Because School is Inevitable… – Pencil Cases

I promised my sister that I’d make her a pencil case for the new school year, and my old one was well … old (and looking it), so with less than a week until school starts, I decided it was time to actually get around to sewing.

My grandmother always says (and proves) that, if you’re going to make 3 of the same thing, it’s faster to make them all at once, than one at a time. She’s better at it than I am — seriously, she made over 100 small quilt tops and quilted some in less than four months — but the method still works for me. Think of it as how factories work versus a private craftsman and how much more the factory can produce. Sure, it doesn’t work for something really complex, but a few pencil cases … sure.

pencil cases

The key fabric on the far left is for my sister. Middle is for me and the one on the right is for a friend. The key fabric is burlap (not my idea, but because I’m such a loving twin, I agreed). I decided to try interfacing it in an attempt to keep the edges from fraying like nobody’s business. I think it helped a little, but I also zig-zagged around the edges just in case.

the interfaced side and the zig-zagging
the interfaced side and the zig-zagging

I decided that plain denim would be kinda boring, so I added a strip of lace to one side of the to-be pencil case (on the right in the 1st photo). It ended up clashing with the lining a bit, a fact I noticed when I was adding the lace, but stubbornly ignored.

the lace side
the lace side

Then on to the zippers. I recently bought a big stock of zippers from Amazon, because everything seems to be cheaper there. I got 36 zippers of different lengths for close to $0.50 each, whereas they’re closer to $2-3 at Joanns. I don’t know why that bugs me, but it totally does. Especially since I have 50 yards of boning for the same reason: you either pay $12 for 4 yards at your local fabric store or for 50 yards on Amazon.

Anyway, I sewed in the zippers. I top-stitched two of them, but the colorful one I left alone. Mostly because I didn’t want to change my thread color and the black totally clashed.

pencil cases

Then I sewed the bottom edges together. Don’t they kinda look like sting rays? Or is that just the biologist mom voice talking?

pencil cases

Okay, biology references aside, the other edges get sewn, corners are sewn, and … they’re done!

What do you think?

–Samantha


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