Wednesday, 31 January 2018

A Simple Little Pencil Case

This Christmas I had a set of Sharpies as a gift. They didn't come in a case or a box like so many pens do so I ended up putting them in a freezer bag, but I needed a pencil case to keep them in.

I hate to spend time re-inventing the wheel if I don't need to and I had a pattern for a simple, lined pencil case in my Cath Kidston Sewing Book. I used the pattern exactly as it is in the book without making any changes and I am very pleased with the result, but it would be very easy to change the dimensions if I  wanted a larger or smaller pencil case.

This project used up small pieces from my stash,  which was very satisfying. I originally made a bag from this sturdy fabric as a present for a friend here and had a small amount left over. I am so glad that I saved it. You never know when some small pieces of fabric will come in useful.

For the pencil case I needed 2 rectangles from my medium weight blue fabric, two rectangles from the pink cotton lining fabric the same size and one 25 cm long zip. The first step was to turn under a seam allowance and top stitch the main pieces to the zip tape. I tacked these panels in place first to hold them level and to stop the fabric slipping as I stitched. I used a zip foot to make sure that the stitching was close to the edge.

The with the zip open I pinned the main fabric panels right sides together and stitched down one side, across the bottom and up the other side.

I trimmed the bottom corners. pressed the seams open and turned the pencil case right sides out.

Next I turned down 1 cm at the top of the lining pieces and stitched the two pieces together. Again I trimmed the bottom corners and pressed the seam allowances open.

With wrong sides together I slipped the lining inside the pencil case and carefully slip-stitched the top of the lining to the zip tape just above the line of machine stitching. I used thread that closely matched the zip tape and small stitches so that these stitches are invisible from the outside.

Here is my lovely pencil case, just the right size to hold all of my sharpies and so much nicer than the freezer bag I was using before!

For the finishing touch I tied a short piece of cord to the zip pull and threaded on some painted, wooden beads. This was a great addition, suggested by Cath Kidston, which makes it so much easier to open the zip.


  1. It is always good to see a detailed tutorial. Some books are very good but many gloss over the little steps, leaving new crafters in the dark. I like to have a stock of little zipper bags made, they come in handy for lots of storage problems and make great gifts.

    1. I have made quite a few projects from this Cath Kidston book now. They have been fairly simple but well designed and they have all had good instructions.

  2. Such a lovely pencil case. It's great to use up the last of a precious fabric from your stash for something so pretty and super practical too!

  3. Thank you Caroline. As the only woman in a household full of men it is nice to have practical things that are also pretty. Everyone knows they are mine!