/ / How to Sew Bedside Pockets Organizer – free sewing tutorial

How to Sew Bedside Pockets Organizer – free sewing tutorial

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bedside pockets organizer sewing pattern

Sew a row of pockets to keep extra things off your nightstand and organize your bedside! This organizer is easy to sew and can help kids or adults control the clutter.

This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The tutorial in the blog post below is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $2 is totally optional.


This organizer is 41” wide and has 5 pockets. The pockets are all 10” tall – 3 of them are 10” wide and 2 are 5” wide. You can sew it with all one fabric or mix it up with different fabrics for each pocket.


The inside of the organizer has Soft and Stable from ByAnnie’s, which is the perfect stabilizer for something like this. It is soft but totally holds it shape and looks great.

The Soft and Stable holds it’s shape so well in fact, that I used it to pin out and plan the pockets beforehand. I was able to determine what size pleats I needed before I ever started sewing.


I followed my reader’s advice and used non-slip shelf liner to help hold the organizer under the bed mattress. It works amazingly well and was surprisingly easy to sew. I’ll give some tips in case you have trouble, but I did not experience any. 

So let’s get started with the tutorial! It’s very long and I’m sorry, I don’t know a way to print from your browser without getting ads (I get asked a lot). My best suggestion is to copy and paste the portions that you want to keep into a word document and save it or print it from there. The photos will copy and paste just fine.

You will need:

  • 1 yard of Soft & Stable from ByAnnie’s

  • 1 pkg or 40” of non slip shelf liner (I used Con-Tact brand)

  • 1/2 yard fabric for the back of the organizer

  • 1/2 yard fabric for the front of the organizer

  • 1/2 yard fabric for the pocket back

  • 1/2 yard or 5 pieces of fabric for the pocket front

  • 1/2 yard of fabric for the binding

Cutting:

For the binding, cut:

  • 5 strips 2 1/2” x width of fabric

For the organizer front and back, cut:

  • 2 rectangles 16 1/2” x 41”

For the back of the pockets:

  • 1 rectangle 10” x 61” (you’ll probably have to piece this together since it’s so long

For the front of the pockets, cut:

  • 2 rectangles 10” x 14 3/4” (for the first and last pockets)

  • 1 rectangle 10” x 14 1/2” (for the middle pocket)

  • 2 rectangles 10” x 9 1/2” (for the 2 smaller pockets)

From the Soft and Stable, cut:

  • 1 rectangle 16 1/2” x 41” (for the back)

  • 1 rectangle 10” x 61” (see below for how to piece this together)

The Soft and Stable is a nice 58” wide, but that’s still just a little bit short of what we need for the pocket strip. You can sew two pieces together the same way that you would quilt batting. Just set your sewing machine to a wide zig zag and sew the two edges right next to each other. No one will ever know. πŸ™‚

Preparation – make the binding:

Unless I’m not sure which fabric I’ll use, I like to make my binding first so it’s ready when I need it. 

Sew the 5 strips together at a right angle and trim away the ends with a 1/4” seam allowance. Press the long strip in half lengthwise.


Sewing:

Sandwich the larger piece of Soft and Stable (16 1/2” x 41”) in between the matching front and back pieces of fabric and pin the edges all around.

Baste the pieces together around all edges 1/8” from the edge. Here’s a video how-to.

Tip: I used my walking foot for this step and for the entire project. If you have one, it is great when working with lots of layers.


Make 4 marks on the front of this piece along the bottom as shown in the diagram above. Feel free to use a sharpie or other marker if you need to since these marks will be hidden deep in the pockets.


Pin and sew the 10” x 61” piece of fabric for the back (inside) of the pockets to the matching piece of Soft and Stable in the same way.


Next we’ll use Quilt-As-You-Go to sew the front of the pockets.

Place the fabric for the first pocket (10” x 14 3/4”) on the end of the Soft and Stable and baste in place 1/8” from the short edge.

