Things You'll Need
- Twill or other mid-weight fabric
- Coordinating thread
- Measuring tape
- Sewing machine
Proper shoe storage is an issue in almost every closet. Heaps of heels and boots on the floor make finding the right shoe difficult, and the mess is unsightly. Crouching down to fish that pump out from under the bed is a pain. Even stacks of shoe boxes can be difficult to keep tidy. Unless you have ample shoe shelving in your closet, and few do, consider a custom over-the-door shoe organizer with pockets specifically sized for your shoes.
Calculate the amount of fabric needed. Using the door as a guide, find the finished size of the organizer. For example, a standard interior door at 30 inches x 78 inches can accommodate an organizer approximately 21 inches x 65 inches. Adding 2 inches all around for seams, the raw size for the body of the organizer would be 23 inches x 67 inches. Approximately the same amount of fabric will be needed for the pockets for a total of 46 inches x 67 inches.
Determine pocket size and amounts. A custom shoe organizer allows you to create pockets that fit the size and number of shoes you own. Group shoes by type and determine how many pockets will be needed and of what size. A pair of women's heels might require a pocket 7 inches wide and 10 inches tall. A pair of flats however, could fit in a 4-inch x 10-inch pocket, while a pair of boots would need a larger pocket at 10 x 10.
Find the layout of the pockets. Using your dimensions from Steps 1 and 2, sketch a layout for the pockets. For example, a 21-inch x 65-inch organizer might have two rows of three heel pockets (for a total of 21 inches across), one row of four pockets for flats (for a total of 20 inches across) and one row with two boot pockets (also at 20 inches across). With some slight adjustments to the sizes, all the rows can be rounded out to an even 21 inches wide.
Cut the fabric. Measure out the backing section (being sure to add that 2 inches for seams) as well as the individual pockets (this time adding 2 inches to the height and 3 inches to the sides).
Fold and press a 1/2-inch seam all the way around the main back or body piece of fabric. Now fold the 1/2-inch seam over again, encasing the raw edges, and press. Baste the seam (stitch with the longest stitch length) all the way around.
Fold and press the same 1/2-inch seam around each pocket, only double-folding the top edge of each pocket. Lay the pockets onto the body in order. Beginning at one corner, pin the first pocket along the basted edge about 5 inches down from the top edge. Pin a 1/2-inch pleat 1 inch from each side along the bottom and then pin the side edge in place. Continue pinning the pockets on in order, leaving a 5-inch gap between rows and adding the 1/2-inch pleats to each so that the total width along the bottom equals the original pocket size (i.e., 7 inches wide for heels).
Stitch down the sides of the organizer and then across the bottoms of the rows of pockets. Finally, stitch the remaining side pieces of the pockets and along the bottom and top of the organizer. Remove all basting and add a grommet to each of the top corners of the organizer for hanging.
Gillian Grimm's writing has appeared in "Transitions Abroad," "MyMissourian," "ThinkCrafts.com" and "The Northville Review." Formerly an educator, she now works as a freelance writer specializing in crafts, cooking and education. Grimm holds a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education from Pacific University, and dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Journalism and History from the University of Oregon.