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Free Sewing Caddy Tutorial

Free Sewing Caddy Tutorial

Store your quilting essentials in this handy caddy. Leftover part-length Jelly Roll strips are ideal for the upper outer caddy sections, handles and pocket bindings.  For the caddy base and lining I chose a solid fabric which perfectly complemented the  colours in the prints.

Finished size
Approx 19cm (7 1⁄2in) high x 29cm (11 1⁄2in) wide at the base x 13cm (5in) deep, excluding handles

✦  Eight 2 1⁄2 x 13in strips for upper outer caddy sections
✦  One 2 1⁄2 x 23in strip for the handles
✦  One 2  1⁄2 x 34in strip for inner pockets binding
✦  80cm (7⁄8yd) solid fabric for outer caddy base, caddy and handle linings, and inner pockets
✦  Sew Simple Fusible Foam Batting, SSC4200: one 7 1⁄2 x 21 1⁄2in rectangle and two 2 1⁄2 x 11 1⁄2in strips
✦  Tefl on ironing sheet or baking parchment
✦  Neutral piecing thread
✦  Quilting thread

All measurements include 1⁄4in seam allowances, unless otherwise stated.

Handy hint
If you are unable to source Sew Simple’s Fusible Foam Batting, you could use your usual cotton or
cotton/polyester blend wadding, but the bag will be less structured, i.e. more floppy.


1  Cut each 2 1⁄2 x 13in strip in half to give sixteen 2 1⁄2 x 6 1⁄2in strips.

2  Cut the 2 1⁄2 x23 handle strip in half to give two 2 1⁄2in x 11 1⁄2 in strips.

3  Cut the 2 1⁄2 x 34in inner pockets binding strip in half to give two 2 1⁄2 x 17in strips.

4  From the solid fabric cut the following pieces:
✦  One 16 1⁄2 x 20 1⁄2in rectangle for the caddy lining
✦  One 8 1⁄2 x 16 1⁄2in rectangle for the outer caddy base
✦  Four 6 x 16 1⁄2in rectangles for the inner pockets
✦  Two 2 1⁄2 x 11 1⁄2in strips for the handle linings

Take eight different 2 1⁄2 x 6 1⁄2in strips and, matching them up on their long edges, arrange them into a row. When you are happy with how they look join to make a 6 1⁄2 x 16 1⁄2in (unfinished) panel; press all the seam allowances in the same direction. Repeat with the remaining strips; if you wish, arrange the strips in a different order. These are the upper sections. See Fig 1.

Fig 1 Upper sections

2  Join an upper section to each long edge of the 8 1⁄2 x 16 1⁄2in solid rectangle for the outer caddy base; press the seams towards the solid fabric. This is the outer caddy panel, which should measure 20 1⁄2in high x 16 1⁄2in wide (unfinished). See Fig 2.

3  Place the outer caddy panel centrally and right side up on top of the 17 1⁄2 x  21 1⁄2in fusible foam batting rectangle. Fuse in place following the instructions given in ‘Fusing fabric to fusible foam batting’. See Fig 2.

Fusing fabric to fusible foam batting
✦  To fuse fabric to just one side of the Sew Simple Fusible Foam Batting, place a Tefl on ironing
sheet or a piece of baking parchment underneath the batting and then place the fabric wrong side down on top. Set your iron to the wool setting, cover the fabric with a damp cloth and press in place with moderate pressure for 8–10 seconds. Lift the iron and repeat until the full surface area of the fabric is fused to the batting. Allow to cool and then check the bond; if necessary repeat the fusing process.
✦  If you are fusing fabric to both sides of the foam batting, with the wrong side of the fabrics against
the batting, sandwich the batting between the fabrics. Fuse the fabric in place on one side as described above and then flip the work over and repeat, but pressing for less time when fusing the second side.

Fig 2 Outer caddy panel

4  Quilt the outer caddy panel as desired. Stuart straight-line quilted lines to one side of each rectangle in the upper sections, and to each side of the seams where the upper sections are joined to the
solid base. He also stitched all around the panel approx 1⁄8in in from the edges, i.e. within the 1⁄4in seam allowance. When you have finished quilting, trim the fusible foam batting level with the outer caddy
panel edges.

5  Right sides together, fold the outer caddy panel in half along the 16 1⁄2in width; take care to match up the rectangles of the upper sections and the seams where the upper sections are joined to the solid base. Pin and then join the side seams.

