. 
  2. Place the interfacing on the wrong side of one of the two fabric pieces, aligning the top edges of the two layers. This will leave ½" of fabric showing beyond the interfacing along both sides and across the bottom. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing in place.
  3. Place the fused rectangle and the plain rectangle right sides together. Find the exact center point along the top of the plain piece and mark with a pin.
  4. Find one of the 9" lengths of the ⅜" ribbon. Pin the ribbon at the center point mark. One end of the ribbon should be flush with the top raw edge of the fabric.
  5. Pin the layers together along the top edge only. sandwiching the ribbon between the layers.
  6. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch together along the top edge only, securing the ribbon in place. Press the seam open.
  7. Fold the two layers wrong sides together, pulling out the ribbon. Press well, making sure your seam is right along the top edge.
  8. Edgestitch across the top.
  9. Place one main fabric panel right side up on your work surface. Place the front pocket panel on top of the main panel, aligning the sides and the bottom edge. Pin the layers together along the sides and across the bottom.
  10. Find the remaining 9" length of ⅜" ribbon. Pin it at the center top raw edge of  the main panel so it lies right on top of the ribbon stitched in to the pocket panel. 
  11. Machine baste the second ribbon length in place within the seam allowance.
  12. Set the in-progress front panel aside.

Back zippered pockets panel

  1. Find the two zippers and the four 1" x 2" fabric tabs.
  2. Place one tab right side down on each end of each zipper. The tab should cover up the zipper stop and be approximately ½" in from the raw pinked end of the zipper. On the bottom of the zipper, simply pin in place.
  3. On the top of the zipper, open the zipper first, then pin in place.
  4. For each tab, stitch straight across, through both layers, at approximately 1" in from the pinked end of the zipper. You want to stitch just below (zipper top) and above (zipper bottom) the zipper stops.
  5. Fold the tab back along the seam line and press. Edgestitch in place close to the pinked edge.
  6. Repeat for each end of each zipper. These tab ends will fill in any gaps within the pocket openings, creating a lovely finish on both ends.
  7. Find the three main fabric rectangles (17" x 2", 17" x 5½" and 17" x 5¾") and the lightweight interfacing cut to the same sizes. 
  8. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing piece on the wrong side of the matching fabric piece. 
  9. Press under the bottom 17" raw edge (if your motif is not directional, just pick one side) of the 2" strip ½" to create a clean folded edge. 
  10. Unzip one zipper. Place it right side up on your work surface with the zipper pull to your left. 
  11. Center the folded edge of the 2" strip along the top of the zipper. The folded edge should be approximately ⅛" from the zipper teeth. Pin in place.
  12. Attach a Zipper foot
  13. Edgestitch the top edge of the zipper to the bottom folded edge of the pocket strip. Start with with the zipper about half way open. 
  14. Stitch to the middle, where you're approaching the zipper pull. Stop with your needle in the down position. Lift up your presser foot. 
  15. Twist your fabric around slightly in order to be able to carefully close the zipper. 
  16. Re-position your fabric and finish sewing to the end. 
  17. Find the 17" x 5¾" piece. Press under the top 17" raw edge (if your motif is not directional, just pick one side) ½" to create a clean folded edge.
  18. Repeat the above steps, pinning and then sewing the top of the pocket piece to the bottom half of the first zipper. Take the time to carefully measure the distance from the folded edge to the teeth; you want it to match the ⅛" distance you used above.
  19. Press under the bottom 17" raw edge (the remaining raw edge) of the sewn 17" x 5¾" piece to create a clean folded edge. 
  20. Unzip the remaining zipper. Place it right side up on your work surface with the zipper pull to your left.
  21. Repeat the above steps, pinning and then sewing the bottom of the sewn 17" x 5¾" piece to the top half of the remaining zipper. As above, take the time to carefully measure the distance from the folded edge to the teeth; you want all the distances to exactly match. 
  22. Finally, find the 17" x 5½" piece. Press under the top 17" raw edge (if your motif is not directional, just pick one side) ½" to create a clean folded edge.
  23. Repeat the above steps, pinning and then sewing this top folded edge of the final pocket piece to the bottom half of the remaining zipper. 
  24. You now have a complete back panel made of three fabric rectangles and two zippers. The top, bottom and both sides are still raw edges.
  25. Fold under the top raw edge ½" and press well.

Assemble the back layers

  1. Find the remaining main panel (the one without the pocket and ribbons). Place it right side up on your work surface. Place the zippered pocket panel on top of the main panel, aligning the sides and the bottom edge. Lightly pin the layers together along the sides and across the bottom, then pin across the panel along the top folded edge.
  2. Re-attach your regular presser foot or Walking foot
  3. Edgestitch across the top folded edge of the pocket panel.
  4. Measure 3½" from the bottom of the top zipper down towards the second zipper. Use pins or draw a guide line across the entire width of the panel at this 3½" measurement.
  5. Topstitch across the width of the panel, following the guide line. We used our Janome Walking foot with its quilting guide bar to keep our line straight. This line of stitching creates the bottom of the top pocket. 

