Are you looking for a new hobby? Do you love to sew, or are you interested in learning how? If so, then sewing a pencil bag is the perfect project for you! Not only is it fairly simple and quick DIY to do, but it’s also a great way to use up fabric scraps. Plus, once you’re done, you’ll have a cute and functional pencil bag that will last for years! So grab your sewing machine, and let’s get started!
- 2 – 8″x11″ Main print of your choice
- 2 – 4″x12″ Corresponding print of your choice
- 2 – 4″x6″ Same corresponding print of your choice
- 1 – 2″x12″ Same corresponding print of your choice
- 2 – 8″x11″ Fusible fleece
- 1 – 2″x12″ Fusible fleece
- 1 – 14″ Soft zipper
- 1 – 6″ x 10″ Vinyl sheet
Need some guidance? Follow along with Natalie, the owner of The Sewing Studio with the video down below:
Let’s Prep our Materials!
Step 1: Iron & Fuse your fleece to your main print.
Take one of your 8″x11″ fusible fleece, “bumpy” side up (the bumps are the glue), and stack one of your 8″x11″ main print material right side up onto your fleece piece. Take your iron and press the two materials together, fusing your fleece to your main print.
Repeat with the remaining 8″x11″ piece of your main print and fusible fleece.
Repeat this same process as well, with your 2″x12″ piece of your fusible fleece and corresponding print material.
Complete the same process with the remaining pieces, the two 4″x12″ corresponding prints and the two 4″x6″ corresponding prints, resulting in 4 total folded and pressed pieces.
Sandwich your vinyl in between one of your folded & pressed 4”x6” coordinating print and lay it under your presser foot. No special foot is needed. Move your needle slightly to the left to line your strip of corresponding print and vinyl where it will be parallel to the edge but not on the edge itself. You want to top stitch all the layers together making sure to catch all the fabric.
Repeat this same process using your folded and pressed 4″x6″ coordinating print, and sew to the other side of the vinyl. Take one of your folded and pressed 4″x12″ coordinating print and repeat picking one of the remaining sides as the top. You will leave the raw edges exposed on the top right and left. Resulting in something like this:
Step 2: Add the Zipper.
At your sewing machine, lay your zipper face up. Take the top finished edge of your vinyl piece and place it on the left side of your zipper. You want to leave about an 1/8 of an inch between the top finished edge of your vinyl piece and the zipper teeth.
Sew down that side. For best results, have the zipper teeth lay just against the right side of your foot. Move the needle to the right, Spacing the top finished edge of the vinyl about an 1/8 of an inch from the zipper teeth. Drop the presser foot to hold these pieces in position. We want to make sure and catch both the fabric and the zipper tape with our thread. Adjusting as you go.
Now take your 2”x12” corresponding print with the fusible fleece adhered to it and lay the fleece side up on top of your zipper, lining up the unfinished edge of the zipper and fleece piece together.
Flip these pieces over so that the back of the zipper is facing up. It is easier to line up and sew with the zipper on the top. The edges should still be lined up, if not adjust.
Line the raw edge and zipper teeth against the left side of your foot. Make sure to move your needle back to center position or to the left of center slightly. You want to sew about a ¼ inch seam. Sew down this edge being mindful to keep straight as you go.
Once you’re done sewing the front vinyl piece to your zipper, you should be able to flip the coordinating print piece away from the zipper and not see a seam.
You’ll notice the new top piece will continue to flip back down across the zipper. Because of this, we will need to top stitch the coordinating print piece down, running a top stitch down the coordinating print piece, catching the zipper underneath. Once you have finished this step, make sure that your zipper works properly before continuing to the next step. If your zipper does not work, you will need to rip out the piece that is too close to your zipper and resew it.
You have now successfully completed the front side of your Zipper Pouch!
Take and lay one of the main print pieces with fleece side down on your work surface. Take your front vinyl piece and lay it on top, having it lay vinyl side up, lining up the bottom edges of both pieces, and centering the top piece.
We will trim the sides and top of the back piece even so it matches the same size as the front vinyl piece.
BEFORE WE TRIM, move your zipper to the center of your front vinyl piece. We DO NOT want to lose our working zipper when we trim. BE CAREFUL NOT TO let your zipper come off the zipper teeth. If this happens, it can be hard to put the zipper back on the zipper teeth.
