The summer holiday is officially over, and we’re back to yet another round of the school year! Craft Passion is here to help you prepare one of the essential back-to-school supplies for your child, a zipper pencil case. Instead of purchasing a common one from the store, why not personalize it yourself?
Nothing speaks more than pulling out a handmade pencil case made by your mom/dad. I’m sure your child’s classmates will be flooding around them, asking where they got their beautiful zipper pencil case. If you want a more special-looking pencil case, take a look at the zip-it-up pencil pouch I sewed last year. With this pencil case pattern, your kids could perform “magic” in front of their peers.
Zipper Pencil Case Sewing Pattern
scroll ⬇️ to get the free sewing pattern & tutorial
While children may experience a mix of emotions during this back-to-school season, it isn’t an easy time for parents as well. We need to start getting school supplies, uniforms (for certain countries), and most of all, reset our child’s mentality to study mode instead of all play. A simple tip is to get the children into a routine a few weeks before school starts! You can set up a bed-time schedule to ensure they wake up earlier and make sure they eat a healthy breakfast.
Is It Easy To Sew?
This pencil case sewing pattern is more suitable for intermediate to advanced level sewers because of the piping method and how I lined it. Of course, with a bit of practice and patience, I’m sure beginner sewers would be able to tackle this challenge as well. The best thing about handmade items is that you can customize them by changing up the fabric. Get creative and choose fabrics with prints of your child’s favorite superhero, dinosaur, princess, Disney characters, and more!
What Makes It A Great Pencil Case?
As you can see from the photos above, this pencil case has a zipper that opens down from the top to the sides. This way, you can open up the top entirely to get a better view of everything inside. Also, there are internal gussets at the sides to prevent contents from falling out! Apart from using it as a pencil case for stationery, you can use it as a cosmetic pouch, toiletries pouch, craft pouch to store accessories, sewing kits, craft tools, and more.
What Materials & Tools Do We Need?
Before you begin sewing up a storm, download, and print out the free pencil case pattern from the link below. The materials required include the fabric of your choice (for the outer layer and lining), batting, muslin, interfacing, piping, zipper, ribbon, and letter-size white paper. As for the tools, you’ll need a sewing machine, sewing kit, iron, quilter’s safety pins, pins or clover’s wonder clips, erasable fabric marker, ruler, and scissors.
What Fabric To Use?
There are a few types of fabric you can choose to sew this Zipper Pencil Case – canvas, upholstery fabric, Linen-Cotton Mix, Quilting Cotton, normal cotton, or even a waterproof fabric. To make the zipper pencil case stands up by itself, some fabrics need support from the stabilizer medium such as interfacing fabric.
- Linen & Cotton – In this sewing tutorial, I used Linen-Cotton Mix fabric and I quilted the fabric to make it sturdier; the same applies to quilting cotton and normal cotton. You may also use fusible fleece to adhere to the wrong side of the cotton fabric instead of quilting, yet giving it a bit of a loft to the pencil case.
- Canvas & Upholstery Fabric – If you are using this thicker fabric, you can skip the quilting, instead, fuse a layer of interfacing to stabilize the fabric.
- Waterproof Fabric – For most cases, waterproof fabric such as laminated fabric or vinyl fabric stiff enough, so you may totally skip the interfacing.
What Zipper To Use?
Frequently, I used metal zippers to sew for most of my purse & bag patterns, and so is this zipper pencil case. However, not all metal zippers come in the length you want. To solve this problem, all you need is to shorten a longer metal zipper to the desired length. Here is the tutorial on how to shorten the metal zipper.
Other than the metal zipper, you may use Molded Plastic Zipper and Nylon Coil Zipper. These 2 zippers are lighter in weight and easier to shorten than the metal zipper.
Does The Piping Compulsory?
You may skip the piping around the zipper pencil case if you find it very challenging. However, this piping give superb structure to the pouch not to mention the professional outlook to the final pencil case.
Once you have all the materials in place, it’s time to start getting the body, zipper, side gusset, piping, and inner lining ready. After you’ve got those down, you can begin to combine and stitch the separate parts together. You may need to be more alert when you reach certain parts of the tutorial, but you would have no trouble finishing the pencil case as long as you follow the instructions carefully.
- External Fabric, 15″ (W) x 17″ (L)
- Lining Fabric, 15″ (W) x 17″ (L)
- Batting – 10″ x 17″
- Muslin – 10″ x 17″ (For Quilting Opting)
- Interfacing – medium/thick, 9″ x 17″
- Piping – 1 1/4 yard
- Zipper – 16″ (click here to watch how to shorten metal zipper)
- Ribbon – 1/2″ wide, 2 1/2″, 2 pcs (for zipper tag)
- White paper – letter size, 4 sheets
HOW TO SEW ZIPPER PENCIL CASE
- Download the pdf pattern and print them. Print 2 sets on each page and glue the parts to get the full pattern, as shown in the pattern sheet.