 Set your stitch length for quilting (I like about 2.5) and sew a straight line about 1” from the edge. Continue quilting in straight lines about 1” apart (or your preference) until the first pocket is quilted.


Pin the second pocket piece (10” x 9 1/2”) on top, right side down, with the raw edge aligned with the first pocket.


Stitch with a 1/4” seam allowance.


Smooth the second pocket back along the Soft and Stable and sew close to the seam. Continue sewing lines of quilting on the second pocket.

Repeat these steps with the middle pocket (10” x 14 1/2”), the next small pocket, and the last pocket. Trim away any fabric at the end if need be.


Cut a piece of binding to fit the top of the pocket piece. With the raw edges all aligned, pin and sew the binding to the top of the pockets with a 1/4” seam allowance.


Flip the binding around to the back and pin from the front. Stitch ‘in the ditch’ along the fold from the front, checking to make sure that the binding is caught on the back.


Pin the pocket piece to the front side of the backing. Match the markings that you made along the bottom to the seams in the front of the pockets.


Baste the sides of the pocket piece along the edge with a scant 1/4” seam allowance. Pin at the top and the bottom of each pocket seam on the front.


Using a regular stitch length, sew along the pocket seams to divide each pocket. Make sure to backstitch securely at the top of each pocket.


Make approximately 1” pleats at the bottom of each pocket dividing seam. You don’t need to measure, just make sure that the bottom of each pocket lies flat against the backing and that the pleats on either side are the same size.


At each end make a pleat that is approximately 1” wide and 1/2” away from the edge. This leaves plenty of room for binding.


Baste the bottom of the pockets in place a scant 1/4” from the edge.



Pin and baste (with a scant 1/4” seam allowance) the 41” long piece of shelf liner to the back of the organizer along the top.

This is where I was shocked to have no trouble at all sewing on non-slip shelf liner. If you do have problems, try placing a long strip of tissue paper in between the shelf liner and your sewing machine foot. Sew slowly and remember you won’t have to do this for long.

If it won’t work on your machine at all, you can always hand sew the shelf liner on after the binding is in place. This part will be hidden under the bed anyway and won’t show.

Now it’s time for the rest of the binding!


Sew the binding around the organizer in the same manner as on the top of the pockets. Start by sewing it to the front with a 1/4” seam allowance. 

I started at the top to see how it would work with the shelf liner against my machine. No problems. If you do have problems, try placing a strip of tissue paper between the shelf liner and the bed of your sewing machine.

To miter the corners of your binding, sew until you are 1/4” away from the edge. Backstitch and cut the threads.

Fold the binding back at a right angle, straight with the next side of your project.

Then fold the binding back on top of itself and pin or clip it in place while you put it under your sewing machine.


Backstitch at the edge and continue sewing on the binding. 

Stop when you are 8-10” away from the place where you started.


Fold back the ends of the binding and make a crease in the place where they should meet. Mark this place with a fabric pencil or pen.



Match the markings and pin the binding right sides together. Stitch along the marked lines.


Finish sewing the binding to the organizer.


Flip the binding around to the back and pin in place. Sew from the front again (stitching in the ditch).

Fold the corners tightly as you come to them, and pivot your needle to turn.


And that’s it!


Place the shelf liner and top of the organizer under the bed as far as you need to so the pockets will be the correct height.


And how awesome is that?

This project is included in my list of 11 Sewing Projects to Make You More Organized. πŸ™‚

xoxo,


Full disclosure: Blend Fabrics sends me collections for time to time to use as I wish. I wouldn’t accept the fabric if I didn’t love it. πŸ™‚

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Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. πŸ™‚

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43 Comments

  1. For readers asking about printing these tutorials without ads: go to printfriendly.com and copy/paste the URL of the tutorial into the box provided. You can delete anything from the tute you don’t want to print out.
    Personally I prefer to copy/paste as I read through the tute, making adjustments to shorten instructions. I delete ‘the’ and other unneeded words, ‘w/’ replaces ‘with’, ‘and’ becomes ‘&’. Example: "sandwich the larger piece of Soft and Stable in between the matching front and back pieces" is shortened to: sandwich lgr pc S&S betw match’g fr & bk pcs.

