I collect zip up pencil cases and cosmetic bags to keep certain craft supplies in. I have a ton of them! I have had some plum colored leather scraps for a while now in my scrap drawer that I have been wanting to use. So, when I was given some fun wooden colored pencils I thought I would try my hand at making a leather pencil case. This is a great project for a weeknight or even an experienced beginner who has worked with zippers before. The best part of this project is that you can use scraps, so you shouldn’t have to buy anything but a zipper.
Here’s What You Need:
*Ruler and Pencil or Marking Pen
*Sewing Machine and Thread
*Zipper Foot for your Sewing Machine
*Non Slip foot, walking foot, or Foot for sewing leather (not an absolute necessity, but recommended)
*Leather Needle for your machine
First let me say, this is the way I made my pencil case for using leather. There may be a better way to sew it, but this is how I made mine….
Gather your supplies. You can add a little patch to the front of your pencil case. I used a scrap from a tablecloth and cut out a flower. You will also want a small scrap for a zipper pull. Cut two pieces of leather to be 4″x8.5. Then cut two fabric pieces to be a little under 4.5″x8.25″. If you want to add a patch to your pencil case, stitch that on first.
Now you are ready to sew in your zipper. Open your zipper part of the way. Stitch the long edge of your leather front piece to the left side of the zipper tape. Then sew the right side of your back leather piece to the right side of the zipper tape. You will need to use your zipper foot when sewing your zipper. Also, when you are stitching and you get to the zipper pull, put the needle down, put the presser foot up, and pull the zipper closed past the presser foot. Then put the foot back down and continue sewing.
The next thing you will need to do is stitch the lining to your zipper. Fold the long edge under 1/2″ to the back side of the fabric. Press in place. Line up the folded edge of the fabric onto the wrong side of the zipper. Make sure you center the fabric inside the leather pieces as the fabric pieces will be a tad smaller. Stitch the left and right inside lining pieces to the left and right wrong sides of the zipper. Your fabric and leather will have wrong sides touching too. Stitch the folded edge of the fabric to the wrong side of the zipper on each side like you did the leather.
Now, fold everything in half, so the lining pieces match up and the leather pieces match up with your zipper folded in half length wise. Put on your regular presser foot, or specialty foot if you have one. Stitch all the way around the sides and bottom of the leather sandwiching the fabric in the seam. Back stitch at the ends. Clip excess threads. Now you should have a nice pencil case. To make the pull, take a strip of fabric that is about 1″x5, fold it in half, and thread the ends through the opening in the zipper pull. Then pull your ends through the bottom loop of the strip and pull to knot the fabric on the pull. Snip ends at an angle.
I think it is pretty darn cute! I did not have a non slip or leather foot, and I did have a bit of a hard time stitching around my case, and the seam was not straight and perfect because of this. If you are a perfectionist, you should invest in a foot that will work with leather since it is supposed to make it easier. I still love my pencil case, and it holds all my pencils in one cute compact place. You can make your own pencil case in about an hour or less, and if you are a stitcher, you will probably have everything you need already on hand. I think they would make excellent gifts too! I hope you all will give this one a try sometime! Have any of you all sewn with leather before? Any tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! I’ll be back next week with more DIY fun. Until then…