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ScrapBusters: Doorknob Reminder Caddy

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Some mornings it feels like I make about 20 trips out to my car. Get all the way out there... Opps! No keys. Get all the way out there... Dang! Forgot a letter to mail. Get all the way out there... Hey! Where's my phone? It's exhausting, and it usually makes me late. Organizational experts suggest collecting everything you need for the next day in one handy place. For me that means one handy place that is virtually impossible to ignore. That's why we came up with today's Doorknob Reminder Caddy. If you have to touch it to open the door, chances are high you'll actually remember it. We created a two-sided, multi-pocket caddy with a loop that hangs right over the doorknob. In fact, you could just grab the whole caddy and toss it in your car - good to go. Now.... where did I put my lunch?

Our caddy is sized to fit standard business envelopes, an iPhone, a mini note pad, sunglasses, etc. And, we added a carabiner on the top loop to clip your keys. Of course, you can always size the pockets and "mail slot" up or down to best fit the bits and pieces of your life.

This is a dandy ScrapBusters project. We used the pretty Ogee in Lime Green from the Simply Style collection by Vanessa Christenson for Moda Fabrics leftover from our Weekend Wonders Returns with Fabric.com Colorful, Zippered Pencil Cases.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • ½ - ¾ yard of 44"+ wide cotton fabric for the main panel and all pockets; we used Ogee in Lime Green from the Simply Style collection by Vanessa Christenson for Moda Fabrics
    NOTE: The yardage is shown as a range because there is pattern matching involved to line up all the pockets with the base of the caddy. If you have an intricate motif, you may need more fabric. 
  • ⅛ yard or scrap of heavyweight fusible interfacing; we used 71F Peltex® I Ultra-Firm by Pellon
  • 1 yard of ½" wide cotton twill tape; we used natural
  • 1 yard (one card) of ⅝" Dritz® Fold-Over Elastic; we used lime green
    NOTE: You could use another type of binding, but we chose the Dritz® FOE because it's lightweight and super stretchy to easily go around the curved corners of the caddy. 
     
  • All purpose thread to match fabric, twill tape and binding
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Straight pins
  • ONE small carabiner: optional for attaching keys to the top loop

Getting Started

  1. Download and print out the Doorknob Caddy Pattern Piece.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Cut out the pattern along the solid line.
  3. From the fabric, cut the following:
    Using the pattern, cut TWO pieces

    TWO 6" wide x 8" high rectangles for two of the front pockets
    ONE 6" wide x 7" high rectangle for the third front pocket
    ONE 5" wide x 11" high rectangle for the back mail slot sleeve
  4. From the interfacing, use the pattern to cut ONE piece.
  5. From the twill tape, cut ONE 30" length.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Caddy front

  1. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of one of the main panels. This will become the caddy front panel. Set aside.
  2. Find the two 6" x 8" rectangles.
  3. Fold both pieces in half, right sides together, so they are now 6" x 4". 
  4. Pin these slightly taller pockets together along the 6" raw edges.
  5. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch together. Press open the seam allowance and turn right side out. 
  6. Press flat. The seamed edge is the bottom edge of each taller pocket.
  7. Find the 6" x 7" rectangle. Fold it in half, WRONG sides together, so it is now 6" x 3½". This slightly shorter pocket is not sewn.
  8. Find the caddy front panel (the interfaced panel). Place it right side up on your work surface.
  9. Measure 3½" down from the top raw edge (measure along the straight top edge, not into the curved corners).
  10. Use a fabric pen or pencil to draw a horizontal line at this measurement or mark with pins.
  11. Place the top edge (the folded edge) of the first pocket along this marked line. Adjust the pocket to line up with the motif of the main panel. The pocket will extend a bit beyond the main panel on each side. It may or may not be even on both sides; this is okay. You are adjusting side to side to best match the motif. Pin in place.
  12. Edgestitch across the BOTTOM of the pocket (the seamed edge).
  13. Edgestitch each side of the pocket, staying as close to the edge of the main panel as possible. You will bind the edges later and so want to be sure you can cover up this edgestitching.
  14. When all the pocket seams are sewn, flip the caddy to the back and trim the pocket flush with main panel.
  15. Find the remaining taller pocket. Measure 1½" down from the top folded edge of the sewn pocket. 
  16. Use a fabric pen or pencil to draw a horizontal line at this measurement or mark with pins.
  17. Place the top edge (the folded edge) of the second pocket along this marked line. Adjust this pocket to line up its motif with the motif of the pocket below it. Pin in place.
  18. As above, edgestitch across the bottom of the second pocket then along each side. 
  19. Also as above, flip over and trim away the excess fabric so the pocket is flush with the panel. 
  20. Find the third pocket - the slightly shorter pocket. Measure 1½" down from the top folded edge of the second pocket. 
  21. Use a fabric pen or pencil to draw a horizontal line at this measurement or mark with pins.
  22. Place the top edge (the folded edge) of the third pocket along this marked line. Adjust this pocket to line up its motif with the motif of the pocket below it. Pin in place. The raw edges of the pocket should be flush with the bottom raw edge of the caddy. Pin the pocket in place.
  23. Flip over and trim away the excess fabric so the pocket is flush with the panel. Use the panel as your template to cut around the curved corners.
  24. Flip the panel right side up. Edgestitch the final pocket in place along both sides and across the bottom, gently curving around the corners. 

