I can make that: fabric train caddy

A few years ago, in a burst of "I could totally make that dress!" delusion, I bought a sewing machine. After an afternoon of tangled thread and mangled fabric, I put the machine on a shelf to collect dust until I could develop the patience necessary to learn to use it.

After D was born, I gave sewing another try, this time with more careful attention to the manual (always read the manual!) and many thoughtful online tutorials. My first projects were these pillowcases and crib sheets from the terrific Made Everyday. I got a bit carried away with fabric store sales and the notion of $3 sheets, so D will move to a full bed long before his linens wear out.

Your purchasing future is right there in the theme song: "They're two, they're four, they're six, they're eight." 

Your purchasing future is right there in the theme song: "They're two, they're four, they're six, they're eight." 

While I have been practicing a new hobby, D has been busy with one of his own. Since receiving his first toy engine last Christmas, my young model railroader is accumulating trains at an impressive rate. And they go everywhere with him. After a few months bouncing around at the bottom of diaper bags and backpacks, some of the engines need a fresh coat of paint. 

To keep D's trains safe on their frequent travels, I made a simple cloth caddy. It has a cotton exterior that folds over onto a flannel interior, which provides a play surface. The entire piece folds up into a bag with an adhesive magnet closure. I added one seam to the folded-over cotton that helps form the bottom of the bag as well as two pockets: one for engines and one for tracks. I preferred the tracks to look more homespun than the Wooden Railway tracks (some toys can be *too* perfect), so was pretty casual about measuring and cutting. In fact, if D was a little older I would have let him do this part of the project (okay, maybe not the hot glue gun part). 

Train caddy with flannel interior and homespun felt tracks.

Train caddy with flannel interior and homespun felt tracks.

Because I am new to sewing, I always buy more fabric than I think I'll need, which helps me stay patient when bits of it get bunched up under my needle and I have to start over. But this project was simple enough that I had plenty of fabric left for two more straight-line projects: a pillowcase and pajama pants. 

Clockwise from top left: pillowcase, train caddy, pajama pants

Clockwise from top left: pillowcase, train caddy, pajama pants

Fellow crafters: what projects would you recommend now that I'm ready to move past straight lines? And where are your go-to places for apparel and bedding fabrics?