When striving for self sufficiency it helps to not bite off more than you can chew. (Hence the “inching” in our tagline.) It was in that spirit (but without the psychic ability that would have allowed us to predict the housing crash) that we bought the house we live in now, which is a modest 900 square feet. Downside: it’s small and I have to get creative with storage and organization. Upside: we’re not underwater on our mortgage because the place was pretty cheap even during the bubble. The idea was to get some land to play with but not so much that we could get in over our heads with a dozen head of cattle or something.
Something I never thought would create an organizational challenge was my unmentionables. But bras without shaped foam cups are few and far between these days, and those things take up a lot of space. Getting the bras out of my underwear drawer would allow me some room for actual underwear in there. What to do?
One of my favorite blogs that I follow is Vixen Vintage. Solanah also lives in cramped quarters. In fact, she and husband Sam and two cats share much smaller spaces that Matt and me. Not too long ago she posted about repurposing a hanging shoe organizer into bra storage. (The kind with little gathered pockets, not the kind with the rigid boxes.) I thought that was brilliant and it suited my purposes perfectly, but a new one would set me back $20 or $30 bucks (I was surprised, too!) and a used one never did crop up at the thrift stores on my regular visits. The weather was not conducive to working outside Tuesday and I have plenty of fabric laying around, so I took matters into my own hands and stitched up a made-to-order over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder . . .holder.
My version is sized to fit a child’s hanger because I found one loitering in the back of the closet while I was trying on old stuff Tuesday. It has 12 pockets, which is probably excessive, but hey, I’ll always have enough room this way.
1. Cut one 15” by 21” piece of fabric for the middle layer. Then cut 6 pieces 8” by 21” for the pockets.
Hem the top (one of the 15” ends) of the middle layer by folding down 1/4” and then again and stitching in place. Fold over the remaining 3 edges 1/2” and press.
2. Do the same to all 6 pockets: hem the top (one of the 21” ends) and press under all remaining edges 1/2”.
3. On the bottom edge of each pocket measure and make a mark at 3”, 5”, and 7” in from the sides. (This forms a box pleat.)
4. Bring the mark at 3” and the mark at 7” together at the 5” mark, flatten, and pin. Do this to both sides of each pocket. After folding and pinning each pocket should measure 12” at the bottom.
5. Pin the finished pocket to the bottom edge of the middle layer fabric.
6. As you finish pleating the rest of the pockets pin them to the middle layer as well, three to a side, stacking as shown in the photo, with bottom and top edges butting up against each other.
7. When all pockets are arranged and securely pinned, sew around the sides and bottom of the whole shebang, through all layers, 1/4” in from the edge.
8. Sew a line straight up the middle (6” in from either edge) from the bottom of the piece to the top of the top pocket, through all layers.
9. Fold top of middle layer fabric over hanger (until top edge of middle layer butts up against top of topmost pocket) and secure using method of your choice: hook-and-loop tape, buttons, snaps, whatever. I had planned on snaps but remembered too late that I had just given away the last of mine so I pinned it and ran it through the sewing machine. So if I need to wash the thing I have to unpick the stitches, but oh, well. What are the chances of that, anyway?