The past few days I've been considering getting a little leather style pencil case as I am smitten with this shape of case. Every time I thought I'd found the one I just didn't want to part with the cash, thus why I thought making one would be interesting. As I am awaiting a Royal Stewart Hobonichi zipper case for my journal it seemed fitting to make something tartan (Black Watch). I've made this a little tutorial to share with you all.
One | Fabric
Choose a fabric which suits your needs, remember if it has a huge pattern you will only see a small amount. The amount of fabric you'll need is up to you but I went with 26x16cm which is just right to fit my pens in. This size accommodates about 15 of these Uni Pin fine liners.
Two | Equipment
Sewing Machine - You can sew by hand but it will take a fairly long time
Zipper Foot for machine - This isn't essential it does help keep stitches closer to zip though
Scissors - The sharper the better
Tailors Chalk - Normal chalk or a white pencil may suffice
Zip - Remember to consider which length you want your case, I went with 14cm but likely could have gotten away with a 12cm.
Three | Mark Out & Cut
After ironing your fabric mark out the size you want, I used a set square to make sure it was an even rectangle. Don't be too precious about the lines as you'll be cutting them and they will be concealed seams. Cut along your lines.
Four | Attaching Zip
With the fabric pattern facing up place the zipper with the zip facing down on the edge of the fabric so the top edge of the fabric meets the top edge of the zip and pin these together.
As you can see above you need to make sure you have an even amount of extra zip either side. I added interface to the back of my fabric to add structure but in hindsight I highly recommend you don't. Now pull the end which isn't pinned upwards toward the zip, again pinning the patterned side to the front side of the zip.
When you go to sew the zip make sure there is only one layer of fabric and the zip under the foot, this can be done by tucking the rest of the case out to the left. The zipper foot will allow you to sew neatly next to the zip without going over it. Sew all the way down the zip then remove the case from your machine, trimming loose threads and do the other side of the zip.
If you turn your case inside out it will look like this now. You can press the fabric beside the zip to make it look neater and then open the zip so you can top-stitch to add a refine finish to the outside (shown below).
The Tricky Bit
Now this bit is fairly tricky, you need to tuck the sides into themselves so you have a flat surface underneath and on the zip but the sides have a pleat in them. It was really difficult to visualise this with photos but this is it with the side tucked in below. You need to do this on both sides, like the sides of a paper bag.
Pin the ends so the pleats stay and then sew roughly 1cm from the edge horizontally across so that your zip will be sealed (please ensure your zip is not past these pins before you sew or when you cut off this zip excess your case won't work).
Now you can unzip it and turn it inside out again to reveal your finished case. Voila! Apologies if any of this was unclear, I had quite a bit of trouble with lighting as I did this in the evening but wanted to share the method with you. I hope you enjoy making one too.