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Topic: School chair back pocket **How are they after a year??-- page 3**  (Read 46927 times)
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« on: July 25, 2006 05:51:09 PM »

It's not exactly a crafty houseware, but there doesn't seem to be a thread for crafty schoolwares for crafty teachers...  I have been wanting pockets for the backs of the chairs in my room for a long time, but they are so expensive to buy.  So when I saw this upholstery canvas on sale at Jo-Ann's for $2.10 a yard I knew now was the time.  I'm sure that if there were other crafty teachers interested I could put together a tutorial.  They have turned out to be incredibly sturdy with the canvas and bias tape, but I don't underestimate the ability of seven year olds to tear apart anything.
Here is the finished product:

Hope you like it, I'm pretty proud that they have turned out so well.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2009 11:33:25 AM by tymichelle - Reason: spelling error!! » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2006 05:54:54 PM »

that's so nice of you to MAKE 'em for your classroom. when i was a kid we had to supply our own. absolutely had to. most people had homemade ones, because storebought ones weren't really available (my best friend had a bought one. i was quite jealous coz her had sparkles on and mine was just 'bought on sale' acid green with my name in blue puffpaint Sad )

yours are nicer than that. well, maybe no nicer than the one with sparkles... Wink

« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2006 06:11:55 PM »

Please please please tutorial!  Please!  Please!  There must be lots of other teachers here--but please!  I left my store-bought chair pockets when I left my last classroom.  Please tutorial!
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2006 06:23:45 PM »

These are terrific!  I used to teach 2nd grade and boy would these have come in handy.   

Don't be shy and insist that your students pay for them.  When I was teaching, I was shy about this, but since each kid will be using one, you can add the $2.50 or so cost to a supply fee at the beginning of the year. That's what a year's subscription to Weekly Reader cost back when I was in the classroom 10 years ago.

Well done!


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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2006 07:58:35 PM »

I teach second grade and have had the fabric for two years to make mine for my classroom and have just never gotten around to it.  I am now in a crunch and have three weeks before school starts back and need to make 24 of them.  I don't think I will use bias tape though because I was planning on just sewing them and then flipping them inside out.  I guess I could be thinking crazy if that doesn't make sense.

« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2006 10:29:10 AM »

Wow..I would have loved that as a kid! This is the first time I have ever seen such a site..great job, and very kind of you to make them for the class!

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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2006 10:54:46 AM »

yay for crafty teachers!
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2006 11:18:17 AM »

These are great! I have a friend that teaches 3rd grade and wanted to make something similar, can we get a tut?!!?
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2006 06:45:36 PM »

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 fabricthink quilting type fabricand 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 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 3x3 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.
Have fun!
« Last Edit: July 27, 2006 09:38:56 AM by tymichelle » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2006 06:59:44 PM »

Time and money...

These are terrific!  I used to teach 2nd grade and boy would these have come in handy.  

Don't be shy and insist that your students pay for them.  When I was teaching, I was shy about this, but since each kid will be using one, you can add the $2.50 or so cost to a supply fee at the beginning of the year. That's what a year's subscription to Weekly Reader cost back when I was in the classroom 10 years ago.

Well done!

IamSusie-Not a bad idea to have the kids pay for it.  But believe it or not the first grade at my school has either the highest or second highest activity fee for the school and boy do we know how to spend it!!
The school secretary helped me pick out the fabric and she let me know that the school would reimburse me if I turned in the receipt, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that the real expense here is not the fabric (which can be really expensive) but my time.  So in the end I decided that if I was going to put in all that time I didn't want to school to own them in the end, I just want them to be mine.

My other thought (which I haven't counted out yet) is to email my new moms and ask them to come up to school for a sewing Saturday.  We have an incredible sense of community at my school and I'm sure I could get at least 6 moms if I asked.  We'll see...
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