The Pen Caddy

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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( 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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And TADA!!! Its done!! I gave it a quick press, and put it to immediate use!

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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!!

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