It’s school supply time.
Is it just me, or are those lists getting longer and more complicated every year?
45 boxes of crayola crayons, 19 glue sticks, 14 bradded plastic folders with pockets, 2 cases of tissue boxes, chisel-tipped dry erase markers, thin-tipped dry erase markers, headphones, 6 packages of baby wipes, 2 kinds of flash cards, 1 1965 AMC Rambler Classic 770 Convertible.
(They sneak things in there, you have to be careful).
And pencil cases.
Of course you can buy pencil cases from the store, but you can also sew one up yourself in just a few minutes.
You need some fabric remnants or bits of discarded clothing you can cut up (denim would be nice), a 9 inch zipper, and heavy duty fusible interfacing and thread, but that’s it.
I’m biased, but I think these are cuter and far more durable than the mass-produced versions. Leave out the three loops that attach it to the binder, or use just one, longer, loop, and you have yourself a regular zippered pouch for cosmetics or art supplies or a first aid kit, or, or, or . . . anything that will fit in an 8″x11″ pouch.
You can personalize it with a monogram if you like. Or school colors and logos, applique, embroidered patches, pockets, crazy fabrics, photo printing on fabric, original art, your imagination’s the limit.
I made mine with a two-fabric front, but this is optional. For simplicity’s sake, you can make the front one-piece. In that case, cut two pieces the same dimensions as I list for the back piece. Either way, you’re going to end up with two 8’x11′ pieces of fabric.
3-ring Binder Pencil Pouch
Cut two pieces of fabric for the front:
(1) 6 1/2 in. x 11 in. of your main fabric
(1) 2 1/2 in. x 11 in. of your accent fabric
Sew the two pieces of fabric together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance along the long edges of your fabric to form one 8×11 inch piece.
Iron the seam open.
Cut one piece of fabric for the back:
(1) 8 in. x 11 in. from either your main or accent fabric or another fabric of your choice
You now have two pieces of fabric that should both be 8×11 inches. Put them together to verify they are the same dimensions. If there is some variation, trim them so they are identical in size.
Cut two pieces of the interfacing, each 8×11, to match the front and back pieces.
Iron the interfacing to the wrong sides of the front and back according to the interfacing directions.
You now should have two interfaced pieces of fabric.
Take the zipper out of the packaging and place it, right sides together, along the accent piece edge of the front fabric. Pin, tape, or (my favorite option) use a 1/4 inch strip of stitch witchery to temporarily iron one side of the zipper to the fabric edge. Both pinning and taping are fine, however.
Replacing the regular foot of your sewing machine with the zipper foot, sew along the edge close to the zipper teeth, moving the zipper tab out of the way as needed to sew a straight line.
Next, pin, tape, (or stitch witch) the back fabric to the other side of the zipper, again right sides together.
Sew the seam.
It should look like this.
Iron the seams flat.
Topstitch to keep the zipper in place.
Cut a long strip of fabric, 1 1/2 in. wide and 9 inches long to make the 3 loops for the rings of the binder. Fold the strip, lengthwise, wrong sides together, and sew along the long seam with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Use a safety pin or a tube turner to turn the tube right side out and iron flat.
Topstitch along the tube length.
Cut the tube into three equal sections, each 3 inches long.
Fold each section in half to form 3 loops and pin each to the inside edge of the front piece of the pouch fabric at the measurements as shown below, 1 1/2 inches from the side, with the middle one centered 5 1/2 inches from each side. You can also hold it up to a 3 ring binder and mark the rings’ positions.
Fold the back piece of the pouch over the front, sandwiching the loops inside and pin.
Unzip the zipper (important, or you’ll have a tough time turning it right side out!)
Sew around the pouch with a 1/2 inch seam.
Clip corners with scissors.
Turn right side out and iron the seams flat.
Topstitch close to the loop edge all along the loop side of the pouch.
Let me know if you make one!
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