Step 3: Baste the pieces together
Now that the back main print is the same size as the front vinyl piece, we need to baste these pieces together creating the pocket.
To baste the pieces together, you will want to use about a ⅛ inch seam allowance. You will want to sew across the top of the pieces first.
Now baste the left and right sides. For best results, do the side with the open side of the zipper last.
After this process, you are one step closer to having a functional pocket!
At this point, the bottom side of the pocket piece should be the only side remaining unstitched.
Step 4: Adding the back of the pencil pouch.
Take the remaining 8“ x 11” piece of your main print to your sewing machine with fleece side down. Take the pocket piece and lay it face down on top of your main print, leaving it fleece side up, lining up the top edges together. You might notice that the bottom piece is larger and we will trim that after we’ve sewn this together.
We will only sew on the left, right and top sides for this part, leaving the bottom side open again. With your needle in the center position, line up the edge of your pocket pieces on the right side of your foot. For best results, start with one side sewing toward the top. Once you get to the corner where they meet, leave your needle in the piece, lift your presser foot and simply shift and pivot your piece around to the front of you, and continue to sew. This will take care of backstitching. Sew down all three sides using this method. If you pivot and notice you’re not lined up correctly, pivot back and stitch until you are in the correct position.
Let’s add our finishing touches!
We are now ready to flip our bag inside out and add the last piece of trim.
Step 5: Flip it inside out.
Open your pocket and reach in, feel for your zipper tab, pull your top piece out towards you, flip it inside out, being mindful not to crinkle your vinyl too much.
Once it’s inside out, you can use a turning tool such as a pencil with the eraser side and push out the corners. This helps to push out your corners completely and flatten them.
Step 6: Press the seams with your iron being careful not to let your iron touch the vinyl as it will melt it.
Step 7: Finishing the last edge.
Grab your last remaining folded and pressed 4”x12” piece of your corresponding print and your unfinished pencil pouch. At your sewing machine, open your folded coordinating piece and lay your zipper pouch pocket in the center. Keeping your folded piece open and raw edges towards the center of the coordinating print piece, baste the pocket piece to the coordinating strip piece across the bottom of the pocket piece. Lift your presser foot if the foot won’t go over your corner and then lower it and it should allow you to sew. You will want to make sure and back stitch these pieces at the beginning and end of your seam. You can also stretch the zipper pouch pocket piece to make it lay flat against the coordinating print piece.
Now take the edges on both sides of the bottom corners and fold them inside and take the bottom piece and fold it over to hide all the raw edges. Wonder clips work great to hold the corners in place, otherwise use straight pins and be carful not to catch the vinyl. It may take some finagling to get your fold into a place you’re happy with.
After you have it lined up the way you like it and have your edges hidden, line up the edge of the fabric closest to your vinyl piece under your foot nicely. Move your needle to the left and then you can get a nice top stitch seam allowance. Sew down the bottom of the pocket piece, removing your wonder clip as you go. Hold it well and stretch the coordinating print piece as needed to get the seam to lay flat as you go. It is very important to back stitch at the beginning and end of this seam. If you struggle to get your seam started through the thick material, move in a little and back stitch to the starting edge. This will help your feed dogs grab the fabric on the bottom.
There you have it!
Just like that, you have a fully functional and cute pencil pouch! We hope you found this blog post helpful. New to sewing? Check out our YouTube channel and watch more of our tutorials featured below!
How to Sew a Pillow Case – Sewing for Beginners
Sewing for Beginners: A Beginners Guide on How to Use a Sewing Machine
Thank you for letting us help you take your inspiration and turn it into a creation!
The Sewing Studio Staff
The Sewing Studio is proud to offer a wide variety of Baby Lock machines! The Sewing Studio is a full-service sewing store that has been serving the Lubbock, Texas, area for nearly 40 years. We specialize in selling and servicing high-end sewing machines, but we also offer a wide range of classes for sewers of all levels and materials you might need for any type of sewing project. Give us a call at (806) 792-3863 or visit our store to learn more about what we can do for you! Thanks for reading! #SewingStudioTopTips #BabyLockEmbroideryMachines #SewWithBabyLock #IQTechnology #IQLaser #Sewing #SewingMachines #SewingStore #LubbockSewingStore #SewingStore #SewingClassesLubbock