Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Pencil Case (with tabs) Tutorial

Pencil case with flaps tutorial

Lets Get Started!

Cut 2 pieces of fabric to same length as your zip.
Mine were 11by5 inches. 
You will also need to cut 2 pieces to 3by2 inches

You can use a scissors if you. But, I like the rotary it really is so much quicker.

Prepare the "flaps"

Fold each of the short sides by 1/4 inch and iron.
Fold in half and iron again.

Sew on the "flaps"

Place the zip inside the flaps so the end touches the crease.
This should cover the metal parts of the zip and give you enough space sew safely. 
Sew a row of stitches as close to the edge of the fabric as you can.
Repeat at the other end of the zip.

Sew the front of the pencil case to the zip.

Place the front of your pencil case facing up.
Put the zip facing down on top.
Line up the top edge of the zip with the top of your pencil case and pin in place.
Make sure that your zip is open half way!

Using a zipper foot sew start at the left hand side sew all the way across, reverse stitching at the start and finish.
If you have never used a zipper foot before, line the right side of the foot with the edge of the zip. The left side of the foot will rest on the teeth of the zip. The needle will be quite close to the zip. Sew until you are approaching the zip pull.  Stop. Make sure your needle is fully down and then lift the foot up. Gently move the zip pull past your needle then lower your foot and continue sewing.  Don't worry if it's not perfect the first time round. It does get easier with practice, I promise!
When you have finished attaching the zip fold the fabric so both the zip and fabric are facing up and iron along the fold.

Now lets add the back

Place the back of the pencil case facing up.
Place the pencil case front (with attached zip) facing down on top.
Line up the top edge of the zip with the top edge of the pencil case back and pin together.
Make sure the zip is half open.
Using the same process of you just did sew a line all the way across from the left to the right.

Optional Step - Top stitching

Top stitching is adding an extra row of stitches for decorative purposes,  
When used alongside a zip they also add strength to the finished product.
I like to use stitch length 3 to top stitch and I use the zipper foot. It's still on the machine and it gives you more space to see where the seam lies.
Just like when you added the zip you will need to make sure the zip is half open before you start and then move the zip pull past the needle whilst sewing.

Last step 

Fold along the zip so that the 2 right sides are facing each other (ie. the pencil case is inside out. 
Make sure your zip is half open.
Put you normal foot back on the machine and sew along the 3 unsewn sides.
I like to use the edge of sewing foot as a guide and I add a few reverse stitches at the corners to give extra strength.
Remember to add reverse stitch at both the start and end.
To turn corners when sewing sew until you reach the point you want to be the corner. Stop with the needle in the full down position. Lift the sewing foot and then turn the fabric. Lower the foot again and start sewing the next side.

ok, one last little step. 

To get nice crisp corners you need to snip off the corners close to (but not on) the stitching.
 I like the inside to look pretty too so I use a pinking shear to cut the seams.
Turn through the opening in the zip, press out the corners, iron flat and jobs done.
Well done you!

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