Since we live on the Pacific coast, any overseas travel ends up being a very long affair. First, it’s about a 5-hour flight coast to coast across the US, then crossing the Atlantic takes another 8+ hours depending on the destination. I always pack in a sketchbook and pencils to keep myself occupied.
It occurred to me that a small pencil case would be nice as a storage for those flights. That way, I wouldn’t have to keep holding them in my hand and also wouldn’t risk dropping them.
The grey one was so easy to make that I decided to make another one using the space fabric and share a tutorial with you.
The one I made is 3.0 inches wide and holds 7-8 pencils. You can adjust the width to add more pencils, of course. Substitute the 3.5 inch with your own number for the adjusted width. Just remember to add 0.5 inch for seam allowance (0.25 inch on each side).
You don’t have to be too exact with your measurements for this pencil case. There is room for mistakes and you can always trim to align the sides. I used 0.25 inch seam allowance.
Outside Fabric (space fabric in the pictures) –
7.0 x 3.5 inches – 2 pieces, one for the back side and one for the front side
Lining Fabric (light grey/silver fabric in the pictures)
A contrasting colour works well for this project.
7.0 x 3.5 inch – 1 piece
4.0 x 3.5 inch – 1 piece
10.5 x 3.5 inch – 1 piece
Iron-On Interfacing –
Light-weight interfacing, just stiff enough to provide stability.
7.0 x 3.5 inch – 1 piece
10.5 x 3.5 inch – 1 piece
Button – 1 medium to large size
Cord – 16.0 inch
1. Place the 4.0 x 3.5 inch lining fabric on top of the 7.0 x 3.5 inch outer fabric that is for the back side, right sides facing together, aligned at the top. Sew the 3.5 inch top edges together. Note – If you are using directional outer fabric, make sure to stitch the lining piece to the top edge of the outer fabric. Press the seam.
2. Iron on the 10.5 x 3.5 inch interfacing on the back of the above piece. This is the finished back piece. Set it aside.
3. Take the 7.0 x 3.5 inch outer fabric that is meant for the front side, iron on the 7.0 x 3.5 inch interfacing on the back of this fabric.
4. Place the 7.0 x 3.5 inch lining fabric on the piece from step 3, right sides facing together, aligned on all sides. Sew the 3.5 inch top edges together. Note – Here also, if you are using directional outer fabric, make sure to stitch the lining piece to the top edge of the outer fabric.
5. Fold the lining fabric behind the outer fabric, iron the seam and top stitch. Measure approximately 2.5 inches from the bottom (open edge) and sew a button in the middle. I stitched the button only to the outer fabric. This is the finished front piece.
6. Place the 10.5 x 3.5 inch lining fabric wrong side up beside the finished front piece from step 5, aligning the bottoms. Mark a spot in the middle of the lining fabric such that the spot is at least 0.5 inch under the top edge of the front piece on the right side. Sew the cord on the wrong side of the lining fabric on that marked spot. Note – Make sure the cord is pointed upward, away from the bottom edge, as shown in the picture.
7. Lay down the long back piece right side up. Place the smaller front piece on top of it with the lining fabric side facing up, outer fabric side facing down. Then place the cord-stitched lining fabric, wrong side up, as shown. Note – Make sure the cord is pointing toward the top side. I offset the pieces in the picture to show you the placements. Align all sides. Sew the bottom side (opposite the cord) first, then sew the two long sides together. Leave the top open so you can turn the pencil case out.
8. Trim the bottom corners and slowly turn the pencil case out.
9. Place a pencil in the pocket now and fold the flap over for sizing. Trim the edge if you want a shorter flap. Note – If you trim, make sure to tuck the cord in between the lining and the back piece to keep it out of the way. Fold the open edge in 0.25 inch all around and iron. You can now top stitch the top gap to close it. I didn’t like that look, so I blind-stitched mine. Make sure the cord is in the centre as you stitch the gap shut.
That’s it! This is the back of the case.
Fill the case with pencils, loop the cord around the button a couple of times and tie a knot. I used a cord instead of velcro or a push button because I wanted the opening to be versatile. This way I can use it for pencils or pens of different lengths and still be able to close the case snugly.
I hope you find this tutorial useful. I am sure you can think of many things to store in them other than pencils and pens.
