Pencil Cases With Adjustable Flap – Tutorial

Pencil Cases With Adjustable Flap – Tutorial | Whims And Fancies


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.



Pencil Cases With Adjustable Flap – Tutorial | Whims And Fancies


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.


Materials –


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




Pencil Cases With Adjustable Flap – Tutorial | Whims And Fancies


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.


Pencil Cases With Adjustable Flap – Tutorial | Whims And Fancies


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.


Pencil Cases With Adjustable Flap – Tutorial | Whims And Fancies


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.


Pencil Cases With Adjustable Flap – Tutorial | Whims And Fancies


That’s it!  This is the back of the case.


Pencil Cases With Adjustable Flap – Tutorial | Whims And Fancies


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!


Happy Sewing,


I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.



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Chasing The Shadow – Eclipse 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017 Diamond Ring | Whims And Fancies


Diamond Ring – heralding Totality


Today I want to share something with you that is extremely special to me – our eclipse journey which I started planning two years ago.  It was two years ago that I called the hotel in the tiny little town of John Day, Oregon to reserve a room for the two of us for last weekend.  John Day lay in the path of totality, so we wouldn’t have to drive any further once we got there to see the total solar eclipse.



Solar Eclipse 2017 Baily's Beads | Whims And Fancies


Baily’s Beads – Sunlight rushing in between moon’s craters


This was our first total solar eclipse.  I have photographed a couple of partial ones before, but those were nothing compared to the sun being completely obscured by the moon.  I knew I had to capture this event with my camera and telescope. 

So, on Friday afternoon we started our 592-mile / 10-hour journey northbound to chase the moon’s shadow for the first time in our lives.  We both love to drive, and the scenery was fabulous.  At any other time, I would have stopped and taken a LOT of photos along the way, but my mind was focused on one and only one thing this time.


Solar Eclipse 2017 Baily's Beads With Prominence | Whims And Fancies


Close up of Baily’s Beads – bright sunlight filtering through the rough edges of the craters on the moon

Solar Prominences – Activity on the solar surface shown in red


I knew going in that I would be able to either view and enjoy the eclipse or take photos.  I chose photos.  Totality would last only 2 minutes at our location and I had to finish taking a series of photos within that time.  Immediately after, the solar filter would need to be placed back in front of the telescope before the sun would emerge again, so my eyes and my optics would not be left permanently damaged.


Solar Eclipse 2017 Earthshine | Whims And Fancies


Couldn’t pass up a chance of capturing the lunar surface covering the sun


We spent Sunday at the hotel.  We were lucky enough to be able to park our car right in front of our room.  The car powered my telescope’s motorized mount so it could continue to track the sun once I had everything set up and aligned correctly.  We spent the morning making sure the setup worked from that location.  The afternoon was spent rehearsing the set of exposures I would be taking.


Solar Eclipse 2017 Totality | Whims And Fancies




One last rehearsal Monday morning and I was set.  I started watching and recording the partial eclipse from the very beginning.  As the moon proceeded to cover the majority of the sun, the light started dimming quite significantly and the temperature dropped noticeably as well.  I felt a chill in the air and we experienced late twilight in the middle of an otherwise very sunny morning.  

Right then, the alarm went off on the phone to tell us to remove the solar filter and start clicking.  The race against time had begun!  It felt like the two minutes were over even before the countdown started.  I didn’t get a chance to look up at the sky, but I also knew I would be very sad if I didn’t take the photos.


Art Supply Zipper Bag | Whims And Fancies


Needless to say, I didn’t get to paint or sew much.  Before the trip, I did manage to make a small bag using the yellow newspaper fabric.  I made it to carry my tiny little paint palette and my sketchbook.  Remember the round pencil cases I made in this Sketchbook 2017 post?  Now I have a matching art supply bag.  I took them with me, but unfortunately they stayed in my backpack.  I know one of the August sketchbook entries will be of the eclipse.


Solar Eclipse 2017 | Whims And Fancies


Total Solar Eclipse – Beginning To End


My husband helped me rehearse the photography sequence more than a dozen times, and talked to curious strangers while I was setting up my telescope so I could keep my concentration.  Most importantly, he sacrificed his viewing experience to remove and replace the solar filter on time, to call the photo settings out loud and to shine a red light on the camera so I could shoot uninterrupted. 

This was my first try at taking photos of totality and I really could not have done this without him.  I wish we had a few more seconds so he could have enjoyed it a bit longer. I owe him another eclipse journey.


I anticipated this for so long, now I am a bit sad that it’s over.  As happy as I am with the photos, I also wish that I spent time experiencing the totality with my own eyes.  Shakespeare said it best –  “For man is a giddy thing and this is my conclusion“.

Thank You for listening!


I am also linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.   They are fun to visit and great source for new inspirations.



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