Make the straps

  1. Find the four 2" x 13" strips.
  2. Place two strips right sides together and pin along both 13" sides. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch along both 13" sides. Leave both ends open.
  3. Turn the sewn tube right side out. Press flat.
  4. Repeat to assemble the remaining pair of strips.
  5. Fold each sewn strap in half, aligning the raw ends. 

Assemble all the layers to finish

  1. Place the assembled front and back panels right sides together. 
  2. Find the original paper pattern. Transfer the markings for placement of both straps from the paper pattern to the top edge of the back zippered panel. Pin the straps in place. 
  3. The doubled raw ends should be flush with the top raw edge of the panel and the looped end should be hanging down against the panel. 
  4. Pin around the perimeter of the entire piece,the top, both sides and across the bottom. Along the bottom, leave an approximate 8" opening for turning. 
  5. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around the perimeter of the entire piece, the top, both sides and across the bottom. Remember to pivot at the bottom corners, curve at the top corners, and lock your seam at either side of the 8" opening left for turning.
  6. Clip the corners and notch the top curves.
  7. Turn the entire piece right side out through the bottom opening. 
  8. Push out the bottom corners so they are nice and sharp and gently round out the top corners. A chopstick or long knitting needle works well for this. 
  9. Press the entire piece well; you want it to be nice and flat. Steam and a pressing cloth is good for this step.
  10. Fold in the raw edges of the bottom opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Press flat.
  11. Thread a hand sewing needle and slip stitch the opening closed.
  12. Find the two 5" lengths of ⅛" ribbon. Fold one length in half, loop and knot it through the hole in the zipper pull, as if you were attaching a gift or price tag. Repeat with the second zipper pull. 
     

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas  
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

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Comments (67)

anette said:
anette's picture

will be doing one of these to take to yoga when I have to change and go to work from my workout :)

Audrey11 said:
Audrey11's picture

I'm in the process of making one of these. The directions have been very helpful so far, but I'm confused about one point. The 3 lightweight interfacing pieces attached to wrong side of the respective 3 zipper panels -- is the interfacing supposed to be left exposed on the inside of the pocket when the piece is finished? Would really appreciate any thoughts on this:)

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

@ Audrey11 - yes, you are correct, the interfacing is exposed to the inside of the pocket, however, because it's against the front, you really don't see it at all and it helps keep the layers at a minimum. Have fun.

ktvita said:
ktvita's picture

What a brilliant idea!!

My 2013 resolution is to sort out, proritize, actually use my stash and implement at least 3 of the projects from my to-do list!!! One quilt, One handbag/may be the clasp clutch in this 10& 10 series  and one skirt (yes want to start with a simpler one)! I've bookmarked so many projects and have bought many books on quilts, handbags, dress making and home decor in 2012.  

Picking one favorite designer is really hard.. I've collected fabric lines from Joel Dewberry, Ty Pennington, Jennifer Paganelli, Paula Prass, Sweetwater, Tanya Whelan ... these are the names I can think of at the top of my head right now.... and just love all other designers for their creativity!!! 

Okay, if at all I've to pick one now, I think it is Joel Dewberry or Ty Pennington:) well after seeing this project I change my mind, I think it's Tanya Whelan  now:)

DesignsbyJanet said:
DesignsbyJanet's picture

This is a great idea.  My 2013 goal is to make one of these.  Great hiding place.  Thanks.

DesignsbyJanet said:
DesignsbyJanet's picture

This is a great idea.  My 2013 goal is to make one of these.  Great hiding place.  Thanks.

Phawthorne said:
Phawthorne's picture

What a fabulous idea. Will be making these for sure. Love the Tanya Whelan line!!

 

goonybird said:
goonybird's picture

Cute idea! My sewing resolution is to sew more, and finish my projects! My favorite designer is Kaffe Fassett.

Holly Ann said:
Holly Ann's picture

Who wouldn't love a safe protected by a cardigan! Cardigan power! Love this idea. My 2013 plan is to sew more evenings than I do not sew even if it is just a few minutes in one evening.

Carmen Country Mouse said:
Carmen Country Mouse's picture

Love Tanya Whelan fabric designs! My resolution is to make at least one item a month for my new granddaughter!

Dupcodeb said:
Dupcodeb's picture

THat is a clever and cute idea!  I'll add it to my list of 2013 resolutions for sure! Anna Maria Horner is my favorite designer.

