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SEW & STOW
31 Fun Sewing Projects to Carry, Hold, and Organize
Your Stuff, Your Home, and Yourself!

BETTY OPPENHEIMER
with step-by-step illustrations by the author

ß
Storey Publishing

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To those who taught me the needle arts, even when “women’s work” was unpopular, and
to those who taught me math and science, even though they were considered “men’s work,”
I thank you for sharing your knowledge with me. The practical arts are ageless and without
gender bias. Let us never allow social mores to cause us to forget how to make things by hand.

The mission of Storey Publishing is to serve our customers by
publishing practical information that encourages
personal independence in harmony with the environment.

Edited by Deborah Balmuth and Nancy D. Wood
Art direction, book design, and project styling by Alethea Morrison
Text production by Liseann Karandisecky

Photography by © Julie Toy, except cover, left, by Mars Vilaubi
Photo styling by Jackie Crockett
Step-by-step illustrations by Betty Oppenheimer
Finished project illustrations by Brigita Fuhrmann

Indexed by Nancy D. Wood

© 2008 by Betty Oppenheimer
A version of this book was originally published as Sewing Packs, Pouches, Seats & Sacks (Storey, 1998).

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer
who may quote brief passages or reproduce illustrations in a review with appropriate credits; nor may any part of this book be
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means — electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording, or other — without written permission from the publisher.
The information in this book is true and complete to the best of our knowledge. All recommendations are made without
guarantee on the part of the author or Storey Publishing. The author and publisher disclaim any liability in connection with the use of
this information. For additional information, please contact Storey Publishing, 210 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247.
Storey books are available for special premium and promotional uses and for customized editions. For further information, please
call 1-800-793-9396.

Printed in the United States by CJK
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA

Oppenheimer, Betty, 1957–
Sew & stow / Betty Oppenheimer.
p. cm.
Includes index.
ISBN 978-1-60342-027-3 (pbk. : alk. paper)
1. Sewing. 2. Bags. I. Title. II. Title: Sew and stow.
TT715.O66 2008
646.2'04—dc22
2008005655

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Preface, 3
CONTENTS BAG-A-THON . . . . . . . . . . . 121
Introduction, 34 5 Keeper-fresh Veggie Bag. . . . . . . .122
Jelly Belly Bag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .124
SELECTING THE Load-it-up Laundry Bag . . . . . . . . .126
1 RIGHT EQUIPMENT AND
FABRIC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Rolled Mat Stowaway Sack . . . . . .129
Bag-the-plastic Grocery Tote . . . . .132
Over-the-shoulder Bottle Sling . . .135
TECHNIQUES & TOOLS On-the-go Garment Bag . . . . . . . .140
2 FOR CUTTING, SEWING,
AND FINISHING . . . . . . . . 55 STOW IT HANDILY . . . . 145

SEW SIMPLE . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
6 Shoe Hideaway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .146
Cleaning Caddy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .150
3 Heavenly Hammock. . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
Shower Curtain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
Green Thumb Half-Apron . . . . . . . .153
Jewelry Tote . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
Lumberjack Tote . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Hobo Bandana Bundle . . . . . . . . . . 91 PAD AND CARRY! . . . . . 161
Cook’s Helper Apron . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
After-swim Wrap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
7 Shoulder Relief Strap . . . . . . . . . . 162
Easy-hold Handle Pad . . . . . . . . . .165
Carry-along Seat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
POCKETS GALORE! . . . . 101 Cozy Cushion Cover . . . . . . . . . . . 171
4 Pocket Packet Holder . . . . . . . . . . 102
Knitting Needle Tote . . . . . . . . . . .105
Keep-it-cold Lunch Bag . . . . . . . . . 175

Tool Stow ’n Roll . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108 STOW IT YOUR WAY . . 179
Nifty Visor Organizer . . . . . . . . . . .112
Travel-time Pouch . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
8 Customized Hobby Tote . . . . . . . .182
Best Bedroll Ever. . . . . . . . . . . . . .184
Doggone Cozy Pad . . . . . . . . . . . .186
Fabric File Box . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187

Resources List, 189
Index, 190

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HEAVENLY HAMMOCK

page

82

4

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7

HOBO BANDANA BUNDLE

page

91
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8
COOK’S HELPER APRON

page

93
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KNITTING NEEDLE TOTE
page

105

VARIATION: COSMETIC CASE, page 107

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82

HEAVENLY HAMMOCK
Make this flat hammock out of practical
or decorative fabric for a lovely addition to
your deck or backyard. Use coated canvas
or naturally water-repellent nylon to keep the
hammock dry, so you can use it all spring and
summer, and even shortly after a rain shower.

