Friday, March 22, 2013

Tutorial for the Pocketed Nightstand Scarf

If you read my previous post on my nightstand, you may remember that I turned this:
  into this:
  By adding these little pockets to the side side: 
Some people asked for how-to info which is difficult because everyone's nightstand and "stuff" is different.  To put this simply, I made three rectangles of fabric based on the size of my nightstand and the height of the items that would be in the pockets.

  •  I used quilting cotton, but any fabric will do. 
  •  If your fabric is on the flimsy side, you may want to use some interfacing.   
  • Add some thread, and you are ready.

Base piece (scarf)
  •  My base piece needed to be 60" long (30 across the top and 15" hanging down each side) by 14".  That side hanging measurement resulted from measuring the height of the items that I needed to put in the pockets, adding about 1-1/2" between the pockets and another 1-1/2" under the bottom pocket for a total of 15".  
  • Using 1/2" seam allowances, I cut a strip of fabric 29x61", folded it in half to 14-1/2", sewed along one short end and the length, turned it right-side out, folded under the 1/2" seam allowance, and top stitched it closed.
  • WARNING:   The weight of the things you put in the pockets must be countered either by heavy items on top of the nightstand or by weights on the other end of the scarf.   The items on the top of my nightstand are heavy enough and placed evenly to counter the weight in the pockets.  If your top items are not,  you can 
    • add pockets to the other side for items you don't use often OR 
    • add a couple of inches to the length that will be folded over on the end opposite the pocket end to create a sleeve to hold weights equal to the weight of your pocket "stuff."  Coins, dowels, any of the small pieces of hardware that your spouse bought by the box when s/he needed only a couple can be used as weights.
Remember to include the sloped edges of the nightstand when measuring.

Pocket Rectangles
  •  Pocket size will depend on the items you are putting in them.  You will want the pockets to be tall enough to keep the items from falling out but not so tall that the items cannot be seen and easily taken out.  I chose a size that was about 3/4 the height of the items. 
  • My finished pocket strip of 5x13 required 11x14" rectangles (again 1/2" seams) sewn in the same way as the base piece.  Fold the 11" in half, sew one short end and the long one, turn right-side out, fold open end in 1/2 inch, and top stitch shut. 
I lined my things up to determine how wide to make the pocket strips within the 14" space.
  •  Place the pocket strips on the scarf and pin. (You remembered that the sewn seam goes on the bottom, right?)  Slide the items in to determine where to sew the lines to make separate pockets.
  • If you are using two rows as I did, leave space between the rows because the items will extend out of the pockets.  I left about 1-1/2" between the pockets.There is still some overlap, but it's not an issue.
    See, the remote control at the bottom slightly overlaps the top pocket-- not a problem

  • Sew the along the pin lines on the pockets and, Voila!  You are finished.  Hope this helps.  Any questions--just ask.

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating


  1. Glad you like it! It is proving to be extremely useful. My nightstand is still the picture of neat. Now THAT never happened before.