Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pencil Case - Part 2

Okay, so when I started making this pencil case, honestly it didn't seem like that much work.  But, as I've been putting this sewn liner tutorial together, I realized that I'm going to have to break this project into three parts.  The lining instructions are so flippin' image heavy that it would just be cruel to give you this and the Make-A-Zipper/Knit Picker all at once.  So, today we're making the lining the pencil case!  Ooh, so very exciting!  :D

**This is my first full-on sewing tutorial.  It's not hard, but there are quite a few steps.**

Pencil Case Lining
Two 20" x 5.5" strips of fabric that coordinates with your crocheted outer shell (a single fat quarter would make both pieces!)
Sewing thread that coordinates with your fabric
Straight pins

Cut your fabric into 20" x 5.5" strips.  You need two.  The aqua is going to be the outside of my lining, and the print is going to be the inside. That way the crazy bright print will look awesome on the inside of the pencil case, and the aqua won't show through the crochet outer shell.  Win!

Pin your fabric strips right sides together.  Put one pin in the center of each short end, and a pin on each side 3 1/4" in from each end (You will have 6 pins all together).   The pins on the side are your guide for the first step.  You're going to sew the ends closed, and they're going to become the flap lining.  Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew from one pin up to the corner, turn, sew across short end, turn and sew down to the other pin.  Repeat on the other end.    Do Not Sew The Long Sides Closed.  

Once you've got both ends sewn together, clip across the corners (be careful not to snip the stitches).  Okay, this is where my sewing tute inexperience is showing.  The white stitching is crazy hard to see on the fabric.  I drew in the stitches in the pic below to make it easier to see what I'm talking about...

Now we're going to make the bag part of the liner.  Open up the two layers of fabric by sliding your hand between them.  (Ooh, did you notice I was wearing my awesome Surfer Girl bracelet?) Now turn your hand sideways, like a knife, and let the fabric 'tube' open up.  Now you can lay it down, with the print fabric on one side, and the non-print fabric on the other side of your flap sections...

Make sure you match your flap seams.  This way your lining will line up and look neat. 

Match the seams!
Pin the 'inner layer' (print!) together.  You don't need to use a lot of pins, we just want to keep it from sliding around while you sew.  **Don't worry about pinning the other (outer, non-print fabric) side right now.  The extra pins will just foul you up at this point...**

I wrote on the picture, since once again, my white thread didn't show up well.  When you start your side seams, you will want to start just a smidgen past the end of the flap seam.  This will help keep the side of the case from getting bunched and wonky.  Sew both sides with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Now, flip your flap pieces the other way and pin the other, non-print side.  Sew one of the side seams.  On the last side seam, leave a 2 inch gap in the seam.  We need that opening to turn the liner when we're done, so Seriously!! Make Sure You Leave A Gap!

The pencil case has a flat bottom.  We're going to give the liner a flat bottom as well!   Open up the corners and flatten them the other way to create triangle points.  Center the side seam and pin in place.  Do this for all 4 lower corners. (Don't do this to the flap corners.)

The bottom of the case is 1 1/4 inches across.  Using your ruler, find the spot where the triangle measures 1 1/4" across.  Move your pin to that line, or use disappearing ink to mark the line.  That's where you sew the corner seam.  Mark and sew all 4 lower corners.

Once you've sewn all your corner seams, snip the excess triangle fabric off.  This will help keep the liner corners from becoming bulky and lumpy.

This is what your liner should look like at this point:

Turn it right side out using the gap we left earlier.  I had the best luck pulling the flaps through first, and then using a chopstick to really poke at the corners of the flaps (to make them nice and sharp!).  Then once I was happy with how the flaps looked, I went ahead an finished turning the liner right side out.

Now, this is what your liner should look like:

The gap is easy to sew up.  If anyone was ever going to see it, I would have stitched it beautifully and invisibly by hand.  Since this is going inside a crocheted cover, I just zig zagged it to keep it from unraveling.  No one is ever going to see it, so make it easy on yourself.

The secret, I have discovered, between sewn items looking Handcrafted versus Homemade (do you get the distinction?) is Ironing!!! Iron the heck out of those flap parts.  The rest of the bag it doesn't matter as much, since it's not really going to be seen (and who would know if the inside had been ironed or not?), but those flap parts need to be flat and beautiful before we move on.

At this point you can put your liner into the crochet pencil case shell.   I pinned the corners of the flaps together to help hold it in place as I smoothed the liner inside the lower (bag) section.  This is a good place to stop, take a break, get an ice-blended something to drink and relax.  I'll show you what that crazy roll of zipper is, and how to use the Knit Picker to put it and the liner in on Tuesday... Click HERE for Part 3...


p.s. If you missed Part One - The chapter where Jaime gives you the pattern to make the crocheted part of this project - you can find it HERE! ;D


  1. Awww. This is so cute! Pinning this for sure! Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  2. Quick and easy just how we like it!!
    I think this is a DIY that I can do it without fail!!

  3. This is a great tutorial! And that fabric is fantastic, too! I need all the tips I can get … thanks for sharing.

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