Sew a Project Hanger
Keep your pattern and notions organized and easy to access for efficient sewing.
When sewing a project, you’ll work more efficiently if you can easily keep track of everything you need. In a busy sewing room, notions get lost in drawers of tools and gadgets, and pattern pieces escape from pattern envelopes. If you don’t have a dedicated sewing space, packing and unpacking your equipment squanders precious sewing time. Kathryn Brown, a pattern designer for Kwik Sew Patterns, has created a simple-to-make solution, which she calls the project hanger.
You may recognize this idea as the Best Tip from Threads #199, Oct./Nov. 2018. This hanger features two 8-inch-deep pockets and a pincushion stretching along the length of the bottom edge. The pockets are large enough to fit a pattern envelope as well as any notions or tools that needed for your project, while the pincushion can hold swatches or pattern pieces securely.
The downloadable PDF pattern (link at the bottom) is designed for a specific type of hanger, measuring 19 inches across and 5 1/2 inches tall. Cut a separate pocket pattern piece that is the same width as the body and 9 inches tall.
You can find similar hangers online or at many home-goods stores, or you can easily draft your own pattern to work with any type of hanger. Instructions for drafting your own pattern are at the end of this post.
Almost any woven fabric will work for this project. The pocket is just the right size to use fat quarters or small fabric pieces from your stash. These hangers make great gifts for the sewers in your life and can be easily customized to reflect their interests and personality.
- PDF pattern
- 1 hanger
- 1/2 yard woven fabric for main body
- 1/2 yard woven fabric for pockets
- Polyester fiberfill
Cut the fabric
Cut one front, one back, and one pocket. Clip the notches for the hanger top, pocket line, and pincushion line on the front and back pieces.
The pocket is a great place for creativity or using up small fabric pieces from your stash. I realized after I cut it that the fabric I chose from my stash was fairly transparent, so I cut two pocket pieces and I’ll sew them together.
You can also add a narrow trim to the top of the pockets if you wish, or use decorative stitching at the top fold.
Create the pocket
1. Finish the top edge of pocket with a 1/4-inch-wide, double-fold hem and topstitch in place. The edge can also be serged, folded, and stitched.
2. If you’re using two pieces of fabric for your pocket, as I am, place the two pocket pieces right sides together and stitch a seam along the top edge, using a 1/2-inch-wide seam allowance. Turn the fabric right side out and press, topstitching along the fold.
3. On the right side of the front fabric piece, draw a line 4 inches up from and parallel to the bottom edge.
4. With right sides together, place the unfinished bottom pocket edge just below the line drawn on the hanger front.
5. Stitch along the pocket edge, with a 5/8-inch-wide seam allowance.
6. Fold the pocket up and press. Stitch along the pocket sides 1/4 inch from the edges to hold it in place. This will make assembling the project hanger easier later.
7. Split the width of the pocket into two compartments. You can split them any way you like, but Kathryn recommends you make one pocket 11 inches wide to fit all sizes of pattern envelopes, as well as printed PDF patterns. Stitch the compartment separation line, backstitching at the beginning and end.
Construct the body
1. With right sides together, place the back piece on top of the front. Be sure to align the notches at the top for the hanger hook. Stitch the pieces together, using a 5/8-inch-wide seam allowance. Begin on one side at the top of the pocket, continue up the side and stop at the first clip at the center top (red line on photo). Then begin stitching at the second clip from the top, continue down the side, and proceed halfway across the bottom edge (blue line on photo). You must leave this large opening to insert the hanger.
2. Trim the seam allowances to 1/4 inch and clip curves. Turn the body right side out and press.
3. Slip the hanger through the opening and pull the hook through the passage at the top. Pull the hanger fabric to shape in place.
4. Stitch in the ditch across the lower edge of the pocket and continue up the side of the pocket to close the seam.
5. Fold up the open seam allowance at the bottom 1/4 inch and press. Topstitch across the bottom just above the lower edge, leaving only the end of the pincushion open.
6. Stuff the pincushion with small wads of polyester fiberfill. You can use a chopstick or long knitting needle to push the fiberfill to the other end of the cushion. Continue stuffing until the pincushion has some depth, but it doesn’t need to be too firm. You want it to be able to support pins. Hand- or machine-stitch the opening closed.
7. The finished project hanger is ready for your pattern organizational needs. I like to put my pattern envelope and other sewing literature in the larger pocket. My zippers, thread, and needles fit nicely in the smaller pocket.
Make your own pattern
If you do not have the same type of hanger for which the pattern is drafted, never fear. You can create your own pattern.
1. Cut a piece of paper 20 inches across by 19 inches high. Place a mark at the center top of the paper. This is where the opening for the hanger hook will be. Draw a line 3/4 inch below the top of the pattern.
2. Place the hanger you will be using on the paper with the bottom of the hook on the 3/4-inch line and the hanger hook at the notch. Make sure the hanger is centered and straight on the paper.
3. Trace the outline of the hanger on the paper.
4. Draw a cutting line 3/4 inch outside of the hanger outline on the top and sides. This allows a 5/8-inch-wide seam allowance, plus 1/8 inch for the depth added by the hanger.
5. Extend the cutting lines down the sides of the paper to the bottom of the pattern, completing the pattern for the body of the hanger.
6. Cut the pattern along the green line. Make a separate pocket pattern the same width as the pattern piece by 9 inches high. Assemble the project hanger as described above.View PDF
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