Wednesday, 30 March 2011

How to ... Make a Pencil Case

It's been about 15 years since I made my last pencil-case, and this week it finally gave up and it frayed through. It was made out of an old pencil case and was quite unique. Anyway, I don't exactly use my pencil-case as I used to any more; I don't go to school any more (actually that's a lie - I go to school every day!) but it's still useful to have something to put your pens and pencils in - and I have quite a few.

So I decided that I need to make a new pencil-case, and figured this would be a good how-to for this month. 

My new pencil-case is made entirely out of upcycled products: an old pair of jeans (including the zip) and some strips of material that I had left over from the last elephant project.

1) Using a seam-unpicker, take the zip out of an old pair of jeans or trousers that you are going to make the main part of the case with. I have new-found admiration for jean manufacturers as those zips are seriously well sewn in. I think this part may have taken me the most time! 

2) Cut part of the leg from your jeans - make it about the size that you want your case to be. Think about the length of the zip as well - you don't want a pencil-case that is much longer than the opening. Open up the seams and cut your piece to the size you want it to be. It's going to be folded over not sewn along the bottom seam so it needs to be double the size of one side. 

3) I thought denim was a bit boring on its own so I decided to add some stripes. I cut some lengths of materials to the length I needed to go around the whole case. Fold in the edges and sew along the seams so that there aren't frayed edges on the side of your pencilcase.

4) Pin the stripes where you want them to be on your case. Place them right side up on the right side of the denim and then sew them on. Try to sew along the seams you have made when folding the edges. Trim off extra material at the ends.

5) Fold your material in half, right sides in and sew along the edges. I sewed each side twice to make them stronger. 

6) Turn your case the correct way round and pin the zip to one edge. Make sure that your zip is right side to right side of material (so when you turn it, it won't be inside out!) Change your sewing machine foot to a zipper foot and then sew as closely to the zip as you can.

7) Turn your case inside out, open the zip and pin the other side of the zip into the case. Sew it again as close as you can. 

8) Now sew a diagonal from one edge to the top where the zip meets the pencil-case. Again, I made a double line here to make it a little stronger. Cut off the excess as it will make it much easier to turn around. 

9) Turn your pencil case right way round again and iron the inner seams a bit flatter. And voila - you have your very own pencil case! Enjoy!

In case you missed it - I am hosting a giveaway of one of my mosaic necklaces once I reach 100 followers. All you need to do is follow and make a comment to enter. 


lakesandpebbles said...

What a fantastic idea! I bet the denim will be really hard wearing too. Lovely blog :0)

James G said...

That thing is cute! You should make a nautical one.

EmilyMagpie said...

What a fantastic idea :) I've been looking for a nice project for my new sewing machine, maybe this will be the one to help me tackle my phobia of zips! :D


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