Welcome back! I’m really excited to share this next post with you. I have been tinkering away with my new sewing machine, trying to learn what I can from phone calls with my Mother, and all the tutorials I can on the internet. Oftentimes the designs in my head seem oh so simple, until I actually try and implement them. Well, I had thought up this idea for a portable pen caddy for my nicer pens and stylus for my drawing tablet for when I’m out and about. I didn’t want them knocking against each other in a normal pencil case. I had remembered seeing something similar to my design on the wonderful Pinterest, and decided to give it a go. I wanted something that would roll up and tie, so I could put it it my bag, and here is what I sketched out.
So, I drew it out. I figured that if I would draw each step out clearly, that I should be able to physically make it happen. I worked out my measurements of how big I wanted each piece to be, and started digging for some fabric!
I knew I wanted it to be something cotton like. Easily washable if need by, and soft enough that it would bend and give a little. I had found this skirt at the thrift store that I fell in love with. The fabric was really cute, and I loved the floral pattern.
All clothes are are precept fabric when you think about it, so I decided to use it. I grabbed my seam ripper, and went to town. The skirt had a zipper, lining and a hook closure that I set aside to start my notion stash. I will say, you will appreciate clothes a whole lot more when you start to carefully take them apart. What looked like a simple skirt was so much more. I decided on just a plain black cotton to coordinate. After I had the skirt in pieces, I laid them out, measured and cut my pieces.
I wanted to add some stiffness to the thing, and my Mother had told me about interfacing. Apparently there are tons of different kinds, used for a variety of purposes. I chose to go with the Pellon 950F, which is used for shirt cuffs, collars, and whatnot.
This stuff you cut to the size you need, and just follow the instructions. This particular kid I had to iron on. I made my first oopsie here… I didn’t pay attention to the side that was supposed to go down, and so now my press cloth has a nice little strip of interfacing on it… OOPS! Lesson 1 Learned.
So, now everything was cut out, the interfacing was ironed on, and I proceeded to pis all the pieces together. Remember! Right sides together!
Now … Let the sewing begin!!! I started with the cords that I wanted to wrap abound and tie the whole thing closed. Instead of sewing two pieces together, I just folded one piece over, making sure to press it flat.
I made sure to leave enough space open at the end to turn it. Here’s where I had another issue. The first cord was too small to easily just turn right side out. I tried stuffing a pen in it, I tried using my seam ripper to slowly pull centimeter by centimeter, nothing worked well. I just managed to rip pout a good portion of what I had just sewn. I then remembered a trick I heard who knows where about taking a safety pin, attaching it to one end, then pushing it through and essentially scrunching the fabric over it as you go. After some finagling, this worked. I sewed the ends up, and added a zigzag stitch for decoration on the ends.
The cords were done! Now to move onto the body. This part was easy. I just went around the edges with a 1/4 inch seam, again leaving enough room to turn it right side out.
Forgive all the lint. Its solid black I swear! Its amazing what fabric can pick up… Another trick I learned from the internet, was to trim the corners off so it makes turning them out easier. Like so.
So, after I did this for the top flap, and the pocket, It came time to start putting it all together. I knew I wanted the flap to just come out of the top of the main body, so I slid it in between the two pieces of fabric, leaving just enough out for a seam.
I also put the cords on here. But after sewing all the way around, I realized that when I went to turn it right side out, the cords would be in the inside… So, I ripped out a few of the stitches and removed the cords. Once it was right side out, I stuck the cords back in the hole, and did a straight stitch to attach them.
( This is what you don’t want to do… Lesson 2 Learned!)
So it started to really come together at this point. I could see the finish line! I was really happy with it so far.
I had to think for a little bit on what to do for the holes that were left from needing space to turn them. I did a quick google search and found whats called a “Blind stitch”. It essentially closes the seam by grabbing the two innermost pieces of fabric, so you cant see the stitch from the outside. I did it by hand.
Now its time for the channels. My Mother is an avid quilter, and told me about the magical little thing called a Frixion pen. Its an erasable pen, whose ink disappears with the heat from the friction of the rubber tip. Well, with a quick press from a hot iron, the ink will disappear. If you ever need to temporarily write on fabric. Buy. This. Pen.
I decided that I wanted them about an inch apart, which would leave me with one larger channel at the end for my stylus. I measured them out, and let the machine do its thing.
And TADA!!! Its done!! I gave it a quick press, and put it to immediate use!
I am so over the moon happy with how it came out. I will want to make more of these, and make them larger. They don’t even have to be for pens, the possibilities are endless! I’m not sure what I want to make next, but I’m positive it will be another sewing project!!