Review: Pencil Case Tutorial by Terrabyte Farm

I wanted to whip up a little back-to-school goody for my daughter today... and I've got bags on the brain lately. I had several scraps to choose from and inadvertently picked something that coordinates perfectly with her new backpack - eery! I love the contrast of the dark lining and the green zipper...

I also wanted to practice sewing in a zipper. I have sewn a zipper on a knit sweater before, and on this little round, piped makeup bag from Sew, Mama, Sew:

I thought a flat bag would be kinda cool, and when I realized that it's just a tube sewed flat on the ends I felt kinda silly! Anyway I found this great tutorial from Terrabyte Farm and thought I would "review" it to show off this cute little bag. I highly recommend checking out the original post -- she has a cute video to go along with the tutorial. And the fun fabric she uses reminds me of something I found at Ikea, a black and white cartoon print that would be so fun to color.

The scraps I used came from a dress I made for my daughter's birthday:

The inside and outside of the pencil case are both light cotton, so I used fusible webbing to make them a little stiffer. This also meant I could skip sewing the layers together and get right to sewing the zipper!  In hindsight, I should have added another layer because the outer fabric is so light you can see the lining through a little bit, but no biggie.

My zip was 22" and this was my first time cutting a zipper to fit -- I'm hooked! There was plenty of room to move the pull to one side or the other, and my sewing machine held up just fine. Terrabyte Farm's video tutorial is excellent, but I put together a little collage of the zipper insertion for those who like step-by-step photos:

Top:  fabric right side up, zipper wrong side up
Bottom:  fabric AND zipper right side up

Now you have sewn one end of the pencil case to the zipper, now it's time to sew the other end...

Now, stitch:

I won't give away the rest of the bag construction, but it's super fast and easy!  Go to the tutorial at Terrabyte Farm.

I am so pleased with this sweet lil pencil case! Afterwards I had the idea to make it a little longer and add some grommets to fit a 3-hole punch binder. Might make one for my older son after I find some teenage-boy-approved fabric. Maybe something lined in a laminate that will fit a protractor and calculator, etc.  I also want to try French seams on the ends although I suspect the zipper makes it too bulky.  Now I can see how it would be easy to adapt with the zipper off-center for some different styles.

This is a great quick project for a beginner, like me!   Thanks Terrabyte Farm  :)

Next on my list of things to try:  covered zipper ends!

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