6  Working on one side of the caddy, refold it so the base fold is centred and one corner lies fl at. Pin to secure and then measure and mark where the distance from the point is 2 1⁄2in; now mark a line from edge to edge that goes through the  mark 2 1⁄2in from the point (this line will be approx 5in long). Stitch on the marked line and then trim 1⁄4in beyond the stitched line.
Repeat for the other side of the caddy. This creates the caddy base. See Figs 3 and 4.

Fig 3 Folding the bag so that one corner lies flat

Fig 4 Trimming ¼in beyond the stitched line


1  Take one 2 1⁄2 x 11 1⁄2in handle strip and one 2 1⁄2 x 11 1⁄2in handle lining strip and place them right sides together. Matching up the raw edges, place the strips on top of a 2 1⁄2 x 11 1⁄2in fusible foam batting strip.

2  Join along one long side, down one short end and then along the other long side. Turn right side out through the unstitched short end. ‘Roll’ the seams so that they are on the edges of the handle and press (see ‘Fusing fabric to fusible foam batting’, bullet point two, for fusing fabric to both sides of the batting).
Topstitch down both long sides approx 1⁄4in from the edge. See Fig 5.

3   Repeat Steps 1 and 2 to make a second handle.

4   Take the outer caddy and turn it right side out. Matching up all the raw edges, position a handle at each side of the caddy; for each handle, its inner edges are aligned with the caddy’s side seam.
Make sure the handles aren’t twisted and then stitch them in place approx  1⁄8in in from the top edge of the caddy, i.e. within the  1⁄4in seam allowance. See Fig 6.

Fig 5 Topstitched handles – one right side up and one lining side up

Free Sewing Caddy Tutorial

Fig 6 A handle stitched in place


1  Take a 2 1⁄2 x 17in inner pocket binding strip and, wrong sides together, fold it in half lengthways, press and then open out. Wrong sides together, fold each long edge over to the centre crease and then
fold it over onto itself to enclose the raw edges; press. See Fig 7.

2   Take two 6 x 16 1⁄2in inner pocket rectangles and place them right sides together. Sandwich one 16 1⁄2in edge (the top edge of the pocket) inside the pocket binding strip prepared in Step 1. The top edge of the pocket will be against the fold of the binding strip; the binding is slightly longer than the pocket so you will have a slight overhang at each end. Topstitch the binding in place close to the lower edge of
the binding; trim off the excess binding at each end. See Fig 8.

Fig 7 Preparing a pocket binding strip

Fig 8 Bound inner pocket attached to the right side of one end of the caddy lining

3  On each inner pocket rectangle, to neaten the bottom 16 1⁄2in edge, turn under a 1⁄4in hem to the wrong side and press.

4   Repeat Steps 1–3 to make a second bound pocket.

5   Take the 20 1⁄2in high x 16 1⁄2in wide caddy lining rectangle and place it right side up on a clean fl at surface. With the bound edge of the pocket facing a 16 1⁄2in raw edge, place a pocket across the
width at each end of the lining – each bound edge should be 1in in from the corresponding 16 1⁄2in raw edge. See Fig 8.

6   Pin the pockets to secure and then stitch each one in place along its neatened bottom edge, making sure that you stitch through all of the layers of the hem. See Fig 8.

7   If you wish, you could stitch vertical lines through all of the layers to create smaller pockets in which to place your bits and bobs. Start your stitching at the top of the bound edge and end it at the stitching line at the bottom of the pocket. See Fig 8.

8  Right sides together, fold the outer lining in half along the 16 1⁄2in width; take care to match up the bound edges of the pockets. Pin and then join on the side seams, leaving an approx 4in gap in one
side seam for turning. 

9   Make the base as described in ‘Outer caddy’ Step 6.

Free Sewing Caddy Tutorial

Fig 9 Lining and outer caddy pinned to secure (note the gap in the side seam of the lining)


1   With the outer caddy right side out and the caddy lining wrong side out, place the outer caddy inside the lining; right sides will be facing each other. Match up the side seams and top edges, and make sure that the handles are tucked down between the outer caddy and lining. Pin around the top edge to secure. See Fig 9.

2   Stitch all around the top edge with a 1⁄4in seam allowance.

3  Turn the caddy and lining right side out through the gap left in the lining; slipstitch the gap in the lining closed. 

4   Push the lining down inside the caddy. ‘Roll’ the top edge of the caddy so that  the seam is at the top and pin to secure. See Fig 10.

5  Making sure that handles are pulled upwards, topstitch approx 1⁄4in from the top edge of the caddy.

6  Now all that’s left to do is to fi ll your caddy with your notions and fabrics!

Free Sewing Caddy Tutorial

Fig 10 Pinned top edge of the caddy

Free Sewing Caddy Tutorial


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