Monday, 14 October 2013

The 5 Minute Pencil Case

Olivia is going on a school trip to the Roald Dahl museum tomorrow.  I'm so jealous.  I loved reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach when I was younger, and I really want to go too.

The school emailed me asking for Olivia to bring a "drawstring bag to put a pencil in".  I don't have anything like this around the house, so I quickly whipped this up.



It was incredibly easy.  The most difficult part was trying to decide whether to sew the casing for the cord first (and have difficulty sewing the side seam all the way to the top), or sew the side seam first (then have difficulty sewing the casing).  I ended up sewing the casing at the top first.  I haven't done a step-by-step tutorial, as it really was a 5 minutes sewing job.  This is what I did:


  1. Cut a rectangle of fabric measuring 6"x9".  
  2. At the top of the rectangle fold in 1/4" on each side and press.
  3. Fold the top edge down a 1/4" and press, then fold down 1/2" and press.  This will give you a 1/2" casing with the raw edges tucked inside.
  4.  Fold fabric in half lengthwise (right sides together), and sew 1/4" seam on side and bottom seam.  You will have to pull the seam allowance to one side where it joins into the casing, and sew as close to the casing as you can. 
  5. Trim corners, turn right side out and press.
  6. Using a safety pin or bodkin, thread cord through the casing at the top.  Add a toggle (I think this is the correct word for those cord-holding-thingys).
 The last thing I had to do was sew a name label onto the bag.  I should have done this first, so I could do it by machine, but I completely forgot and had to hand sew it on afterwards.

Here's a couple of close up shots of the casing at the top.



A larger draw string bag would be much easier to make.  If the bag had been bigger I would definitely have sewn the side seam first, and made the casing last.  Because this opening was so narrow, I couldn't get the presser foot inside the opening without causing the fabric to bunch up. 

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