Pencil Case Tutorial

This Pencil Case Tutorial is nice and easy to make and a great project for practicing zip insertion.  

Materials Needed - This is for the size I made but you can make them bigger or smaller as you wish. 

  •  2 x Pencil Case Outer - 25cm wide by 16cm high
  • 2 x Pencil Case Inner - 25cm wide by 16cm high
  • 1 x Zip at least 26cm long (I use a long one and cut it down)
  • 2 x Zip tabs - approx 10cm by 10cm
  • Optional - 2 x Interfacing 24cm wide by 15cm high

STEP 1 - Cut out your Pencil Case fabrics. You can get enough to make 3 pencil cases from a fat quarter. Save the off cuts for the zip tabs, or use some other scraps of fabric. 

Optional - I like to add a little bit of woven interfacing to the outer pencil case fabrics to add a little bit extra weight to the fabric. You don't need to do this but if you are then add at this point. 

STEP 2 - Take the zip and make 2 lines 20cm a part. This is where you are going to sew on the zip tabs, to give the pencil case a nice finish. 


STEP 3 - Place one of the zip tabs under the zip fabric facing up and aligned approx. 1/4 inch beyond the drawn line. 

STEP 4 - Fold over the fabric and pin in place.

STEP 5 - Sew  1/4" from the outer edge of the fabric (where the drawn line is). You are sewing to edge nearest the end of the zip.

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STEP 6 - Open the zip so that the zip pull is between the two drawn lines and then place the other zip tab to the other end of the zip. Make sure that the right hand side of the fabric is lined up with the drawn line. Sew the same way as the other zip tab.

STEP 7 - Once both zip tabs are sewn in then trim of the excess zip, beyond the fabric tab and then fold over the zip tab so that the fabric is the right way out again. 

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STEP 8 - Place one of the outer pencil case fabric pieces right side up on the table. Place the zip so that the top edges are together and the zip pull is facing down. You should be seeing the back of the zip. Once you are happy that it is lined up centred then pin or clip in place.

STEP 9 Place one pencil case inner on top of the outer piece and zip, creating a sandwich, the zip will be in the middle. 

STEP 10 - Using your zip foot or by moving your needle placement sew the layers together, by sewing to the outer edge of the zip teeth. As you get towards the end, stop sewing with your needle down and then open up the zip and move the zip pull out of the way. Once sewn trim off any excess zip tab from the top.

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STEP 11 - Fold your joined pieces so that the back of the inner fabric is facing the back of the outer fabric. The zip should be at the top facing upwards.

STEP 12 - Take the second outer piece and place on top of the first piece again making sure that the top edge is in line with the top edge of the zip. Pin or clip in place.

STEP 13 - Turn over the pencil case and then repeat by placing the second outer piece on top of the first inner pieces so that they are right sides together. Pin or clip in place and repeat step 10 to sew the layers together.

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STEP 14 - Place the pencil case on the table so that the two outer pieces are facing each other and the two inner pieces are facing each other. The zip will be stood on its side in the middle.

STEP 15 - Pin or clip the sides in place. Where the zip is you need to create a U shape to flatten it. Make sure that the bottom of the U is facing the inner pieces of fabric. This will give you a neater finish.

STEP 16 - Open the zip halfway and then sew around the two sides and the top edge of the outer fabric pieces. Do not sew the bottom of the inner pieces yet!

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STEP 17 - Turn the pencil case the right way out by pulling it through the opening at the bottom of the inner fabric. Give the corners a good poke, especially the zip tabs. Leave the inner fabric poking out. 

STEP 18 -Fold in a little seam in the inner fabric and sew to finish off. Alternatively you can blind stitch this shut. 

STEP 19 - Push the inner fabric inside the pencil case and give it a good iron. Finished! 


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