MATERIALS
90 x 36" piece heavy fabric (such as canvas, pack cloth)
Two 36" long x 1½" diameter dowels
Two heavy-duty 2½" washers (available at a hardware store)
Two 2–3 yard lengths rope (cotton rope at least ³⁄ 8" thick,
nylon as small as ¼")
Heavy rope (for hanging) See photo on page 4.
Sewing thread (preferably nylon upholstery thread, for strength)
°
FINDING OR MAKING of the selvage. To “fell” the seam for added
EXTRAWIDE FABRIC security, trim one side of the seam allowance
Extrawide cloth can be difficult to find in fabric to ½". Fold the other side over and around the
stores. It is sometimes available through boat shorter seam allowance, and stitch the seam
supply catalogs or specialty fabric houses. If you
are unable to find what you are looking for, you trim one-half of
can make a piece of fabric large enough for a seam allowance
tarp, by piecing together two widths of fabric. Cut {back}
a 6-yard length of 36" wide fabric into two 3-yard
lengths. Lay the two lengths of fabric on top of
each other, right sides together, and, using a fold larger seam
1" seam allowance, stitch them along the length allowance over smaller
one and topstitch down

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HEAVENLY HAMMOCK 83
°
MAKING THE HAMMOCK Make a lark’s head knot over each washer

To make a simple hammock, hem the sides
4 with one of the 2- to 3-yard lengths of rope.

1 of the fabric by turning under 1" twice
along both 90" edges, and topstitch close to the
inside turned edge.

Turn and press under 1" at each end; make A: Hold loop behind B: Pull lower ends
2 a 5" fold and stitch it down close to the
turned-under edge and again ¾" in from that.
metal ring through loop

Drill holes 1" in from both ends of the two to dowel
3 dowels, and insert them into the hammock
casings created by the 5" folded ends.
holes

C: Pull down D: Tighten

allowances down at 1 ⁄8" from the edge, and to make a reinforced hem. Of course, for even
again at 3 ⁄8" in from the edge. You have now larger sizes, you can triple the width (taking into
created a double-needle, flat-felled seam and account that there will be two seam allowances).
made a piece of fabric that is twice as wide as
you had before. (See page 62 for more on felled THE MATH EXPLAINED
seams.) single double length needed tarp size
width width for square tarp
The math. If you want a perfectly square tarp
36" 70" 4 yards 62 x 62"
(see page 85), start with enough fabric so that
45" 88" 5 yards 80 x 80"
when you cut it in half and double its width, it will
54" 106" 6 yards 98 x 98"
be square (see chart). Note that 2" of the width
60" 118" 7 yards 110 x 110"
is taken up in the 1" center seam allowance, and
that 8" of both the length and the width is used

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190

INDEX
Page numbers in italic indicate photographs or illustrations; pages numbers in
bold indicate charts or tables.

A with grommets, 131, 131 F
After-Swim Wrap, 9, 97, 97–99 circles, how to mark, 89, 89 Fabric File Box, 32, 187, 187
apron(s), 8, 23, 93, 93–96, 153, 153–56 Cleaning Caddy, 22, 150, 150–52 fabric(s), 42–54
Cook's Helper Apron, 8, 93, 93–96 caring for, 52–53
B corners common fabrics by weight and
Bag-the-Plastic Grocery Tote, 18, 132, binding, 69, 69 weave, 51
132–34 marking rounded, 59, 59 decorating, 96, 96
bag(s) mitering, 64, 64, 85, 85 fi bers and attributes, 43
defi ned, 144 stitching around, 61, 61 knitted, 47, 47
projects, 121–43 Cosmetic Case, 11, 107, 107 making extrawide, 82, 82–83, 83
barrel lock closures, 78, 78 Cozy Cushion Cover, 28, 171, 171–74 nonwoven, 47
Best Bedroll Ever, 31, 184, 184–85 Customized Hobby Tote, 30, 182, novelty weaves, 48, 48–49
bias binding tape, 66–70 182–84 preparing for sewing, 53
binding corners, 69, 69 customizing recommended for practical sewing,
binding inside seams, 177–78, 178 bag sizes, 123 49–52
continuous strip, 70, 70 Bottle Sling, 137, 137 satin and sateen weaves, 48, 48
double-fold, 68, 68 cushions, 172, 172 selvage, 54, 54
lapped fi nish, 68, 68 Nifty Visor Organizer, 113, 113 shopping for, 54
making, 69–70, 69–70 projects, 179–82 twill weaves, 48, 48
single-fold, 67, 67 Shoe Hideaway, 149, 149 woven, 47, 47–49
Bottle Sling, Over-the-Shoulder, 19, Stowaway Sack, 131 fasteners, 73–78, 73–78
135, 135–39 felled seam, 62, 63
buckle(s), 77, 77 D fi llings, 79–80
and hooks, 163, 163 D-rings, 77–78, 78
slider buckle, 162-63, 162-63 attaching, 96, 96, 138, 138–39, 152, G
snap buckle, 153, 153-55,155 152 Garment Bag, On-the-Go, 20, 140,
designing patterns, 179–82, 188 140–43
C Doggone Cozy Pad, 31, 186, 186 gathers, making, 65, 65
Carry-Along Seat, 27, 167, 167–70 Green Thumb Half-apron, 23, 153,
casing(s), 65 E 153–56
bandana, 91–92, 91–92 Easy-Hold Handle Pad, 26, 165, 165–66 Grocery Tote, Bag-the-Plastic, 18, 132,
drawstring, 125, 125, 130, 130 equipment, 37–42 132–34
slot, 126–28, 127–28