- Body Quilting. Cut the body piece out from the main fabric slightly bigger (about 1/2" on each side) than the pattern. This is needed to give allowance for the distortions and "shrinkage" that take place during the quilting process.
Trace the body pattern on the right side of the body fabric with a water erasable pen.
Draw some designs on the body fabric with a water-erasable marker. I drew circles from 3 sizes of bottles.
(Note: If you do not want to quilt the body piece, you may cut the fabric pieces according to the pattern and skip the quilting process in this step.)
Layer the body fabric with batting and muslin underneath it.
Pin with quilter’s safety pin.
Carefully stitch along the drawing lines. Start from the 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 finishing the quilting, spray some water to erase the quilting drawing lines.
If you can't wait for it to dry, light iron with medium heat iron to dry it.
Cut the quilted piece according to the body pattern.
- Cut Fabric. Fuse the interfacing onto the wrong side of the lining fabric for the zipper-gusset and the invisible side-gusset. I like my interfacing on the lining when I need to do a lot of turning right-side out.
Draw and cut out the lining pieces of zipper-gusset, invisible side gusset, and body.
Draw and cut out the external fabric pieces of zipper-gusset, invisible side gusset.
Also, draw and cut the body pieces from the external fabric, batting, and muslin if you skipped the quilting process at step 2. Layer the body fabric with batting and muslin underneath it, baste them together.
- Sew Zipper Gusset. Close the zipper and 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 the right side together.
Change the presser foot to zipper foot, baste the zipper in place. Or, you may use basting glue to glue the zipper on.
Place the zipper gusset lining piece on them with the right side together. Stitch on the seam line.
Turn the gusset right side out and press, then topstitch 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 the normal foot. Baste the seam allowance around the zipper gusset so that the main and lining pieces are attached together nicely.
Baste the ribbon loops at both ends of the zipper too.
Trace the seam line on the wrong side of the zipper gusset. Remember to mark the positions of the invisible side gusset too.
- Sew Invisible Side Gusset.
1. Place the invisible side-gusset fabric and lining with the right sides facing each other and sew both top and bottom seam lines.
2. Turn the right side out, topstitch near both top and bottom edges.
3. Fold the gusset vertically with the right sides together, stitch near the edge.
4. This is how the invisible side gusset looks like.
With the lining side facing up, place the side gusset to the wrong side of the zipper gusset. Position according to the markings and baste them in place.
This is how the zipper gusset looks like after attaching the side gussets in it.
Repeat to sew the other invisible side gusset to the zipper.
Set it aside while working on the main pencil case main body.
- Add Piping To Body Piece. Line the piping around the body, pin, and baste with a zipper foot.
Cross the piping ends when they meet.
Clip lightly on the piping seam allowance at the curve.
- Sew Body Piece to One Side Of Zipper Gusset. Place the zipper gusset on the pencil case body, with the ends align to the center markings.
Baste from marking to marking at both ends.
Place the lining on top of them with the right side facing down.
Sew along the seam line from marking to marking along the zipper gusset.
Clip at seam allowance on the markings.
Align one side of the zipper gusset to the body main and lining piece, with the zipper gusset between them.
Secure with pins or the Clover’s wonder clips.
Sew with a zipper foot. Sew slowly and carefully. It is not easy, especially at the curve.
Turn the piece right side out. From the picture, you can see that one side of the pencil case is fully completed.
- Sew Body Piece to The Other Side Of Zipper Gusset. Align the body piece and zipper gusset of the other side.
Since we need to leave a 5" opening at the lining to turn the pencil case right side out after sewing this side, we need to pre-attach the body and zipper gusset at this area. To do this, sew a 6" length at the center of the zipper gusset to attach to the main body piece only.
Bring the lining over to the other side and sandwich the zipper gusset in between.
Align, pin, and sew around but you need to leave a 5″ opening at the center of the pencil case (the pre-attach stitching for the body and zipper gusset you just did) for turning inside out.
- Turn Pencil Case Right SIde Out To Complete the Sewing. This is the 5″ opening just on the lining side. Slowly and carefully turn the pencil case right side out from this opening.
Stitch up the opening.
This is absolutely optional, but I find that stitching the lining to the external piece makes the pencil case neat and more stable. To do this, sew some small stitches between the external and lining pieces along the top seam lines of the pencil case.
The Pencil Case is completed!!!!
The zipper pencil case that opens up in full view allows you to access your items from it easily.
If you wish to skip the quilting process, you may fuse a medium weight of interfacing to the wrong side of the body piece.
This tutorial needs a lot of turning right side out, do iron to smooth out the creases whenever is possible.