think inside the window box

Guilty as charged. I have a LOT of fabric. Much of it comes in small, irregular shapes and as much as I’d love to stack it in a plethora of pristine piles of impeccable perfection, this is not an option. But, I like to look at it, so dresser drawers and barrels, baskets and grain silos are out. Well, not only do I like to look at it, plaids, polka dots, stripes, flannels, linens, corduroys and canvas. Oh my. Vinyl, brocade, tattersall, gingham, ticking, madras. Jeepers, I love textiles. But when I need THAT fabric I need it NOW.

So I invented a Window Fabric Box. Everyone from Wal-mart to Bed and Beyond (there’s an en suite bath in between there, correct?) to Ikea have storage boxes for all the Stuff We Need. But I wanted one where the contents and I could be friends and see each other frequently.

Window in front so I can see what’s inside.

Now, don’t judge me on the colors. Waaaaay back in caveman times, I decided that my Sewing Room Theme Colors were the blue and red that came with a recycled bedspread that I’d bought at a thrift sale. It looked like this.

Yes, I made a little sewing kit from a cigar box and lined a basket. Must have been the early 80’s. 1980’s, that is.

So, when I found this electric blue corduroy that pretty much matched, I paired it up with some of the red canvas that’s been languishing and made a box.

Why is the lining separated from the exterior? Because if I want the box to be more rigid, I can insert cardboard or plastic canvas. As it is, the contents of the box makes it stand up just fine for my needs. This would work great for yarn, craft supplies or think of your sweaters nestled cozily together in neatly stacked sublimity. HA. Probably not on my watch.

So, the next box was a bit bigger and I used a really stiff navy canvas along with the ubiquitous red.

This one is 15×15″ as opposed to the above, which is 13×13. Doesn’t seem like much, but it makes quite a difference.

Quick instructions: (Because I have a bad memory.) This blog is for me, after all, and if you’re reading it, it’s probably by mistake. Like the Apocolypse has already happened and the only server left running is the one on which this useless blog is hosted.)

  1. Cut 4 exteriors and 4 linings at 16″ square. 3 are the sides and 1 is the bottom
  2. Cut 1 vinyl 16″ square
  3. Sew the 3 sides of the lining together. Likewise the 3 exteriors. This will be 2 seams from top to bottom. (Since they’re square, this only makes a difference if the fabric is directional, like corduroy or stripes.)
  4. Hem the tops of each, Best to do this while you have the machine threaded with the correct thread color. πŸ™‚ Like right after you sew the side seams. Press seams open.
  5. Wrong sides together, sew the exterior to the lining along the seams. Remember WRONG sides together. If you’re a perfectionist, make the bobbin thread match the bottom fabric and the top, the exterior. You’re stitching in the “ditch” of the former seam.
  6. Right sides together, sew the vinyl to the front of both together. This seam allowance will show. If you don’t like this, you could cover it with bias tape or go to the trouble of making a French seam. (Not for my sewing room. πŸ™‚
  7. Do the dreaded box thing. Pin the two box bottoms, lining + exterior, to the bottom of the box matching the corners. Clip the corner seams a bit to make the square bottom go around the corners. I use a walking foot when sewing vinyl and be sure the vinyl is the top fabric. NOTE: I find round containers easier to sew, but fabric typically doesn’t fold into rounds. If this is for yarn storage, though. . . )
  8. Turn right-side out and pop out the corners.
  9. Done. Again you could bias-tape the raw edges that show in the bottom of the box when it’s empty. Which it never is. Speaking of which, these are collapsible for when you don’t have so much Stuff.
Here’s the difference. Before I made the Window Boxes, the fabric on the upper shelf looked fally downy just like the stuff on the lower shelf. I’ll still need to take the boxes down and dig through them, but hopefully this will keep me from losing my mind. Whoops. Too late.

BTW. The clear vinyl came from somewhere and I’ve been looking for a use for it. (Somewhere is a euphemism for a second-hand store.) I have a bunch of it and had been thinking of making a wall-storage deal for supplies. I still have plenty left for something like that.