I really liked the steampunk charm pieces, but I needed buttons. So I drilled holes in them to make buttons out of them. My local craft store didn’t have any grey cord, and I really wanted to use a silver/grey cord for the space-themed one. I cut a piece of black cord, taped the two sides to a piece of paper, then brushed silver acrylic paint on it. It worked out wonderfully. This whole project ended up being completely improvised, starting with a wrong cut of fabric!
I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page. Please pay a visit to some of them.
Sandra Walker December 7, 2017 at 18:50
Fabulous fabrics and terrific pencil cases! Will keep this in mind for a certain grandson… Love your button choices!
Linda December 6, 2017 at 13:25
Wonderful pencil cases, thanks for the tutorial. And, thanks for sharing with ‘sew stitch snap SHARE’
beth December 5, 2017 at 19:48
Those pencil pouches are amazing. Classy, as Patty said, is right!
Pam @Threading My Way December 5, 2017 at 16:57
Love the design of your pencil cases. And that fabric – just beautiful.
Su-sieee! Mac December 5, 2017 at 15:04
Very cool pencil case! I like the laces especially. I’ve been thinking about sewing me a pencil case like this. Hmmm.
Marie-OR December 5, 2017 at 10:44
The pencil cases are awesome! But that watercolor…wow! I can’t believe you did that on an airplane!
Carol December 5, 2017 at 05:35
Sophisticated and beautiful
Janine @ Rainbow Hare December 4, 2017 at 14:53
These are great. I love the understated elegance of these cases in the fabrics you’ve used. Thank you for the tute :)
Emily Bailey December 4, 2017 at 13:36
Thanks for sharing your cute tutorial.
Ness December 4, 2017 at 07:01
I’m going to show my daughter your pencil case tutorial as this weekend she used my sewing machine for the first time.
Kelleyn Rothaermel December 4, 2017 at 03:54
Love it! Great job!
Mersad December 4, 2017 at 02:37
It looks really neat. Love the design as well. Thank you for linking up with “Through my Lens”
Mersad Donko Photography
jesh stg December 4, 2017 at 01:32
Love the fabric you used for these pencil cases, and so practical! I do the same as you do, take some artwork with me when having a plane ride:)
I enjoy the inside of the house when it’s cold outside, but I definitely enjoy warm weather more:) A great post for All Seasons, Soma – many thanks! Enjoy your week!
Kim Sharman December 3, 2017 at 12:04
Lovely pencil cases. The fabrics are perfect and I love how you were creative with those cool ‘buttons’. In my mind’s eye I can just picture you trying to retrieve your ‘lost’ pencils on the plane.
Kaja December 2, 2017 at 01:23
Very nice! Your two fabrics are gorgeous and the steampunk buttons finish things off perfectly.
Kate December 1, 2017 at 09:35
Oh very nice, beautiful fabrics and I love the buttons you made, perfect. Thank you for a great tutorial and I love how your pencil pouch fastens.
Mascha December 1, 2017 at 09:33
So beautiful! And: I like your sketch.
Have a nice weekend
Cheryl Brickey December 1, 2017 at 06:10
I am in love with the buttons you made, they are the perfect detail for the pouches.
Toni Leggate December 1, 2017 at 01:33
so inventive!and a brilliant result…
Lady Fi November 30, 2017 at 21:28
Wonderful pencil cases!
Dixie November 30, 2017 at 16:45
Great idea and I love the buttons.
Mary November 30, 2017 at 16:18
Thanks so much for the great tutorial. Those are fabulous and those “buttons” are really perfect for the project.
krislovesfabric November 30, 2017 at 14:31
Those are both very pretty cases Soma, fun that you improvised – those charms who became buttons look perfect for the job. Glad the fabric came in handy and love your spacey one too!
Kim November 30, 2017 at 14:00
These are beautiful, Soma, and being from Oz I completely sympathise with how far away some places are!
Carol S. November 30, 2017 at 10:20
They look so beautiful and perfect for holding pencils. Great idea to drill holes in the steampunk pieces!
Jayne November 30, 2017 at 07:07
Love these pencil cases and the button is so perfect! Thank you for sharing…I like it!!
Patty November 30, 2017 at 05:59
Wonderful idea! A very classy pencil pouch.