Wednesday, September 09, 2009

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Last week I decided that I needed a sewing diversion. So I pulled out Simplicity 5777 and went to work. And this is what happened:

So what is it? It's neither a garment bag nor a convenient place to conceal oneself during a game of hide-and-seek (thought that's not a bad idea...). It is, in fact, a gift wrap organizer. If there's anything I love, it's wrapping gifts. If there's anything I love, it's organization. A gift wrap organizer does double duty, hence the title of this post.

First, the fabric. I must rave about the fabric! It's a yard sale find from several years ago -- over three yards of glorious brushed cotton Ralph Lauren decorating fabric (Spring 1997!), with the happiest floral print I've ever seen. The question was, what to do with it? It's very bold, very big, and very bright. And my fiance is not into flowery, girly prints (for which I am very grateful!), so the idea of drapes or a chair just doesn't work. Enter Simplicity 5777! *resounding applause* True, it will be hidden in a closet most of the time. But every time I have a gift to wrap, or even open said closet, it will be there to greet me.

I changed things up a bit with the pattern. First of all, I nixed the zipper. Seriously, a zipper? The way this thing was constructed, you would get the impression that a speck of dust on one's wrapping paper was an unthinkable catastrophe. A bow works very nicely, thank you.

I added more pockets to the gift bag section, since they tend to accumulate rapidly. Two pockets just weren't enough.

I also covered the pieces of cardboard used to support the top. Since I didn't have fancy chipboard, I used some stiff cardboard (believe me, we have plenty around here after our recent move!). I had just enough fabric left to cover them! There are only a few tiny scraps left. I love it when I'm not even tempted to keep the scraps from a project -- especially when the whole point of the project was stashbusting!

Another change was the vinyl I used for the pockets. The pattern calls for fabric, but I couldn't bear to cover up my pretty Ralph Lauren print, and I didn't have any coordinating fabric, anyway. I did have some lightweight vinyl that I had bought a while ago and never used. I had enough for all but the gift bag pockets (which I ended up doing in a slightly heavier vinyl, for durability). I love the wrapping paper roll pockets. I should be able to fit quite a few rolls in the pockets, though my current supply is just large enough to put one in each pocket.

Oh, and I love the extra little panel, which hangs from one of the wooden hangers with the help of some Velcro. It has a few little pockets and five nifty tabs for spools of ribbon, but I have to make larger holes in my ribbon spools before they'll fit!

Just for the record, it's not easy wrangling a project the size of a body bag and the thickness of a whale while applying bias tape. Believe me. I tried the slap-it-on-and-topstitch method, but soon realized that it would be worth it to unfold the tape, sew one side down right-sides-together, and whipstitch the other side shut.

Pleating vinyl is not the easiest thing, either -- but it was surprisingly easy to sew! Sometimes my machine would balk, complaining that the vinyl was too sticky. So got out my coconut oil, dipped in a fingertip, and spread it on the projected path of the needle. Voila! I attached bias tape to the top edges of each pocket, and I love the punch of deep red.

Overall, I love this pattern. It's rather involved, but it's also very well thougt out. Whoever designed it put in a lot of brain work. Still, I'm glad I probably won't have to make one again!

Now I just need a gift to wrap!


  1. Wow Shannon! You are amazingly creative! I just love this idea! :D Thanks for sharing all your ideas with us and your creativity! (and tips/tricks too!)


  2. That is so awesome!! I love it. That is such a nice thing to have around too! Ever so useful!! The pattern of the cloth is beautiful! What a cool project! Good luck and God bless!

    Mary Cecilia.

  3. This is some project! It came out very nice indeed ;)

    I think this was just a preparatory course for your beautiful wedding gown...


    lady m

  4. Wow, that is an impressive pattern to tackle! That is good to know about the coconut oil and sewing with vinyl... I've never heard of such a thing. :-)

    The floral fabric is beautiful. Enjoy!

  5. Beautiful job! That looks like a very helpful tool to have.

  6. I love the fabric you used, Shannon! Such a bright and cheerful floral. Beautiful!

  7. I love that you used the coconut oil. It still makes me laugh to think about it.

    But, wait, you said this was the last one you'll make. Does that mean that you won't make me one? ;-)



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