Monday, February 2, 2009

Pencil Case / Sewing Cases

It all started with this ...

I found the instructions on the Sew Inspirational Website which has lots of free patterns, tips and info - you will have to register and sign in to get to the Children's Pencil Case. It was quick and easy, and I love the way the batting gave the case body and structure, I also love the chunky zip - I didn't add the pom pom braid ....
Besides being a great little project for my students, I needed to make some sewing cases to keep each student's sewing bits and pieces together (which are colour coded) ...... I had some black "clothing" vinyl so I thought if I added the colour to match the coding, it may just work ...

I tried the red one first ... I thought the vinyl wouldn't need the batting, but wrong! The vinyl was really really soft - it has a knitted backing .. the result was sad and droopy ...

So anyway, I made all of the other ones following the same procedure for the fabric pencil case I made... much better body and shape.

I didn't really have the right length and colour chunky zip for each one - but it all worked out.

I used the walking foot throughout (LOVE IS A WALKING FOOT!!!!) due to the vinyl, but it made the zipper insertion a bit tricky, just had to show alot of zipper tape to get the big fat foot along the zip .... but it was fine ....

Here are a few step by step pics, we pick up from where the vinyl, batting and lining have been sandwiched together (quilted) and the shorter ends where the zipper will go have been turned under ... I have also sewn on two strips of ribbon along the edges where the zipper goes... The beauty of the open end zip is that it can be separated to enable you to sew tubes easily with a zip in the middle .. here is one half of the zip attached ...
I needed to pin the zip allowing the greatest amount of zipper tape showing to allow the walking foot to fit past - only because of the vinyl - otherwise I would just use the zipper foot and get up close ..
Rejoin the zipper halves together to line up the other side of the zip, pin, and then detach the zipper so that you only have one half to sew on ..

Join the zipper back together again, and you have a tube .. now, depending on the length of your zip ... this red one is too short, so I had to trim the ends off - with the right length zip - or even a heaps longer one, you won't have to do this ..

Now, sew together the ends - just move over the zipper teeth - bunny hop!

Make the little carry strap, by folding the strip in half and then half again, and sew together.
Sew a piece of ribbon along the strap. Now, trim the corners on an angle at the end seam ..
This next part is tricky to explain, you need to make a triangle from each of the corners that you just snipped. Now, you need to push the little carry strap up into this triangle so that it gets sewn in as you make the boxed corner - only do this at one end. So, in the photo below, I'm holding the corner up and the end of the strap is snug up inside the triangle.

Stitch across this corner - 2.5cm from the point - make this a firm strong seam.
Repeat on the other side, and then stitch the other end together - remember to open the zipper to halfway so that you can turn it right side out!
Done! Attach a zipper pull or ribbon to the zip puller.

Now, the theory is that all of the Blue coloured pieces of sewing equipment will stay in the blue case .... you'd better check back with me in 6 months and I'll let you know how it went ...


  1. wow what a great BLog you have. I love the Aussie Blogs at this time of year because it's nice to think of people in the snow whilst we are dithering here! I shall follow your Blog with great interest!

  2. A very nice tutorial, thanks for sharing and I will be following your blog to see what you do next. :D

  3. so nicely sewn... i never use vinyl.. maybe should try tq

  4. I just found your blog thanks to Nichole M's blog.

    Thanks for the tutorial. This will be very helpful for my daughter. I've downloaded the instructions for these pencil cases so she can sew one for herself. Thanks for sharing. Your photo tutorial is much more helpful than the original instructions, especially for someone new to sewing.

  5. The pencil case looks very nice...could be used for other purposes also.This is a helpful tutorial.


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