Here's how to make a fancy leather case for your Rhodia pocket notepad and space pen. I like Moleskines as much as anybody, but I'm a list writer, and moleskines are just too nice to fill with lists. Rhodias are great for lists, however, since they're cheap and have pull out pages, if only they had a nicer cover...
Step 1: Gather Materials
I used some scraps leather I had hanging around to make this project and a sewing machine. Originally I was going to use fabric, but that failed, miserably. I made some pattern piece for this project you can download as PDFs; they're designed for the 3"X4" notepad.
If you're having trouble finding leather try an upholstery shop, they usually have some scraps lying around. You want thin stuff, less than 1/16" thick. I'm sure vinyl would work, too.
Step 2: Cut Out Pieces
It helps to use paper clips when working with leather rather than pins. On the patterns, the dashed lines are the ones you cut, the solid lines are the ones you sew. (The dotted line is the actual size of the Rhodia pad + pen.)
Step 3: Sew the Pen Slot
Don't forget this step! Clip larger pocket pattern piece to one of the large rectangles (this will be the inside) and sew the one horizontal line in the somewhat middle of the piece with the wrong side of the pocket to the right side of the large rectangle. Pull your threads through to the wrong side of the large rectangle and tie them off. Note, some of the pocket material will hang over the edge of the rectangle, this is ok, it becomes the pen slot.
(Sorry about the image, it's from the failed cloth version)
Step 4: Sew It Up
Clip the second pocket to the piece you were just working on in the same way, wrong side to right side. Then clip the two large rectangles wrong sides together. Stitch around the edge, the pattern includes a 5/16 seem allowance. When you get top the pen slot, pull the edge of the pock flush with the sides of the rectangles and try to smooth out the poof at the bottom.
Step 5: Trim and Finish!
Trim down the edges to 1/8" away from the stitching. Your done! Good Job!
The second pocket is optional I guess, I thought it'd be a nice spot for business cards and such. To hide your threads, pull them out between the layers of leather, tie them off, and cut.
Step 6: Bonus Elastic
If you want an elastic closure you can add one at the end. Cut a piece of elastic 4+3/8" long and stitch it to the outside of non-pen pocket 1" up from the edge.