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INDEX 191

grommets and eyelets, 74, 74, 85, 85, Over-the-Shoulder Bottle Sling, 19, 135, stiffeners, 78–79
°
87, 87 135–39 stitch(es)
around corners, 61, 61
H P backstitching, 61, 61
Half-Apron, Green Thumb, 23, 153, padded projects, 161–78 box stitch, 62, 62
153–56 padding, 161 handstitching, 61, 61
Handle Pad, Easy-Hold, 26, 165, 165–66 patterns length, 40
Heavenly Hammock, 4, 82, 82–84 cutting out, 56–59 serge, 60–61
hemming, 63 transferring, 58, 58 tension, 39
Hobo Bandana Bundle, 7, 91, 91–92 pick glass, 45, 45 topstitching, 62
hook and loop (velcro), 77 pleats, 65–66, 66 types and techniques, 60–62, 60–62
making, 154, 154 zigzag, 60–61
J Pocket Packet Holder, 10, 102, 102–4 Stowaway Sack, Rolled Mat, 17, 129,
Jelly Belly Bag, 16, 124, 124–25 pockets 129–31
Jewelry Tote, 24, 157, 157–60 decorating, 104 strap webbing, 71
history, 100 attaching, 133–34, 133–34
K making pleated pockets, 114, 114
Keep-It-Cold Lunch Bag, 29, 175, planning pocket dividers, 110, 110 T
175–78 pleated or billowed, 95, 95, 151, 151 Tarp, 85, 85
Keeper Fresh Veggie Bag, 15, 122, projects with, 94–96, 101–120, thread, 40, 40–41
122–23 146–60 thread count, 45
Knitting Needle Tote, 11, 105, 105–7 Tool Stow ’N Roll, 12, 108, 108–111
R Travel-time Pouch, 14, 117, 117–20
L Rolled Mat Stowaway Sack, 17, 129, twill tape, 70
lark's head knot, 83, 83–84 129–31
Laundry Bag, Load-It-Up, 17, 126 V
Lumberjack Tote, 6, 88 S Veggie Bag, Keeper Fresh, 15, 122,
Lunch Bag, Keep-it-cold, 29, 175, Sachet Bag, 123, 123 122–23
175–78 seam allowance(s), 59–60
seams W
M types of, 62, 63 waterproofi ng seams, 87
marking rounded corners, 59, 59 waterproofi ng, 87 welting, 71–73, 72–73, 142–43, 143
mitering corners, 64, 64, 85, 85 sewing cushion cover, 173–74, 173–74
modifying patterns, 179–82 machine, 38–39
supplies, 40–43 Z
N terms, 59–66 zipper(s), 75–76, 75–77
needles, 40, 40 Shoe Hideaway, 21, 146, 146–49 continuous, 173, 173
Nifty Visor Organizer, 13, 112, 112–16 Shoulder Relief Strap, 25, 162, 162–64 garment bag, 142, 142
Shower Curtain, 5, 86, 86–87 pocket, 118–19, 118–19, 158, 158
O sling strap, 138–39, 138–39 strip in cushion, 173, 173
On-the-Go Garment Bag, 20, 140, snap hooks, spring hooks, 78, 78
140–43 snaps, 73–74, 73–74

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These and other books from Storey Publishing are available
wherever quality books are sold or by calling 1-800-441-5700.
Visit us at www.storey.com.

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