Caddy back

  1. Find the 5" x 11" rectangle. This is the back sleeve.
  2. Fold it in half, right sides together, so it is now 5" x 5½". 
  3. Pin together along the 5" raw edges.
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch together. Press open the seam allowance and turn right side out. 
  5. Find the back caddy panel and place it right side up on your work surface.
  6. Roll the sleeve seam to the center back and place the sleeve at about the center of the caddy back panel. The sleeve should sit approximately 3" down from the top raw edge of the panel and 2" up from the bottom raw edge. Adjust the sleeve on the panel, matching the motifs. Roll the seam as needed to get an exact motif match. When you are satisfied with the match, lightly pin the sleeve to the panel and press well to set a top and bottom crease. 
  7. Turn the sleeve wrong side out again, making sure you keep the correct position of the seam. The top and bottom ironed creases should hold, giving you guide lines for folding. Pin along both sides, leaving a 2" opening along one side for turning. 
  8. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch both sides. Remember to lock your seam at either side of the 2" opening. 
  9. Clip the corners. Turn the sleeve right side out through the opening. Using a long, blunt end tool. gently push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. Press well, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.

Adding the twill tape and attaching the sleeve to the panel

  1. Find the 30" length of twill tape.
  2. Place the tape along both sides of the sleeve, making a long loop. The outer side edges of the twill tape should sit just a tiny bit beyond the fabric edge of the sleeve. You do not want the fabric of the sleeve to peek out from the side of the tape. The ends of the tape should extend 3" beyond the bottom edge of the sleeve. The loop extends up beyond the top of the sleeve; this will be the handle to slip over the doorknob. Make sure the loop is not twisted.
  3. Re-thread your machine with thread to match the twill tape in the top and bobbin. 
  4. Edgestitch the tape to the sleeve along both sides of the tape.
  5. Place the back caddy panel right side up on your work surface.
  6. Place the sleeve right side up on the panel. Adjust the sleeve as needed to center it side to side and align the motifs. Remember from above that the sleeve should sit 2" up from the bottom and 3" down from the top. It should be centered ½" in from each side. The tape will still extend beyond the bottom edge of the panel. This is okay; it will be trimmed away later. 
  7. Make sure the tape is extending both straight up and straight down. Don't let it drift in or out as this will ruin the look of the two parallel lines. 
  8. Measure 1" down from the top raw edge of the panel and place a pin at this point on each side of the tape. This is the stopping point for your stitching where you will make an ½" "X box."
  9. Below the sleeve, simply pin the twill tape in place, once again making sure it is perfectly straight. There is no "X box" at the bottom ends.
  10. Edgestitch the twill tape in place along both sides, just as you did when attaching it to the sleeve. In fact, you want to make sure your edgestitching lines up exactly from the sleeve to the panel. 
  11. Remember to make a ½" "X box" at the marked point on the top end tape. They'll be more tugging at this top end as the caddy is taken on and off the doorknob, so it's helpful to have the extra security of the X box stitching.
  12. At the bottom ends, stitch right to the bottom raw edge of the panel. 
  13. Re-thread the machine with thread to match the fabric in the top and bobbin.
  14. Edgestitch along the top and bottom of the sleeve, securing it to the panel. The sides are open to slip in letters and other notes to remember.
  15. Trim away the extra twill tape from the bottom.

Binding

  1. Place the finished front and back of the caddy WRONG sides together. Pin through all the layers, running your pins down the center of the panel. Pin the handle loop at the center as well to keep in out of the way of the binding. 
  2. Machine baste the layers together, keeping the basting seam ¼" or less from the raw edges.
  3. Find the fold-over elastic. Starting at the center top or center bottom (we used the center top), wrap the binding around the raw edges of all the layers. Use plenty of pins to hold the binding in place. 
  4. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to match the binding. We stayed with our lime green thread.
  5. Use a zig zag to stitch the binding in place. 
  6. The start of the binding should be stitched in place from the very end. At the opposite end, stop about 1" out from the starting point. Trim away the extra binding, leaving about 1" to work with as a "tail." 
  7. Turn under the raw edge of the binding tail about ¼" and wrap this end around the stitched-down starting point of the binding. Pin in place and zig zag across to finish. 
    NOTE: As you can see from the photo, we added our Sew4Home label to the top of the caddy.

Contributors

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

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Comments (5)

blamb said:
blamb's picture

Although I chose the printer friendly version to print this project it still ended up 23 pages! That's a lot of paper and ink. After looking over the online pictures it seems that you had used some type of thin batting. I didn't see that listed in the supply list. I did see heavyweight fusible interfacing. Would fusible fleece be ok or would that be too thick? Love so many of your projects!

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

@ blamb - one of our hallmarks is the completeness of our instructions and photos that allow sewers of all skill levels to have success with our projects. This does mean longer tutorials. You might try saving and printing as a pdf file. We did not use batting just the firm interfacing as listed. That is what you are seeing in the photos. I do think fusible fleece would make things a bit too thick to easily handle the bound edges. The caddy doesn't really need to be thick - just stiff. So, a heavyweight fusible is your best bet. 

sewingismyhobby said:
sewingismyhobby's picture

Love it. Have to make one for me, and maybe for gifts. Thank you! Thank you!

Tania Schier said:
Tania Schier's picture

Thank you. I love the beautiful things you post. hugs

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