  2. Lesley Gilbert says:

    Thanks for this great tutorial. A friend saw the original posted on Pinterest and I told her you were making your own version. I’ve read through it all and understood everything you said, so not a difficult pattern to follow. Thanks once again πŸ™‚

  3. Thank you so much for doing this!!!!!
    jbsews

  4. Pam Fullmer says:

    Thank you for this tutorial. I want to make this not sure if i want full size but the idea is great.

  5. Lady Kayla says:

    I’m doing something very similar, but double-ended so it can go over the arm of a chair or sofa. One side will hold things like phones, maybe even tablets/ipads etc. The other will hold the tv/dvd/cable/satellite remotes.

  6. Helen Powell says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial, I had the original pin on my Pinterest board. Is there a reason there is no Pinterest link? I would like to save this tutorial for the future. Thank you

  7. Jennifer Mathis says:

    Such a cute project Caroline!

  8. Could you please add a "pin button", if i don’t pin tutorials i tend to loose them on fb. Love this one

  9. Just finished making one of these. Instead of the shelf liner I added ribbon ties to the top so that my daughter could use it in her college dorm room. The lofted beds have safety rails and she can fold the top over the rail and then tie it to the safety rail. This was such a great project. Thanks so much!

  10. Brenda Marsh says:

    You did an amazing tutorial! Thank you so much. My granddaughter should love it!,

  11. i made one for my kids a while ago, the shelf is a great idea, but if the mattress is light, or the pockets are full of electronic gadgets and heavy read books, then you find the pockts keep falling to the floor, so I added ribbons to tie to the bed frame

  12. Teri Emerson says:

    I posted this on FB and people are sharing and one gal asked about me making one for her. Great gifts! FYI, about how to format to print, if you have all of your info a Word .DOC (I have copied and pasted from my blog to one) then you can format it into a .PDF file, which can be uploaded to Google Docs or some other openly accessible storage site. πŸ™‚

  13. Jane Whicheloe says:

    Such an awesome project. I have adapted mine a little to fit my ipad, phone and kindle. Am making two one to go each side of the bed for me and the other half. Then will attach the two together under the mattress with tape to keep them in place. Will look at put some eyelets in the back of the pockets to put charging cables through too so no trailing cables

  14. Catherine says:

    Wow, I need this for myself! Half my bed is always covered with books and junk. Thanks for a great tutorial!

  15. I do not see a button so I can pin this. Am I missing it?

  16. How do I modify this to fit a bed that doesn’t have a spring mattress or a solid bottom under the mattress? I have a granddaughter who would love this but her bed doesn’t have a bottom piece for it to work like in the instructions.

    1. As long as there are bars or bunkie boards it should work fine. We used it with a futon frame and mattress for a long time.

      Good luck!

  17. I am making this today. I’ve made a couple of mistakes in the measuring, so I am adjusting it a bit. Last week I took a class on making a sewing machine caddy, so this is now super easy as it’s the same concept. Thanks for the great idea.

  18. Am just finishing one for a grand child. I added elastic in the pocket casing top so it holds a bit tighter and not so likely to have a foot catch on it. Thanks, I Love it.

  19. Pat Meagher says:

    I just finished this project for my grandson. It is very accurate and easy to follow however my sewing machine (supposedly heavy duty) had a very hard time sewing thru the layers especially with the pleats. Just a warning to anyone who might have less experience and maybe a basic machine.

