Finally, right?! Eeek! I hope you find this tutorial fun and helpful!
Quite a few months ago I made these pencil pouches from the canvas fabrics in my collection for Cloud9 Fabrics, Rain Walk. So today I’m sharing the how-to and pattern template as a way of saying thank you to all who stop by my website, leave kind note, and are excited about sewing! I’m grateful for the community and fun and sharing!
- 10″ zipper (I buy mine at Zipit)
- templates CLICK TO DOWNLOAD (print at 100%, no scaling)
- fat quarter – 18″ x 22″ cotton canvas for lining (I use an unbleached 9 oz. weight cotton canvas from my local Joanns, it’s perfect for showcasing all your pretty pencils and pens!)
- 6″ x 18″ main print (canvas/denim/twill)
- 6″ x 12″ accent fabric (canvas/denim/twill)
- 1/4 yard fusible woven interfacing (I prefer Pellon SF101 which is 20″ wide)
Note about materials: If you choose to substitute a different fabric type than suggested, you may need additional interfacing for desired structure. Just sayin’.
All seam allowances 1/2″ unless otherwise noted. Seam allowance included in template.
RST=Right Sides Together, WST=Wrong Sides Together
Approx. finished size: 3 1/4″ tall x 10 1/2″ wide x 1 1/2″ deep
(1) Main, (1 Main reversed)
(1) Accent, (1 Accent reversed)
(2) fusible woven interfacing – using lining template
A note on cutting: Because you’ll want the color blocking to reflect on each side of the zipper, make sure you cut the exterior pieces accordingly (reversed as directed), they’ll look like this:
*my exterior pieces in the following steps are shown without interfacing so as to hopefully better show the process.
Piece the exterior
- Start by sewing the exterior together by placing the main print and accent fabric RST and sewing using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press seam to one side and topstitch. Fuse woven interfacing to wrong side.
- Repeat to assemble remaining exterior panel.
Prepare the zipper
- Bend zipper ends in place and sew (at both the pull side and end stop side).
View from wrong side of zipper.
View from right side of zipper.
- With assembled exterior panel right side up, center zipper right side facing down (zipper pull at left) along top edge. Pin in place.
- Place one lining piece, right side down on top. Pin in place. Using your zipper foot, sew along top edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
- Press exterior panel away from zipper and topstitch along zipper using an 1/8″ seam allowance.
- Position exterior panel and lining panel WST. Press away from zipper.
- Repeat 1-4 to attach remaining exterior panel and lining panel to remaining zipper side. This time placing zipper pull at right. Make sure your exterior panel seams match up at the same location as best you can.
- Open zipper halfway!!!
- Position exterior panels RST and pin along sides and bottom. Position lining pieces RST and pin along sides and bottom. Be sure that you place pins at the intersections of where the lining meets the exterior on each side of the pouch.
- Sew around perimeter of exterior and lining leaving a 4″ opening at the bottom of the lining.
- Press seam allowance open. If desired, trim lining seam allowance to 1/4″ except at opening.
- Reach inside the pouch and wiggle the zipper open fully.
- Box corners by pinching one bottom seam to match it’s corresponding side seam. Sew. Repeat for remaining 3 corners.
- Turn pouch right side out through opening in lining.
- Sew opening in lining closed (by machine or by hand)
- Push lining into exterior and press along zipper edge. Tip: To get the pouch corners crisp, use your fingers to squeeze the seam allowance together at the side seam when the zipper is fully open. Use a chop stick or other dull instrument to poke out the corner on the metal end stop side.
I hope you enjoy making some pencil pouches! They make such fun teacher gifts and of course my kids love theirs. If you want extra credit these would be an awesome companion to a Wool + Wax Tote. I also wanted to point out that this is just one way to install a zipper or make a pouch, believe me when I say there are many many more options! Check out my other tutorials and patterns if you’re interested in working with zippers or love to make pouches.
I thought it would be fun to share a few workspace improvements I’ve made in the last couple months. It’s very easy for me to get situated in a space and just make it work. Even if that means that it’s not the most efficient work flow or if something isn’t working right.
So at the end of the year I almost switched my sewing space to our basement. Almost actually means that I moved everything down there and realized the lighting situation was going to make working down there really difficult. I could only imagine running up and down the stairs every five minutes to look at fabric combinations in natural light. So after my current room was cleared out and I decided to move everything back in, I took the time to try to re-evaluate how my space was working for me.
I spent a lot of time searching for the perfect rug for under my desk. Because my little rolly chair had worn off the finish on our wood floors, I decided I needed to get a rug quick. Eventually I’ll have the floor re-finished, but the rug is a nice fix. It’s soft and has enough texture that little bits of thread and fabric won’t look too terrible in-between vacuuming. So in my search I went through about three different rugs before this one and I’m so glad I was stubborn enough to find the perfect one. I love it.
Another tiny improvement was a new scrap bin! I had previously had three plastic bins from the Target dollar spot that I had gotten maybe five years ago. They were okay, but one ended up cracking and I was always kicking them under my desk. I decided to try to simplify the scraps and go with one bigger basket. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before! My sewing room is right off the main living areas of our house, so little details like the rug and basket make it feel a little cozier. I picked up this guy at TJ Max, they always seem to have a nice selection of cute baskets.
Lastly, I purchased this rolling cart from Target for my hardware supplies. Of course I’ve seen the Ikea ones around, but when the nearest store is over two hours away it’s not so convenient. I’m super happy with Target’s version. I love that if I need to I can move it around in my space. It’s perfect for the hand presses I have as well as having plenty of space for tools I use frequently. Plus there’s room to queue up some projects as well!
So that’s what I wanted to share today. Maybe some of the things I mentioned will help you get your creative space working to its full potential? I’d love to know what you’ve used in your space to make it work best for you. Let me know! You can see a view of my whole sewing room here.
p.s. I added some Turn Locks to my shop if you’re in need of one! These are what I use for my Explorer Totes!
I’m excited to share today that my Wool + Wax Tote that was included in the second issue of Making magazine is now available as a stand alone PDF pattern. It was almost a year ago that I made a version of the tote for my mom and I’m so happy that I get to share the pattern finally.
(photo by Carrie Bostick Hoge)
I tend to talk about making useful things a lot around here. This tote is definitely at the top of that list. You can’t really beat a classic tote with handy pockets. These of course are great for gifting and perfect for customizing to your needs. I can’t wait to see what you make.
Of course don’t let the name trick you, I give several other suggestions for materials that will work great for this classic tote. My rule of thumb for making bags is that if you want a sturdy and durable tote, start with sturdy and durable fabrics. Cork would also be a great fabric to try for the contrast bottom! I’ve got my first cork purchase just waiting for me to give it a try.
Included in the pattern are all my tips for working with waxed canvas (which is what I recommend for the contrast bottom), just like the Explorer Tote, it makes for such a great bag! The waxed canvas is so durable and beautiful, I think you’ll love it! If you haven’t tried some already you should!
You can read more about my other versions of this tote in their original posts here:
Pattern: Wool + Wax Tote
Leather Handles: available in my shop
p.s. There’s a new issue of Making coming up soon! I’m excited to have another project included!