Introduction: Pencil Pouch

Learning Goals:

  • Cutting fabric
  • Pinning fabric
  • Thread the machine
  • Winding bobbin
  • Knowing basic stitches and stitch lengths
  • Hand stitching
  • Sewing in a zipper


  • Time: about 3 hours
  • 2 rectangles 9.5”x 5.5” for outside of case
  • 2 rectangles 9.5”x 5.5” for lining of case
  • 2 rectangles 9.5”x 5.5” to give case structure
  • 9” zipper
  • 1”x 1” decorative tile
  • Thread and hand sewing needle


  • Sewing machines are generally safe machines, but there are still a few precautions to take.
  • Make sure long hair and beards are tied back so they don’t get caught in the machine while you are sewing.
  • Sewing needles and pins are sharp so be careful handling them, make sure they are always in a pin box or pin cushion so they don’t accidentally fall on the floor or get left out on the table.
  • The iron does get very hot and can burn you, be careful handling it and make sure you unplug it when you are not using it. Never leave it face down on any surface or fabric either. It will burn the surface and can cause a fire.

Step 1: Prepare the Fabric

  1. Set up the ironing board and plug into the iron so it can heat up
  2. Cut out 2 rectangles 9.5”x 5.5” out of your outer facing fabric and 2 out of the interfacing with a ¼” seam allowance using fabric scissors (you will have 4 pieces: two of the outer facing fabric and two of the interfacing fabric
  3. Cut out two 9.5”x 5.5” rectangles from the lining fabric with a ¼” seam allowance using fabric scissors (set aside)
  4. Match up one outer fabric rectangle with your interfacing and lay on top of each other. Use the iron to activate the iron-on interfacing and secure it to your fabric. Use a damp pressing cloth to attach the interfacing (red cotton fabric in sewing cubbies) Make sure to just press the iron onto the fabric, do not rub the iron across the fabric-it messes up the glue on the interfacing and smears it.
  5. Repeat with the other outer piece. Set all the cut fabric aside for now.
  6. Pick a small piece of scrap fabric and cut a 2”x 2” square using the pinking shears.

Step 2: Sewing the Zipper

  1. Sew around the edges of your square leaving about a ¼” seam allowance toget used to how the machine works using the foot pedal. Set the square aside.
  2. Pin your fabric how you want to sew the edges. The machine only pulls the bottom layer of fabric through the machine, so if your fabric is not pinned, it can get misaligned and you will not be able to sew accurate stitches.
  3. Lay one outer piece on the table with the right side of the fabric facing up. Pin the zipper at the top making sure the back side of the zipper is facing up.
  4. Starting at the butt of the zipper, sew along your pinned line to attach one side of the zipper to one side of your outer fabric. Stop when you get about an inch or so away from the zipper pull tab.
  5. Unzip the zipper about halfway so that the section of the zipper you have left to sew is now flat against your outer fabric. Sew the rest of the way.
  6. Now pin the other side of the zipper to the other outer piece the same way you sewed the first outer piece
  7. Close up the zipper, your case should look like the image above. You can iron down the seams in between steps to make your case easier to manage.

Step 3: Sewing the Inner Lining

  1. Grab the lining pieces and pin one to one of the outer pieces sandwiching the zipper in between the lining and outer fabric. You should be pinning the right side of the lining fabric so it faces the back side of the zipper.
  2. Sew the three pieces together the same way you sewed over the zipper in the last few steps.
  3. Do the same thing on the other side with the other lining piece.
  4. Now it’s time to do some hand sewing! Position your square decorative tile to where you want it to be on your pencil case and secure it with a little bit of tape.

Step 4: Hand Sewing the Decorative Tile

  1. Thread the needle with your color choice of thread. You’ll need about 3 feet, folded in half and knotted into a double 1.5 ft piece.
  2. Hand stitch the tile onto the case using a hemming stitch.
  3. Tie off the thread with a knot.

Step 5: Sewing the Pencil Pouch Closed

  1. Now position your case so that the right sides of the outer fabric are touching and the lining fabric is sandwiching the outer pieces. Pin the four pieces together along the bottom edge opposite the zipper.
  2. Trim the edge you just sewed close to the seam, but without cutting it.
  3. With the case still inside out, position it so the seam you just sewed is opposite the zipper. Then unzip the zipper halfway.
  4. Pin the sides of the case making sure the open zipper ends remain close together. You will be sewing over the zipper.

Step 6: Sewing the Box Corners

  1. Now you are going to do box corners. To do this, grab one of your four corners and pinch it to form a triangle with the raw seam going right down the center of your triangle. Pin each of the corners with a pin or two, making sure they are all as even as possible.
  2. Sew along your pinned triangles and then snip off the ends.

Step 7: You Are Finished!

Turn your case right side out. Yay finished pencil case!

First Time Author Contest 2018

Participated in the
First Time Author Contest 2018

Sew Warm Contest 2018

Participated in the
Sew Warm Contest 2018