I don’t know about you but I remember (back in the day!) the only good thing about going back to school after the six week’s summer hols was the prospect of all bright shiny new stationery (oooh I love a bit o’ stationery!).
In preparation for the looming new school year, we thought we would post a little tutorial on how to make a pencil case for the special little ones in your life to show off to their classmates (or for those bigger ones off to University or starting a new job…it’s a multi-use gift!)
You will need:
- Pencil Case template – 12cm x 24cm rectangle
- Outer Fabric (here we’ve used Michael Miller’s Beep Beep)
- Lining Fabric (a coordinating blue cotton)
- 8 inch (20cm) zip
- Coordinating thread
- Sewing machine, pins and needles
Other things to mention:
- Please allow for 1cm seam allowance.
Let’s get going…
1. Cutting your case outer and lining from the fabric.
- Fold your fabric in half so that the rights sides are together.
- Place your template on the fabric in the corner, making sure you are maximising the fabric you have (ie. don’t just place the template in the centre and start cutting!).
- Pin the template to the fabric and, using your chalk, draw around the template using dashed lines.
- Remove the template and pin the fabric together – this holds the two pieces together while you cut.
- Repeat these two steps above for both the outer and the lining fabrics, so you have two pieces of each.
2. Sewing your zip.
- Place a piece the outer fabric on your work surface, right side facing up. Lay the length of the zip on top of the fabric, facing down.
- Lay a piece of lining fabric, right side facing down on top of the zip. The zip should be sandwiched in between the outer and the lining fabric.
- Pin and tack the zip in place.
Tip: Use a different colour thread so you can easily see your tacking stiches when you come to take them out.
- Using your zipper foot and matching thread, sew as close to the zip as possible along the top of your case. To start, open the zip, so the zip head is not in the way of your sewing; however, when you reach this, with the needle still in the fabric, lift your presser foot and carefully zip up the zip so the head is back at the top and the zip is closed (this may need some gentle jiggling to get past the needle and presser foot. Continue sewing your zip to you reach the end of your fabric. Reverse stitch at the start and end.
- Remove your tacking stitches.
- Fold the fabric so the outer and lining and facing the correct way. Press.
- Top stitch along the side of the zip, along the top of your case so the fabric stays in place, out of the way of your zip (this helps to prevent those annoying ‘getting-stuck-in-the-zip’ problems).
- Repeat the above steps to attach the other side of the case (outer and lining) fabrics to the other side of the zip.
3. Sew your case together
- Make sure your zip is open.
- Fold the outer fabric pieces together, right sides facing and pin. Do the same for the lining – the zip will be in the middle.
- Pinch the ends of the zips together and pin, making sure the outer fabric is lying over the lining.
- Sew all around the outer edge of the case, making sure to catch the ends of the zip (1cm seam allowance).
- Repeat for lining, leaving slightly more seam allowance than you did for the outer (this way the lining lies snug inside the outer case), and leaving about a 3cm gap at the bottom for you to turn the case right way around.
- Snip the corners and turn the case right way around.
- Hand sew to close the gap in your lining fabric.
- Push your lining into the outer and press – you have now finished your pencil case!
Add a bit of applique to jazz up or personalise your case…