Father’s Day DIY: Sofa Organiser

As it’s Father’s Day next weekend (or at least it is in the UK and America), I thought it would be a good time to show you the Christmas present I made for my dad, in case any of you were looking for DIY inspiration and a quick-and-easy sewing project.

I love making useful presents for people and things that relate to their interests. Now our dad is kinda retired, and recently immobilised by a knee op, he’s enjoying the opportunity to spend his days sitting on the sofa, reading and doing crossword puzzles.

So, I thought, why not make him something to stash his things in, all within easy reach? A sofa organiser!

I couldn’t find an exact pattern, but organisers are so easy to make – it really is one pattern modified to what you need to stow away. Simple.

What you need

  • Fabric – I used a medium-weight wool blend fabric from Abakhan – you’ll need to measure your chair to know how much fabric you’ll need
  • Medium weight interfacing – one piece for each of your fabric pieces
  • 2″/5cm wide bias binding
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine.


Measure the height and width of your arm, plus the bit down the side of the seat, cause it helps the organiser stay on the arm if you can tuck it in. This gives you the length of your organiser.

The width of your organiser has to be less than or equal to the length of you chair’s arm, but the exact width really does depend on what you intend to put in it.

I measured a large-ish book, a remote control, glasses case and pens, then added an inch between each to get my width.

Then I added a 1.5cm seam allowance to each side when drawing my pattern.

Tip: I like to draw big patterns like this out on A3 paper and often stick them together to get the required size.

The size of your pocket is the width above, plus the depth x 2 of any items that are going to go in there, as you want them to fit comfortably. The height is really up to you; it shouldn’t be so tall the items are hidden or so shallow they fall out. Whatever you decide, double this, as you’ll fold it in two to give your pocket some reinforcement.

And remember to add a 1.5cm seam allowance all around.

To make

1) Cut out your pattern pieces and interfacing. Iron on the interfacing to the wrong sides of your fabric.

2 ) Pin together the two large pieces with wrong sides facing together.

3) Fold your pocket piece width ways and press. (Optional: Add bias binding to the top edge – technically this should be closed anyway, but I think it looks nice to finish it).

4) Pin the pocket to the bottom edge of your pinned pieces (remember to always pin on the same side). Put a pin in to mark the start/end of each pocket, based on your measurements – it can help to actually lay the items out here and pin around them (but remove them before sewing, obviously!)

5) Using a sewing machine, straight stitch along where you’ve marked to the pocket edge to create your individual pockets.

6) Leaving a 1.5cm seam, sew all the way around each side of your organiser, closing up the bottom of the pockets as you go round the bottom edge (you may need to do a bit of clever folding here to create a smooth pocket). Trim the edges.

7) Then the last thing to do is to hide all your raw edges by applying bias binding. It’s important that you use a wide binding as the layers of fabric can get quite thick, especially around the pocket. I used my machine old-school manual styley on this bit so as not to break my needle.

And that’s it; it really is that easy. I hope you have fun making this or something similar – I’d love to see what you come up with.

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