Through the years, my husband and I always preferred taking silverware, not plasticware, on our camping trips. However, the silverware often became lost in the bottom of a paper bag or in a box, making it a challenge to set the table for meals. My solution for keeping all the silverware in one place was to make a silverware holder out of fabric. Not only does the silverware holder I came up with make it easier to set the table, it also takes up very little space and is very portable — important factors when camping!
Gather together all the silverware and utensils you want to include in your holder. This particular holder has paring knives with covers, which is important. You do not want knives slicing into the fabric! If you cannot score such a find, you can make sheaths for your knives using cardboard and tape.
Use newspaper to make a pattern. Map out the size needed for each pocket. Your holder will have three sections — an upper flap, a lower flap (that will become the pockets), and a center section. This pattern shows each set of knives, spoons, forks, and serving spoons set up to go in their own pocket. As you design your pattern, remember to add 1/2" for sewing a seam along the top, left, and bottom edges. Add an additional 1/2" for each pocket at far left and far right for sewing the pocket flap into place. The right edge of pattern is to be placed on fold of fabric.
Refer to newspaper pattern to mark where pocket sections will be. A pencil works well if fabric is light enough for it to show. Use a straight edge (a triangle works best if you have one) to draw lines nice and straight.
If your fabric is too dark for pencil lines, use tailor tacks.
Make labels to sew onto the pockets for the serving spoons, spoons, forks, and knives. The ones shown here are made from curtain liner fabric, which does not fray. An indelible pen was used to write the names. Labels can be created for other pockets, if desired.
Sew pocket flap into place making a 1/2" seam along left and right edges.
Sew over pocket lines as drawn with the pencil. When sewing the lines for the pockets, sew from bottom to top to minimize fabric buckling.
Place all silverware and utensils in pockets in best position for retrieval. Since some items will be shorter than others, mark a line with pencil (or tailor tacks) at lower part of pocket wherever pieces do not reach all the way to the bottom. (Arrows show marked lines.)
In the design of this silverware holder, the bottle opener and the wine opener are placed in pockets above the can opener and the three-in-one utensil. To add extra pockets, measure the space needed for the pockets. Cut a piece of fabric adding a half inch all around so the edges can be folded over for sewing down. Use a zig zag stitch to finish the edges.
Pin fabric square into position and sew close to edges on three sides. Leave the top open. Insert utensils to mark width of each pocket and how deep each pocket needs to be. Mark with pencil (or tailor tacks).
Using a knitting needle, turn ties right side out. Fold in seam allowance on open end of each tie and press. Press both ties entirely. Top stitch 1/8" from edges on all sides, sewing opened ends together same as previously done for the 6" opening for the holder.
Fold each completed tie in half. Measure about 3" from bottom of silverware holder and about 3" down from top fold to position each tie. Place on outside (backside) of holder and sew in place by stitching a rectangle shape.
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