Zipper Pencil Case

Zipper Pencil Case

Sewing Pattern: Download pdf sewing pattern here.

To make: 1
1. Fabric – cotton or linen mixed, 15″x 17″
2. Fabric – lining, 15″ x 17″
3. Batting – 10″ x 17″
4. Muslin – 10″ x 17″
5. Interfacing – medium/thick, 9″ x 17″
6. Piping – 1 1/4 yard
7. Zipper – 16″ (click here to watch how to shorten metal zipper)
8. Ribbon – 1/2″ wide, 2 1/2″, 2 pcs (for zipper tag)
9. White paper – letter size, 4 pcs.

1. Sewing machine, with normal foot and zipper foot
2. Sewing kits
3. Iron
4. Quilter’s safety pins
5. Pins or Clover’s wonder clips
6. Erasable fabric marker
7. Ruler
8. Scissors
9. Printer

Finished Dimension: 8 1/2″ (W) x 4″ (H) x 3″ (D)

The zipper space is 1/2″.
You may use medium interfacing on the body instead of batting. No quilting required if using interfacing.
This tutorial needs a lot of turning right side out, do iron to flatten the crinkles when ever is possible.

Download the pdf pattern and print them. Print 2 sets on each page and glue the halve parts to get the full pattern.
{If you can’t download the pdf pattern, probably you don’t have acrobat reader, download the latest version for free here.}
Draw the pattern on the drafting paper.

Cut the body piece out form the main fabric slightly bigger than the pattern.
Trace the body pattern on the right side of the body fabric with water erasable pen.
Draw some designs on the body fabric with water erasable marker. I drew circles from 3 sizes of bottles.

Layer the body fabric with batting and muslin underneath it.
Pin with quilter’s safety pin.

Carefully stitch along the drawing lines. Start from center of the body and work outwards, this will avoid crinkle between fabric and batting.
Spare about 4″ thread at each new stitching.

Pull the front thread to the back, tie a knot and trim the ends. This will prevent the thread from exposing to the front.

After finish the quilting, spray some water to erase the quilting drawing lines.
If you can wait for it to dry, light iron with medium heat iron to dry it.
Cut the body pattern to the correct shape and size.

Prepare the rest of materials per above list.
Fuse the interfacing to the lining, or the main fabric. I like my interfacing on the lining when I need to do a lot of turning right side out.
Draw and cut out the zipper gusset and invisible side gusset patterns. Trace all pattern to the rest of the fabric and cut.

sew zipper gusset Make a few stitches near the top stop of the zipper.
Pin the zipper gusset to the zipper (1/4″ away from the center) with right side facing each other.
Change the presser foot to zipper foot, sew a line near to the seam line to secure the position.

Place the zipper gusset lining on top of them with right side facing down. Stitch on the seam line.

Flip the lining to the bottom of main zipper gusset, top stitch near the seam line.

Repeat sewing another side of the zipper gusset. The width of the zipper in between the gusset should measure 1/2″.
Change the presser foot back to normal foot, stitch on the seam allowance around the zipper gusset so that the main and lining fabric attach together nicely.
Baste the ribbon loops at both ends of the zipper too.

Trace the zipper gusset pattern on the right side of the lining. Remember to mark the position of the invisible side gusset.

internal gussetSew the invisible side gusset:
1. Place the invisible side gusset fabric and lining with right side facing each other, sew both top and bottom seam lines.
2. Turn the right side out, top stitch near both top and bottom edge.
3. Fold the gusset into halve vertically with lining side facing out, stitch near the edge.
4. This is how the invisible side gusset looks like.

Place the side gusset to the wrong side of the zipper gusset. Position according to the markings, with lining side facing up.

This is how the zipper gusset looks like after attaching the side gussets in it.
Set it aside while working on the main pencil case main body.

Line the piping around the body, pin and sew with zipper foot.

Cross the piping ends when they meet.

Clip lightly on the piping seam allowance at the curve.

Place the zipper gusset on the pencil case body, with the ends align to the center markings.
Sew from marking to marking at both ends.

Place the lining on top of them with right side facing down.
Sew from marking to marking too.
Clip at seam allowance on the markings.

Sandwich one of the long side of the zipper gusset with the body main and lining piece. Align properly so the seam lines are matched.
Secure with pin or clover’s wonder clips.
Sew with zipper foot. Sew slowly and carefully, it is not easy especially at the curve.

Turn the piece right side out, one side of the pencil case completed.

We need to spare a 5″ opening at the lining on this side to turn the pencil case right side out, so, stitch a 6″ line at the center of the zipper gusset to attach to the main body piece only.

Fold the lining over (as shown on the above photo) and sandwich the zipper gusset with main body piece, pin and sew but remember to leave about 5″ at the center of the pencil case for turning inside out.

The 5″ opening is just on the lining side. Slowly and carefully turn the pencil case right side out from this opening.

Stitch up the opening.

This is optional, but I find that hand hem stitch the seam allowance make the pencil case neat and more stable.

Turn the pencil case right side out, it is completed!!!!

{More photos and story on Page 1.}

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109 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Beautiful. Perfect. Thank you.
    Greetings from Poland 🙂

  2. I am lost at step 20 when the lining is placed….

  3. hello!

    do you have any tutorial videos? it may be easier for me 🙁

  4. I love this pencil case. I’m attempting to make one for my children and their friends each. There are some parts that i’m having problems with.

    Once I get one completed and start another, can I do a video tutorial for people? I would have loved a video tutorial for this and haven’t been able to find one.

    Thank you

  5. Thanks for the tutorial, it’s very close to what I’m after. Just need to figure out how to add another zippered pocket 🙂 Could you please tell me what measurements the finished pencil case has? It looks way smaller than 15″ in the pics..!

