Wednesday, 4 February 2015

A pretty and practical new pencil case for Year 2 - pattern and tutorial

At this stage in the year the holidays start to seem like an increasingly distant memory. The weather is consistently hot, work is well underway for the year and Little Miss is back to school. Moving into Year 2 has its perks, like being allowed your very own pencil case. Year 1 girls have an open container (just imagine the sound of a class full of year 1's opening and shutting their new pencil cases constantly throughout the lesson, and you will realise that lid-less ice cream containers have their advantages). I wanted to make her a case that would be pretty and practical, and match the theme of the reading bag I made her previously. Like the reading bag, all that is required is a couple of complimentary fat quarters, as well as two heavy duty zips. In this case I used open-ended zips and sewed the ends shut; only because they were the only chunky, plastic ones available at the time. 

I designed the case so it has a small pocket for the more frequently used items, and a large main compartment for coloured pencil, felts, glue stick and so on. I got the outer fabric from Bolt of Cloth in The Tannery in Christchurch, and the lining came from my stash. 

Start by drawing out a pattern: 20cm x 30cm for the main panels, and 12cm x 30cm for the side pocket. 

Cut 2 main panels from the heavier Kokka fabric and two from the lining fabric, and cut one pocket panel from both the heavy fabric and the lining. 

If you have a directional pattern, think about how it will flow around the pencil case and ensure you cut accordingly. 

 If you are using open ended zips, start by sewing the ends so they don't undo later.
Starting with the smaller side pocket pieces, pin and stitch the zip onto the main fabric panel.
Now sew the lining fabric, right sides against the back of the zip so that the zip seam is enclosed.

Finish the process by under-stitching the seam: to do this sew the lining fabric onto the seam. This will ensure the lining is held back from the zip.

Press the whole lot into place and set aside while you sew the main side panels.

Attach the second zip to the main panels. Pin and sew the zip and fabric right-sides-together to the zip as shown. 

At this stage I sewed a printed cloth name label onto the outside of the case.

Leave each end of the zip/main fabric seams sewn 1cm short of the edge of the fabric.

Do this on both sides of the zip. 

Now attach the lining by placing it right sides towards the back of the zip so all the seams are enclosed.

Also leave the ends of the zip/lining seams short by 1cm at each end.

Iron into place. 

Repeat for the other side of the zip.
Now attach the side pocket onto the main side panel by placing both panels right-sides-together in a position where the bottom seam of the case will match when the pocket is folded back. 
Sew into place and fold back and iron. 

Fold the main fabric panels and the lining panels right-sides-together with the zip in the middle. Pin into place. Starting sewing from 1.5cm below the closed end of the zip as shown. 

Sew around the lining bag, leaving a 10cm gap at the bottom of the lining. This is to turn the whole case in the right way once your finished.

From the lining, sew over the open end of the zip as shown, and around the main panels of fabric until you arrive back at the closed end of the zip. Finish 1.5cm from the zip, (as shown in the previous picture) back-tack, leaving a gap where the end of the zip will poke through the end of the bag once it is turned in the right way. 

This picture shows the gap left in the lining; use it to turn the whole pencil case out to the right side, thus enclosing all the seams between the lining and outer fabric.

Ensure the corners of the main fabric are trimmed and well turned out so they form nice sharp points.

Pin and sew the opening in the lining shut. Then push the lining into the main bag.
Turn the closed end of the zip out so the corner sits square and the end of the zip remains inside the lining of the bag as shown.
Fold the open end of the zip together and the lining inside as shown and zip up the case. 
Press the pencil case seams nice and flat, and voila! One very practical little girl's pencil case. 
Happy sewing and happy school days everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome tutorial! I am going to make a pencil case for my 6 year old now to match the homework bag I have just finished!