  20. Pat Fowler says:

    Where did you find this fabric? I love it

  21. Thanks for great tutorial – have just finished making one for myself πŸ™‚

  22. Thank-you!!! This is exactly what I wanted.

  23. In my Safari browser, at the left edge of the text box where the URL appears, I have an option that looks like a set of lines (or text in an icon). When I click that, all the ads disappear and I usually "print" that to a PDF on my computer, which I can then choose to print out on paper or not (or print only some pages, etc.). When I hover my cursor over the set of lines, the text in the URL box says "Show Reader view". I don’t know about the Windows options, though.

    1. Wow, I never knew safari could do that, thankyou for the tip! Just in the middle of making a set of these pockets, what a fabulous tutorial. Thankyou SewCanShe xx

    2. Thank you for sharing that info! I didn’t know that, very helpful

  24. I use a number of these tutorial projects to teach summer sewing classes to youth. To get images and instructions I can put together in a way these young sewers can understand I copy the entire tutorial from the internet and paste it into a word document. I can then resize the pictures and fit it the way I want. Usually I go a step further and save the pictures in a folder on my computer. I then put a text box in the instructions where I want the picture to go and insert the picture in that text box. This will let me move the pictures anywhere I want without rearranging things I don’t want moved. This also help to reduce the wasted space on the pages. When I have everything the way I want for the students I give credit to the person and/or website where I got the idea. It takes a few minutes but is worth it in the long run. Hope this helps someone.

  25. Just saw this today linked in the Hawthorne Threads newsletter and I love it! Thank you so much for sharing.

    For anyone asking about printing, I highly recommend the website printfriendly.com – I use it all the time. You copy and paste the URL of the page you want to print and you can customize what parts you want printed, the size of the photos, and export it all to PDF.

  26. There’s a chrome extension (print green, I think) that allows you to delete from within the print preview.

  27. I printed on my Iphone without ads by first choosing reader view then printed it!

  28. I’m still fairly new to sewing so I’m sure this seems like an obvious thing, but what kind of thread did you use? I’ve seen mixed thoughts on whether an all purpose thread can be used with quilting type projects. I did a quick mini mock up already and my all purpose seemed OK but I don’t want to put the time and money into this and have it fail within a short time. Thanks in advance!

  29. Sandy Britt says:

    Love the idea and that it is something truly useful…..however, I enjoy reading the comments, but do not need to print them when I print the instructions — how do I avoid that. I tried highlighting the area to print, but still get numerous, wasteful pages of comments. Thank you.

    1. Hi Sandy,
      Can you see the ‘Print PDF’ button above? If not, please visit printfriendly.com and enter the url for this page. πŸ™‚

  30. Wow, I really need one of these! My side of the bed is too close to the wall for a bedside table, and a place to hang my phone and glasses would be a lifesaver!

  31. Trish Palmer says:

    Hi
    I just made your bedside pockets organizer for my grandson (he loves it and so does his mom). Your directions are great, thank you so much for writing this. I thought, if you don’t mind, I’d tell you one change I made and offer one suggestion.
    When I made the binding to go on the bottom and sides of the organizer, I found a 3 inch strip much easier to manage. The 2.5 was a little narrow for so much bulk. And I had a little trouble with breaking thread and needles in all the layers too, but when I switched to a 100/16 jeans needle and switched to a heavier thread (I usually us aurifil 30w) both breakages were solved. So those are my two little thoughts on binding size and needle/thread issues.
    Again thank you so much for this great tutorial

  32. Nancy Buchanan says:

    I made this for my daughter who is disabled and spends much of her time in bed. She loves it! I did find, however, the shelf liner did not hold it secure under her memory foam mattress. I ended up having to pin it to make it stay in place. Other than that, it is a great gift for an invalid.

  33. Thank you so much for sharing these great ideas via excellent tutorials. I bought the bolt of cow print for a dorm room, and this will be a great! item to accent her lofted bed. Cannot wait to assemble this goodie. Thanks again!

  34. carol borin says:

    to convert tutorial to pdf use Print friendly and pdf. free to download

  35. Debbie Harris says:

    Thanks for a great project, ai am making these for my grandchildren for christmas abd theg look great.

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