Guest post | Seat sack tutorial

by Admin on 16/01/2012

in Guest Blogger, Home+Decor, Whip Up Tutorials

Seat sack tutorial by Liz Noonan

Liz Noonan is an artist and crafter working north of Boston.  You can read about her on her blog, and see what she’s crafting lately in her Etsy Shop, here [Liz is offering readers a 10% discount off their total purchase in her shop use this discount coupon code: WhipUp10

Thank you for having me over on Whip Up today! My second graders classroom has very little space, so we came up with this idea for making a bag that hangs over the chair, for each student. Each “Seat Sack” has a large pocket for notebooks and other large items, as well as a smaller pocket, on the front, for pens, pencils, markers or other smaller supplies. I made about 50 of these total, since I made some for my other daughters’ kindergarten class as well.  The tricky part was figuring out how to do this in as few steps as possible. I’m offering this tutorial today to show others how to make them as well.

Supplies needed for each “Seat Sack”:

  • 1/2 yard (45 cm) heavy weight fabric, cotton twill or canvas
  • 9–11 inch (22–29 cm) piece of heavy fabric for a pen pocket on the front, optional.
  • Thread
  • Each finished sack will be approx 15 inches wide by 14 inches long (38 x 35 cm)
What you need to do:
  1. Start with your 1/2 yard of fabric, press and finish top and bottom edges.
  2. Stitch your front pocket about 2 inches (5 cm) from the top of the front pocket, and center it.
  3. Press your 1/2 yard into approx thirds: the pen pocket section should be about 12 inches (30 cm), and the other two thirds will be about 14 inches (35 cm) each, these measurements will vary depending on the width of the fabric you buy and includes a half inch seam allowance.
  4. Fold your front pocket up, so that it measures 12 inches (30 cm) and press the bottom.
  5. For the rest of the fabric, the middle is half the distance of the rest of the fabric, so measure up halfway (about 14 inches) and press so that the end of the fabric covers the front pocket. It will look like a kind of sandwich – it should cover the pocket.
  6. Sew this side seam with a small straight stitch or serge so that it is strong. I reinforced the bottom seams for good measure.
  7. Turn your “Seat Sack” inside out and you’re finished!
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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tonya January 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Very functional and stylish seat sack. I am a substitute teacher in NYC and I see these all the time, but, very rarely handmade! This makes a wonderful statement about crafting to young children. Handmade all around the classroom keeps the community spirit alive in learning!


2 CitricSugar January 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm

These are awesome! As an education student myself, I think this could be a solution to overcrowding and the uselessness of students in rank and file rows… LOVE IT – thanks for sharing!


3 Elaine August 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I am so glad I found your tutorial. I didn’t even know what a seat sack was! They look great. I did have a question regarding depth or “give” space for book thickness, is there a width at the bottom like a bookbag? Also what does it look like on the other side of the chair?


4 liz noonan September 19, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Hi Elaine, Very good question. No, there is no extra width at the bottom and I find that you can still keep quite a lot in there. YOu could always add a little extra fabric but it might sag and look less tidy. Mostly we use ours for pencils, markers a couple of notebooks and homework folder.
Hope that answers your question!


5 Sue July 26, 2013 at 8:23 pm

I decided I would like to make these this summer, and just came across your DIY site. About how long did your’s last, or do you make a new set each year?


6 Babs January 22, 2015 at 3:23 am

You left out ONE big piece of information…. so it’s 1/2 yard of fabric (36 divided by 2 equals 18 inches…… HOW LONG? If I had been a novice sewer… this info would mean nothing to me. Lucky for me… I’ve been sewing for 45-50 years and know that you need at least a 45 inch wide piece of fabric. Sorry Liz!


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