Pencil Case/Crochet Hook Case Tutorial

This straight sided, triangular shaped zippered case has many uses – it’s great for pencils, but it is also great for crochet hooks, sewing kit supplies, make-up brushes – even keeping medicines/bandaids/mints etc in one place your purse.

The steps are simple and require no advanced sewing skills – I try to keep it easy and do-able! 

Supplies needed:
Main fabric:  1 strip 4 ¾” x 24”
Main fabric:  two zipper tabs 2” x  3”
Lining:  1 strip of fabric 4 ¾” x 24”
Zipper – at least 11” so it can be trimmed
Fusible Fleece:  1 strip 4 ½” x 12”
Dritz Stitch Wizardry Fusible Web (any size will do)
Other Usual Sewing Supplies

We’ll start with making the pattern:

First, tape two pieces of printer paper together so that you can draw a 12” x 4 ¾” rectangle across it like this:

Then, from the bottom, mark up 1 ¼” and 1 7/8” and draw those two lines across the bottom like this:

Then on each side, draw lines 1 ¼” in from top to bottom like this:

Now, take your ruler and draw angled lines from A to B, and from C to D, so it looks like this:

Then draw angled lines from B to E and from D to F so it looks like this:

That’s it!  I’ve highlighted in the picture the finished pattern – now just cut that out and you have your pattern!

Tip:  As you can see in my pattern picture, I like to note on the pattern not only what it is called, but also the fabric I need to cut for it and any other notes I may need in the future)

Ironing time!:

Iron the fusible fleece to the main strip of fabric.  Position it so that it is even with the bottom, with a ¼’ of fabric showing along the top:
This picture shows the main fabric with the fleece ironed on, already cut into two pieces

Iron the two zipper tabs:  fold a 2” x 3” tab in half so it is 1” x 3”.  Then open it up and fold in the sides to the middle so that it is now ½” x 3”.

Folded Zipper tab is in the center

Cut off the end of your zipper and take one of the zipper tabs and slip the end of your zipper in the middle.  Place a little piece of the stitch wizardy fusible web in between the zipper tab and zipper and iron it down making sure your zipper looks straight. I find this keeps the zipper tab from needing pins to hold it place and ensures your zipper will look really good when it’s done.

That little piece of that fusible web helps so much!

Move  your zipper pull down and tape your zipper sides together so they lay flat and even.  I put my tape at  about the 8” mark:

Cut the zipper to 9” long.

Do the same thing with the other zipper tab, adhering it with the fusible web.

The zipper and two zipper tabs should be no longer than 9" when it is done.

Cutting the fabric:

Cut your two strips of fabric so that they are both 12” long.
Put right sides together of both the main fabric and the lining fabric.
Pin/clip your pattern to the fabric and cut out what isn’t needed.

All the needed pieces are ready to go!

Sewing Time:

Stitch two lines of top stitching across each zipper tab:

Center the zipper on a lining piece. There should be about a ¼’ gap on both sides of the lining.

Take a lining piece and with it facing right side up, pin the closed zipper to the lining with the right side facing up and the zipper pull to the right.  (Don’t worry about the excess zipper tabs yet, you can trim them off later. I find it easier to keep the zipper from moving while sewing if the zipper tabs are sticking out.)

Now, take a fused main fabric piece and with the right side facing down, pin it to the lining/zipper.  I have more success keeping the zipper and the fabric edges very straight and even by pinning the lining first, and then adding the top piece second.  I only pin to about 1” or so before the zipper pull.

I don’t use a zipper foot.  I just use my regular sewing foot on my machine and  sew ¼’ from the edge straight down.   I sew up to the last pin and then I pick up my presser foot, move the zipper pull out of the way, straighten the fabric and zipper out and continue to sew.

Do this exact same thing for the opposite side of the zipper.  I open my zipper and lay the fabrics the same way as I did for the first side:

Pin the top piece on and sew up to the zipper pull, lift the presser foot, move the zipper pull out of the way, straighten and continue to sew as before.

When you are finished, trim the excess zipper tabs and iron so that it looks like this:

This picture shows it ironed and with topstitching already done.

Now do a row of top stitching about an 1/8” from the zipper on both sides. I lengthen my stitch a bit for this.  It just looks nicer.  You will have to stop when you get close to the zipper pull, move it out of the way, and then continue to topstitch.

You’re nearly done!  We are down to Final Construction!:
First, remember to open your zipper at least half way!  This is critical!  You need the zipper open in order to turn the whole thing right side out when you are done! 

Now, line up the two main fabric sides together and lining fabric sides together and pin them along the edges.  Make sure everything lines up nice.   I do 1/4" seams.  You are only going to sew down the two sides and the bottoms of both the main and lining pieces – leaving the notched out corners open and an opening on the bottom seam of the lining for turning. 

Don't sew over the zipper tabs in the middle while you are going across - take care to leave them free from the side seam.  It should look like this:

Pinned and ready to sew
The red lines indicate where to sew - not how to sew!  Geez they are wavy!

Now take your open corners and pinch them down together.  You can see when the bottom seam and side seam butts up together.  Make sure these two seams line up! Otherwise you won’t be at all happy with your boxed corners. Pin and sew ¼” across the corners making sure to lock the stitches at the beginning and end: 

Pinned and side and bottom seams meeting

Sewing across the boxed corner

Finished sewing one corner

When you are done with all four corners, turn the whole thing right side out.  Using a chopstick (my favorite tool!) gently poke out the boxed corners and the zipper tab area so that everything is smooth.  I press a little at this point to make sure everything looks good before I close up the lining opening.

If you are happy with how everything looks, sew up the lining opening.


Ironing Time Again!:

I actually love this part as it makes everything I’ve just done look really great.  I pinch down the corners and iron them a bit flat, then I roll up a good sized wash cloth and put that inside the bag and iron against that to smooth out the bottom and sides of the bag. 

Wah-la Time!:

This is when  you stand back and admire you’re beautiful pencil case.  The nice straight zipper, the corner seams all matching up, the pretty smooth look of the straight sides!  I added a pearl zipper pull to mine just because pearl zipper pulls make everything look even prettier!

Here are some other pencil cases I've made - they really come out cute: (some of them don't have the two zipper tabs, just one.  I like it better with two though as both sides come out looking the same and straight, but using just one is always an option.