UPDATED 6/28/2016 to include sewing directions!
Here’s a photo of a completed seat sack in my friend’s kindergarten classroom. The kids were so excited when I brought one in for them to test drive this morning. We wanted to see if this one was indeed deep enough to hold all of the items the teacher planned to put in the pocket. (It was deemed a little too big by the end of the day). Another kindergarten teacher test drove the second version (e.g. “standard” model) I’d made. Based on their feedback, I am sewing yet another version and am editing the tutorial as I sew along.
It takes about 1/2 yard of fabric + 15 minutes of time to make this seat sack from start to finish. Assembly line sewing (4 at a time) will help speed up the process. I made 24 of them on a Janome 6600 using stitch #1 for seaming and stitch #10 to overcast the seams as my serger was packed up. If I get another order for 24 seat sacks, believe me, I will unearth that serger and put it to use!
FABRIC: Canvas, duck cloth, denim, trigger or upholstery fabric is suggested. Select a medium or dark color to help hide dirt. Washability is important. Trigger is a popular choice for seat sacks. It is 65% polyester/35% cotton blend fabric that launders well and holds up to heavy student use. It is also 59″ wide, which means you get get 3 seat sacks per yard of fabric for the smaller size chairs. Joann’s also has “rodeo” fabric in the same color range as the “trigger” fabric, but it is a 60% polyester/40% cotton blend fabric and comes 44″ wide. You will only get 2 seat sacks per yard of fabric.
THREAD: Use a polyester or cotton-covered polyester thread. 50 wt cotton thread quilters commonly use for piecing won’t hold up. I used a size 12 universal needle and Coats Dual Duty for my seat sacks made from trigger. No problems. If using super heavy upholstery weight fabric, consider using upholstery thread and a size 16 or 18 needle.
CALCULATING RECTANGLE CUTTING SIZE: The good news is chair pockets are nothing more than a rectangle. Chances are, your chair is 12″, 14″ or 16″ wide if making seat sacks for an elementary size plastic stack chair. To confirm, measure the width of the chair where the seat meets the back of the chair. You also need to measure the height of the seat back from the top to where it intersects with the seat.
TO MAKE TYPE OF SEAT SACK IN THE PHOTO (fits curved back chairs):
12″ chair – cut a rectangle 17″ x 36″
14″ chair – cut a rectangle 19″ x 36″
16″ chair – cut a rectangle 21″ x 38″
TO MAKE CHAIR POCKET FOR STRAIGHT BACK CHAIR:
Cutting width: chair width + 2.5″
Cutting length: (seat back height x 2) + 8″ for pocket + 2″ seam finish + 2″-3″ for gusset (if desired)
BASIC SEWING INSTRUCTIONS:
Top portion that goes over the back of the chair:
For Curved Back Chairs:
For Straight Back Chairs:
FOR ALL VERSIONS:
You have now made the part that hangs over the top of the chair. If you plan to add name pockets or embellish with applique/embroidery, now is the time to do it.
Pocket part that holds everything:
Repeat for each chair pocket