Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pencil case Tutorial and free pattern

I know...a little late, but even though school has already started I thought I would share a tutorial for this versatile little zipper case.

Not just for pencils, this gusseted case would be perfect for a makeup case, epi-pen holder, and a  holder for all those little things. (my daughter uses one to hold hair accessories and a brush for her backpack)
 Lots of options to embellish! and perfect for using up all those little (but special) scraps :)

You can download the pdf pattern here

Here's what you need:

1/4 yard of main/outer fabric
1/4 of lining fabric
1/4 yard of fusible fleece
7" (or longer) zipper

Here's what to do:

Cut all your pieces using the pattern.

Iron  your fusible fleece to the wrong side of your main pieces

If you want to embellish the front with scraps, applique or embroidery - do it now

Take your zipper and place down on one of the main pieces, line up along the top edge

Leave about 1/2" overhang

Put one of the lining pieces (right side down) on top, lining up the top edges and creating a 'sandwich'

Pin together and sew along the top edge using a zipper foot

Open up and press

Take the other lining piece with right side up

Place the other side of the zipper on top of it lining up the top edge, leaving the same 1/2" overhang as you did before

put the last main piece on top, lining up the top edge, pin and sew as before,

Yay, you're half way there...
open up and press, you can top-stitch along the zipper if you like, I have made them with and without the top-stitching and think it looks good both ways

*Important* - Unzip the zipper at lease half way....
now fold the two  main fabric pieces together, and the two lining pieces together. basically you are folding the zipper in half, making sure the zipper teeth are pointing toward the lining and zipper edges are pointing toward the main fabric.

Make sure the zipper overhangs are also folded this way, use pins to hold them in place if needed, also make sure the metal/plastic stoppers are lined up

pin together and sew all around, leaving a 3"-ish gap in the lining
***When going over the zipper I like to use the hand wheel rather then the foot petal, this way you can go really slow and make sure you don't break your needle...ask me how i know :)

Now to tackle the corner gussets, working with one corner at a time...

pinch the two sides and open up the seam allowances and flatten with your fingers. This makes a kind of opposite triangle

hold it in place with pin, do this for all the corners

mark down from the tip of each corner 1". make a line with a fabric marker or chalk. this will be your sew line

sew and cut off the excess for each corner

cut off the excess zipper if you have any

carefully turn the pouch rightside out through the gap you left in the lining

pull out lining

pin together gap, tucking in the seam allowance. Sew the gap closed by sewing close to the edge. if you want to get a perfect seam you can always hand stitch it closed with ladder stitch, but since this is in the lining, you will not really see it anyway :)

tuck your lining back in

now admire your work...that did not take very long huh?

go fill your little pouch with all your goodies...


  1. That's beautiful. I also sewed a pencil case with my daughter. She sewed and i helped her:


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