Sewing on Thursday: An armrest sling for crafty projects

I have a mess in my living room. It’s not from the kids, or the dogs, or even the husband. It’s me. All mine. It’s globbed up in piles in various areas. I have organizers and bags filled to the brim with tools and accessories, yet none of them seem to be able to give me the rapid availability I require for my projects? It’s a conglomeration of yarn, threads, sewing needles, knitting needles, crochet hooks, patterns, scissors, stitch markers, and coffee cups.Try as I might to keep it tidy, I get back in there at the end of the day and start working on my projects. Before long, everything is right back out again. After 2 days, I’ve given up trying to put it away when I’m finished with it, because rarely is there a point where I say, “Ok, I’m done for the night.” Nope. What usually happens is that I work up until I send the kids to bed around 8. Then we go in, read or tell stories, say goodnight prayers, and drift off to sleep. Yes, me included sometimes. They’re just so warm and snuggly. It’s difficult.

I want all of my tools right where I can easily grab them, without having to undo an organizer roll or search through the bag at my feet. They need to be ready instantly and be able to drop right back into place. So I created: The Armrest Project Organizer


Approximately 2 yards of top fabric for sling top and pockets
1 yard muslin or backing fabric
lightweight interfacing

First things first, measure your couch. I went from outside in, first measuring the drop on the outside of the arm, then the top of the armrest, the drop inside the armrest, and across the bottom of the couch under the cushion.

Also measure the distance front to back for the depth you want.

My measurements were 10″ outside drop, 8″ top of armrest, 13″ inside drop, and 21″ across the bottom. The width was 18″ across. Add 1/2″ to all of your measurements. I’ll be referring to my measurements throughout, but please substitute your own measurements for mine.
Cut from top fabric

1-18.5″ x 21.5″ (bottom)

1 – 18.5″ x 13.5″ (inside drop)
2 – 18.5″ x 8.5″ (top of arm/pocket)
2 – 18.5″ x 10.5″ (outside drop/pocket)
1 – 18.5″ x 5.5″ (pocket)

Cut from muslin or backing fabric

1-18.5″ x 21.5″

1 – 18.5″ x 13.5″
1 – 18.5″ x 8.5″
1 – 18.5″ x 10.5″

Cut from interfacing for pockets

1 – 18.5″ x 8.5″
1 – 18.5″ x 10.5″
1 – 18.5″ x 5.5″

  1. Using 1/4″ seams, match the sections to each other, right sides facing. Outside arm to top of arm, top of arm to inside arm, and inside arm to bottom. You’ll have one long piece of fabric x the width you chose. Iron all seams open.
  2. Do the same with the muslin or backing fabric. I chose to cut these in sections so that they would hang better on the couch. You could also do one very long piece of each fabric if you choose.
  3. Iron on interfacing to the 3 pocket sections. Turn the top edge of each pocket under 1/4″ and stitch down to create a narrow hem.
  4. To do the pockets, decide how many sections you’d like. You’ll only be able to section one of the pockets in this, and I chose to do the middle pocket. I made one 6″ section and three 4″ sections. I matched the edges of the bottom and sides to the longer (10″) inside section and sewed straight lines from the top of the middle pocket to the base, then sewed a 1/4″ seam around the sides and bottom.
  5. Layer the bottom pocket to the other two pockets and sew around all three thicknesses.
  6. Match the main fabric to the muslin, right sides together, lining up seams and edges, and sew 1/4″ seam all around, leaving an opening for turning.
  7. Clip the corners and turn the piece right side out. Iron flat and top stitch around seam allowances.
  8. Attach to armrest by laying long piece under cushion and over the top of the armrest.
TADA! You now have a beautiful, one-of-a-kind armrest project sling. You can use this for any type of craft such as knitting, crochet, needlepoint and much more. You can also use it as a handy remote control holder or a candy bar stasher. I hope you had fun with this and as always, if you make one, please post it to our Flickr group! 

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