Sorry this took a little while to get on here, but when I posted the pics, it was one of the three pockets I had completed... I'm sure you can imagine what's been taking up my time since then. My goal is to get 30 pockets completed. I won't ever have more than 26 kids in my class at this school, but having extras seems like a good idea.
The pockets I made fit the first grade chairs in my classroom beautifully. I would measure your own chairs first to make sure the measurements do not need to be changed.
My chairs measure: 10” across the top, 13.5” across the seat, 12” up the seat back.
My fabric was a 59” wide canvas print from the upholstery section and was able to accommodate the width of 3 pockets. I cut across the entire fabric and worked 3 pockets at a time. (I did make my trial run out of a plain cotton fabric—think quilting type fabric—and there was a tremendous difference in the sturdiness factor.)
I guess you don't have
to use bias tape, but it does significantly strengthen the pocket and I'm looking to use these for as long as possible. If you don't use a canvas or denim, it's not going to last 3 months without bias tape down the edge. The other benefit of the bias tape was that all of the seams are worked on the right side of the fabric and you don't have to turn it right side out afterward. My brain couldn't figure out how to successfully do that since the end product sort of has a pocket on both ends and both sides (one to hold books and one to hang on the chair. The edges end up looking really nice.
1. Cut the back piece to 30.5” in length.
2. Cut the front piece to 14.5” in length. (Even though these pictures show the width cut now, I waited and cut widths later--better to only pin and stitch once if you can get away with it.)
3. Press ½ inch on both unfinished ends of both front and back pieces.
4. Pin together front and back piece, overlapping them by 5”. The right sides of the fabric should face out. (This overlapped area will be the base of your bag and will provide extra strength.)
5. Stitch a double seam on both edges where fabric is overlapped.
6. Stitch the pressed hem on what was originally the back (longer) piece.
7. Pin and stitch bias tape along the pressed hem on what was originally the front (shorter) piece. This will end up being the top of the front pocket.
8. Fold the pocket. It will looks sort of like a squished S. The front piece will be folded up 11” and the back piece will be folded back 10”. Pin down. It should now look sort of like a pocket for a bench. The right side of the fabric should be showing everywhere except for a 4" strip that will be hidden on the back side. Pin it all over the place so you don't lose the fold when you cut them apart. You could always cut first and fold second, but again, I'd rather fold it once instead of three times.
9. Cut the pockets apart to widths of 15.5”. (I was able to cut three from the 59" wide fabric.)
10. Measure and mark 2” in from both edges along the top of the pocket. Using a ruler draw a straight line from the mark 2” in to the top of the pocket where the bias tape lies. You should now have 2 long right triangles drawn on the top of your pocket.
11. Cut these triangles off.
12. Pin bias tape along both edges of the pocket. (You do not need it on the top and bottom edges) The bias tape will curve to match your now not-straight edge.
13. Stitch a double seam along each side going over the place where the pocket attaches a couple extra times.
14. I used a sort of button hole stitch to go back and add extra reinforcement where the pocket top attaches at the edges.
15. Cut a 12” length of ribbon. Hand-stitch the center of the ribbon to .75” below the bias tape on the outer pocket. I am using this ribbon to attach a nametag to each chair pocket. I plan to print/copy these at 3”x3” on coordinating construction paper, laminate, and attach by tying ribbon through 2 punched holes at the top.
I have actual pictures of each step coming, but I haven't uploaded them yet. Soon, I promise. (I understand it is pre-school crunch time.)
Let me know if any of that was unclear and I will see if I can help clear it up.