Teresaknits said:
Teresaknits's picture

What a terrific idea and really great for travel as well!  

ginamari said:
ginamari's picture

Ingenious indeed, and so practical - thank you! My aunt in the senior centre is just going to love this.

ginamari said:
ginamari's picture

Ingenious indeed, and so practical - thank you! My aunt in the senior centre is just going to love this.

sewalittle2 said:
sewalittle2's picture

Love this project! My resolution for 2013 is to spend way more time in my sewing room creating! Favorite designer is Joel Dewberry!

hollyfri said:
hollyfri's picture

Love Tanya Whelen designs! love the color combo of the light  pink and the deeper red rose , plus the patterns of the stripes and polka dots. These would make great handbags or even aprons or pillows... the list could go on and on. My 2013 resolution is to sew more gifts for family and friends. This will allow me to make a wide variety of items that Sew4Home has inspired me to do. I just love this site! I have made several things already and they always turn out as the instructions laid out. So professional too! Thanks Sew4Home!

Berninagal1 said:
Berninagal1's picture

Great idea to teach the different skills needed for the project, and something we can gift as well as for ourselves.

ggiffinrao said:
ggiffinrao's picture

My resolution is to learn how to make clothing that does not look "home-made". My favorite designer is Valori Wells!

EstateTailor said:
EstateTailor's picture

This tutorial brought back memories of a recent trip to Chicago and the hotel closet where it would come in handy for the next trip!

ChristyL said:
ChristyL's picture

I LOVE this idea!  Oooohhhh the things I could hide!  The fabric is really gorgeous too!

Cassandra Ryan said:
Cassandra Ryan's picture

OMG!!!  This is such a clever awesome idea.  I'm so gonna make one for myself, mom and sisters. 

jovy.ann said:
jovy.ann's picture

Such a clever idea.  Who would think to look in the shirts and sweaters for valuables?

Pam S said:
Pam S's picture

What a great idea. I don't travel much but having this in my closet would keep me from losing important stuff!

M5luke said:
M5luke's picture

Fabulous gift idea for those that have everything!  

Alsan said:
Alsan's picture

Yet another smart offering. Sew 4 Home is such a great site. I think this would be perfect in Philip Jacobs material. I Need to win some of it! 

klord said:
klord's picture

My New Years resultion is to make gifts for all the people I work with. This is a lofty goal and I will have to start early because there is about thirty people. My favorative designer is  Mark Cesarik.

corsetkitten said:
corsetkitten's picture

My 2013 sewing resolution is a 2-part resolution: 1) that I would like to become a better quilter--since I'm self taught and I'm only making miniature quilts (1:6) and I make a lot of it up as I go along and it's not always "right" and 2) that my goal for 2013 is to start  a Log Cabin quilt to use as a quilt on the couch (and for guests) in our home. It will be the first human size quilt I try to make.

You have marvelous designers and it's really quite difficult to pick just one.  If I had to though I would go with Jane A. Sassaman. Her designs seem to be so vibrant and alive! They jump out and make me want to use them! (a close second is Mark Cesarik -- his designs and colors are ace too!)

You can contact me via email (I'm registered with the site). :)

This hanger-safe is a fantastic idea too! I'll make this for sure!

ssmullis said:
ssmullis's picture

This is a wonderful idea! I'm going to have to try it! My 2013 sewing resolution is to actually start machine quilting my own quilt tops. My favorite designer would have to be Jennifer Paganelli. Her fabrics are so full of joy! Thanks so much for this most awesome giveaway!

Rina said:
Rina's picture

This is one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" projects. Not only would it be great for the person who travels but also for keeping everything in one place and safe at home.

kplaposata said:
kplaposata's picture

A great idea, but I'd just have to remember where I've hung the safe!!  My memory is not what it should be.  Thanks for the project

Stacey Henderson said:
Stacey Henderson's picture

What a great idea.....Tanya always designs the most feminine of fabrics...so pretty!

Dina said:
Dina's picture

That looks like an awesome project. I've been working on zippered bags, and this may just be the perfect "next step" for me. itsdrucilla(at)yahoo(dot)com

AlphaBecky said:
AlphaBecky's picture

What an ingenious project!!!  Love your tutorials with so many cole-up photos.

Gale W. said:
Gale W.'s picture

Gorgeous fabrics and I love this pattern! Thank you!!!!

elimarie said:
elimarie's picture

So clever! And saves the problem of "hiding" jewlery so well you can't find it again....

jmp0801 said:
jmp0801's picture

Gorgeous fabric and a really neat project idea.  It's a new one to me but I'd like to put one of these safes together.

bec.nichols said:
bec.nichols's picture

This is a wonderful idea!  I think everyone in my family needs one of these babies.  Thanks for sharing!

connandvansmom said:
connandvansmom's picture

Oh my goodness I really need ot make this...What an awesome idea.

Savannagal said:
Savannagal's picture

That would come in handy when traveling. I need to learn how to install zippers too.

sarahkate said:
sarahkate's picture

Such a great idea! I have a feeling these will be made in the near future, I need a place for scarfs.

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