    Best regards

  6. Hey craft passion,

    I’d like to make this adorable pencilcase but there is one thing i’d like to know before i start.
    What kind of interfacing did you use? What brand and number?

    • I bought the interfacing from a craft shop in loose pack, no info on the brand and number were given. Sorry. You can use medium cotton interfacing that is meant for bag making.

  7. I love the design and zipper. Can you tell me where you buy your zippers?

  8. Thank you very much for your tutorial!
    My English is unperfect, but till the 18th step I understand it clearly.
    I would like to sew a bag similar to but with a wall inside the bag like this one:

    Unfortunately I am a beginner. 🙁
    Do you have any idea how I can sew a bag like this? Sizes should be 27 L x 24.5 H x 14.5 W cm and volume/capacity 10 Liter.
    I would like to put my tablet and books in the bag to have a bit more order. My old bag has a lot of room, but if I put books in it, the bag rolls over and I can’t find anything in my bag with too much unordered space.

    I hope you can help me.

    Wish you a nice weekend!

    • Liliana, I am afraid that I cannot handle your request, it is big project to come out with a decent bag/purse design. Sorry, I have a lot in my list to catch up with.

  9. Thanks .you are the best.I saw it .and my girl loves it very very….

  10. HI .NICE

  11. Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to
    put this information together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and
    leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  12. Hi- Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. I have now made 4 of these- adding additional pockets in most and adding some straps to the outside to make a perfect handlebar bag for bicycles! I don’t think I have the gusset part correct but my bag works fine.

  13. Thank you so much for the wonderful pattern and tutorial! My bag turned out wonderful, it was a tough one for me.

  14. Hi. This is really great tut, thank you very much. I used it to sth totally different – netbook case, with different proportions but crtainly same pattern. It’s universal and nicely explainde. Have a nice sewing!

  15. Beautiful bag. If you could help me, how would you go about shortening the bag to 6″ instead of the original 8 1/2″? TIA.

  16. Pingback:Wide open zipper case triptych » B.Yazoo

  17. What a great pattern!! I started sewing and then realized that I don’t really understand how to sew the second half of the lining, could you clear that up for me? Thanks!

  18. hi, i want to sew such zipper pencil case.
    Which fabric should i use for best result?

  19. Thanks for this tutorial! It was exactly what I was looking for. 🙂 I wanted to create a bag that opened fully, to hold my oils. I left off the gusset and added some elastic on the inside. It was challenging because my sandwiching was not nearly as smooth, and the fabrics didn’t totally line up, but it ended up pretty nice anyway.

    For anyone else having trouble with the directions, I’d recommend just going through the steps and you’ll discover that it does all come together. I try too hard to visualize each step in a project before I start and was confused on this one. When I just dove in, it all made sense.

  20. Ive read and reread but cant get beyond “place the lining” I attatched the lining and couldnt get access to the zip, unpicked then tried to sandwich lining and zip and fabric and unpicked Is there something I am missing? Obviously as many people have made this bag!

  21. for the zipper pencil case I’m not getting it when it said to sew line to line….do you have a video tutorial this? thanks

    • Hi Jeanice, I don’t have any video to show…. which part of the tutorial that you don’t understand? I can’t find the part “sew line to line” in my instruction, did I said that?

      • I’m at this part…..Place the lining on top of them with right side facing down.
        Sew from marking to marking too.
        Clip at seam allowance on the markings.


        • Hi Jeanice, this instruction is to just place the lining fabric piece on the zipper pencil case, right side facing each other, then you sew from marking to marking (as shown by the arrow on the picture). After that, you just clip a few snips on the seam allowance to allow the pencil case to bend at the corner.
          Hope this helps.

  22. sorry, but this zipper pencil case is very hard to do, it doesn’t give you alot of instruction how and what to do next..or picture to follow, can anyone help on this? do they have a video to watch…I would love to make this..I’m up to the part where you put the lining on top…please help me…Thanks

  23. Dear Joanne,
    thank you for your pattern. I have just one doubt for now, I print your pattern as you told, twice, then I glue them togheter but the result are 18” not 17”…what did I wrong?

    • Hi Carla, please check if your printing scale is set to original without any zooming, secondly, the zipper gusset needs to be glue along the center line and not the edge of the paper.
      Please let me know should you still have problem in getting the correct size.

  24. Great pouch! Wondering if I could sell them at my booth when I do craft shows?

  25. I sure will put out a card crediting your design you put in a lot of work and its great that its free, thanks!

  26. Hi Craft passion, i have made this twice and i have difficult when we put together with Lining. may i know what type of needle do you use? i use portable sewing machine and i think its too thick for finishing.

    thank you from Indonesia

    • Hi Weny,
      I used just a standard sewing machine needle to sew the zipper pencil case. A standard sewing machine should be able to sew it.
      Have a nice day.

  27. Love your design, but I’m stuck on p. 5.

    “Make a few stitches near the top stop of the zipper. Pin the gusset to the zipper.” Where? I don’t see any stitches across the zipper. What am I sewing to if the gusset is pinned after sewing some stitches?

    Also, seam lines on your patterns measure 1cm. Just checking – is that the desired seam allowance?

    Thanks very much.

  28. Figured it out – sts near top of zipper were to tack the zipper tape together above the zipper stop.

    Then I realized I had printed the pattern out incorrectly. Pieces were too small because the printer option used had been set to “scale to fit Entire Paper”. When I changed it to “Print entire image”, the pieces enlarged to a more appropriate size.

    So start over, but no problem, I still think it a beautiful design and I look forward to working through your instructions. Gotta go cut more pieces …

    • Hi Wendy,
      Glad that you have found your way out before I have the answer for you. Please print the pattern in “No Scale” size and it will give you the original dimension for pencil case.


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