Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shower Caddy for the Gym!

Being regular at the gym is tedious for several reasons. 
My top three speed bumps and how I've overcome them -

1. Pain - The aching muscles the day after.
There is good pain and there is bad pain. 
If I exercise correctly and not injure/over exert myself, my pain would be all good. I just use it as a reminder of having worked! And Gudia pointed out in the Nutrigrain ad - one good decision leads to another; so for the rest of the day I am watchful of what I eat (I no longer catch myself sneaking cheez-its at the office).

2. Getting out of bed (Compare - warm bed v. cold steel. On a winter morning. Or any morning!)
To me, 'Getting out of bed' and 'waking up' are different things. And I find it easier to get out of bed if I have options.
Let me explain.
I tell myself that after having tea if I still want to go back to sleep, I may do so.
It never happens :) I'm wide awake by the time I've had my tea! But knowing (!) that I don't HAVE to stay up just makes it easier to get out of bed ;)

3. Showering at the gym (we now come to what will justify the title of this post!).
Made tedious by the need to carry bulky toiletries to and from the shower. 
Compounded by the fact that there aren't any shelves in the shower to stow them while you shower. (I don't like keeping them on the shower floor!)
Note that the shower side end of the curtain rod is the driest spot of the shower. If I can hang my shampoo/conditioner/body wash in that corner, I'll be good :)
And oh! What about my spectacles, scrunchie and locker keys?! Those too.
This is what I wanted to make, a rough sketch -

Front panel A will have 3 pockets - one each for shampoo, conditioner and body wash.
Panel B will be the central panel. A & C will attach to this.
Panel C will be the back, two pockets - for my glasses/etc.

The three panels will be stitched together, all stitches on the outside so no right side/wrong side/turning complications! Once the layers are all stitched, I'll finish off the look with some bias tape.

To begin, I bought three of the cutest bottles from the travel section at Walmart -

To see how much fabric I'd need -
Panel A
Three bottles. So take a length that when pleated thrice

would fit over the bottle like so -

While you have it folded, mark the thirds with your marker of choice (chalk for me) so you know where you'll be stitching later.

Panel B
Since this'll be the substrate, it needs to be strong. Two layers of fabric with lots of stitches attaching them and giving them strength would do it for me.

On a folded piece, I lay down the three bottles side by side to see how wide I'd need. The blue lines define the shape of the caddy. Cut along those.

I stitched the two layers together and gave it some random vertical and horizontal stitches so they stay together. Do not sew the little top edge (the one connecting the slant edges) shut, for that is where the strap will attach. And panel B is ready.

Mark the thirds one side and halves on another, to be able to line up with A&C while stitching later.

Panel C
Since these are going to be bonus pockets, there aren't any strict sizing requirements for these. Not wanting these pockets to be loose, I took a length of fabric a little shorter than Panel A.
Fold into half and mark that line too.

Starting with A & C -
The edges E1 would be the top of the pockets - needed some character. So trim them with some bias tape.

Now we can start putting it together.

Arrange the three panels with their left most edge aligned, pin them and stitch S1 in the sketch above. Double stitch.

Then getting panel C out of the way, pin stitch S2 in place. Stitch, and reinforce well.
Now get panel A out of the way and stitch panel C to B - stitch S3.
One last time - get C out of the way and attach A to B - stitch S4.
Now all three right edges together and stitch S5.

You have five pockets now. Well, almost!

Lets close the bottom now, then we can call them pockets. Begin with any one of the five. Make little pleats close to the stitches and pin the pleats to the center panel B.

Conquer them all, one by one.

Stitch the bottom closed. Move the fabric slowly, there will be many layers. Also see that the pleats don't get folded over when they go under the foot.

Now time to dress it up. Pin up bias tape around it. Take your time and miter your corners.

Next would be figuring out how to hang the caddy. Two stripes, one short one long. Velcro. Easy :) 

Insert the two into the short edge that we left unstitched, between the two layers of panel B. Stitch them in place, first with straight stiches, then marking an X and sewing over that. And you are done!

Hang it on the fridge if you like to ;)

Attach a label if you wish to! 

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