Last year I was lucky enough to have a sewing tutorial featured in the August issue of Die Scrapperin magazine in Germany, for the issue I decided to make a pencil case with some elastic so it can be secured to a notebook or art journal for when you are out and about or carrying in your handbag!
There are several steps outlined below and please read them before you begin! I know it’s easy to skip over but it’s important you know what to expect so you don’t make any mistakes.
I used an A5 notebook to measure the pieces of fabric necessary (with seam allowance) so my large fabric pieces including seam allowance measured approx 9″ by 7.5″ making a slightly smaller case.
What you will need –
Backing Material (enough fabric to create the backing and fold over to make the top and bottom sections of the front of the case)
I used Cath Kidston Cotton Duck Fabric. It is a heavy weight cotton. If your case is going to be 6″ x 9″ you will need one piece of 9″ x 11″
Piece of Vinyl for front of pencil case (Measuring 9″ wide and 4.5″ tall – allowances for zipper and ribbon)
2 Pieces of Ribbon (to hide zipper at the top and vinyl join at the bottom) (I used 2 different Cath Kidston Patterns)
1 Zipper (10 inches) If you buy longer or have longer you can just cut to appropriate size.
Seam Ripper (just incase of mistakes)
Zipper Machine Foot
Regular Machine Foot
Decorative lace and label (optional) I used Sass and Belle Aqua Decorative Lace
Matching Sewing Thread
Leather Machine Needles – Size 14/16 for vinyl
Thin Double Sided Tape (to secure vinyl and not leave large pin holes)
2 Pieces of Elastic (for securing to notebook) 10″ Long
Fabric Marker Or Chalk (erasable or washable)
Hand Sewing Kit (for securing the end of your zipper)
Iron and ironing board
Deciding How Your Case will look
I decided that I didn’t want my pencil case to be bulky with seams so I ensured that my case would remain slim by folding the backing fabric at the top and bottom and ironed to secure.
I didn’t measure any of my fabrics, I just worked by eye and it worked fine; using a notebook as a size guide.
Layering your fabrics and arranging your ribbons to decide how your final case will look. This took me a few tries of placing the pieces and ribbons together and arranging my decorative lace and label but once I had decided I took a photograph so I would remember!
Taping Vinyl to Backing Fabric front panel
I lined up my vinyl with bottom of my fabric (facing front) I then attached the vinyl to the fabric using slim and small pieces of double sided tape. You don’t want to stitch through the double sided tape as it will destroy your needles but I find tape a lot better than pins when using vinyl so you aren’t left with big holes. I used the same tape technique with my ribbons. Attaching to the vinyl and then stitching. Sewing with vinyl can be very tricky so Ive made it easier using the ribbons and fabric over the top so your standard sewing machine should deal with it quite easily.
I decided to attach the zipper in-between the backing fabric; front panel and the spotty ribbon. I am attaching the zipper to the ribbon before I stitch the ribbon to the vinyl at the front.
Sewing zippers is not as complicated as you would think given that you have a correct zipper foot for your machine! Having the zipper foot means that you can sew your seam quite neatly. My zipper had to be cut to fit my pencil case and I used a stapler to fix the ends together. You can hand sew the ends together also.
Once you have sewn your zipper to the ribbon you can attach the spotty ribbon to the vinyl; open your zipper as this part will require you to move your ‘open’ case around as you stitch the ribbon to the vinyl. This can be quite awkward so do it slowly. If you have taped it to the vinyl then it should only require one set of stitching.
You can then use a small amount of tape to attach your lace and label and then add simple stitching down the side using your machine.
At this stage you will have an almost completed case! With only two more sides to stitch with elastic attached.
I turned my case inside out. I then took my two strips of elastic (I used two so that it would be more secure on my notebook) and placed them between my floral backing fabric and the vinyl. (Ensure your zipper is open before you turn it inside out and stitch the sides).
Once I was happy with the position of my elastic I pinned it together and stitched the two open ends (the sides) together.
The pencil case is now complete. Here you can see the front and back of the pencil case and how it looks when it’s attached to my journal! It is perfect for carrying some cut outs and supplies.
Turn it the correct way around and voila!