The pencil. Do you think it has nightmares about being chased by digital keyboards? There are so many convenient electronic ways to jot a quick note, send a message, or write down your innermost thoughts. But I still love my pencils. And, recent studies have shown the act of handwriting, instead of typing on a keyboard, is actually better for your brain. It activates a unique neural circuit, which makes learning easier. So, if you needed an excuse other than “extreme cuteness” to give our Triangle Pencil Case a try, you can now put it down as a brain booster.
For this ScrapBusters project, we suggest working with a canvas or home décor weight fabric. This works great with the fusible fleece to create and hold the unique triangle shape with its wide boxed bottom corners. You could certainly try other fabric options, but might need to experiment with additional interfacing to insure the best results.
Look for a bright print in a smaller motif you can center on each of the panels so your case looks great from all sides within the triangle format. You can then choose a matching zipper as we did with our red case, or go for a coordinating accent color, as we did with the other two samples. Little projects are fun fussy cutting practice.
The zippered top opens to a full 9” – a perfect size for your favorite pencils and pens. We used a standard polyester zipper, which allowed us to choose from a broad range of fun colors to mix and match with our chosen fabrics. Of course, as much as we love those pencils, this zippered pouch would be perfect for all kinds of little necessities.
We added a pair of matching poms as the zipper pull on each of the pouches as a fun little bouncy accent. Look for for loose poms in your stash or cut from them a scrap of trim. We did both, attaching the poms with a double strand of Aurifil AuriFloss.
A metal label on the front of each pouch is the finishing touch. These are from the Dritz® collection of leather and metal labels. We stitched them in place with the same AuriFloss used to attach the poms so it it adds yet another pop of color.
There is a free pattern included below. It is a simple 10” x 5½” rectangle so you can certainly choose to cut all the pieces without it, however, the pattern is helpful for precise fussing cutting as well as for positioning the label and marking for the base line.
Our Triangle Case finishes at approximately 9” wide x 3” high x 3” deep.
Sewing Tools You Need
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: Ingredients shown are for ONE pouch.
- Scrap or ¼ yard of 44″+ wide canvas or décor weight fabric for the exterior panels
- Scrap or ¼ yard of 44″+ wide quilting weight cotton or similar for the lining
- Scrap or ¼ yard of 45”+ fusible fleece; we used Pellon Thermolam Plus Fusible Fleece
- TWO small poms – optional; as mentioned above, you can use loose poms or cut individual poms from a strip of trim
- ONE Dritz® Label or similar – optional; we used the new Dritz Metal Labels in a matte nickel finish
- ONE 9” zipper
- All-purpose thread to match fabric
- Embroidery floss in a color to match the zipper and poms – optional; to attach the poms and sew the label in place
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- Download and print the Triangle Pencil Case Pattern.
IMPORTANT: This pattern download consists of ONE 8½” x 11″ sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the sheets to confirm your printout it to scale.
- Cut out the pattern along the solid line.
NOTE: As mentioned above, the cuts are all simple 10” wide x 5½” high rectangles so you can choose to cut without the pattern if you’d like.
- Using the pattern, cut TWO from the exterior fabric, the lining fabric, and the fusible fleece.
- Clip to mark the base line at either outer edge on all pieces.
- For the best look, fussy cut both exterior panels to center your motif front and back.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Prepare exterior and attach label
- Find the two exterior panels and the two fusible fleece panels. Place a fleece panel against the wrong side of each exterior panel. All four sides of both layers should be flush. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the fleece in place.
- Using the guidelines on the pattern, mark the position for the label. If you are not using a pattern, measure 1½” down from the top raw edge an 2” in from the right raw edge to find the placement point for the upper right corner of the label.
- Hand stitch the label in place with a double strand of the heavy floss.
- Our case is designed to have 3” corners. To create this width, cut 1½” squares from each bottom corner of each piece: the two exterior panels (with the fleece fused in place) and the two lining panels.
- With both the exterior and lining layers, we stacked the layers and cut both at once for the best match corner to corner.
NOTE: If you are brand new to this technique, check out our full step-by-step tutorial on two different (and easy) ways to make a box corner.
Insert the zipper between the exterior and the lining
- Place the front panel right side up on your work surface.
- Center the zipper in place across the top raw edge if the panel. The zipper and the panel are right sides together and the zipper pull is situated to the right. Pin in place across the top through all the layers.
- Open the zipper half way.
- Find one lining piece. Place the lining panel right side down on top of the front panel, sandwiching the open zipper between the layers. Pin in place – again just across the top but through all the layers.
- Stitch across the top through all three layers, using a ¼” seam. We used our Janome Quarter Inch Seam foot; you could also use a Zipper foot.
NOTE: All with all zipper insertions, when you feel you are approaching the zipper pull, stop with your needle in the down position. Raise the presser foot and twist the layers slightly so you can access the pull to move it out of the way of the presser foot. Once clear, drop the presser foot, re-position the layers, and finish the seam.
- Fold the lining back so the front panel and the lining are now wrong sides together and the remaining free side of the zipper tape is sticking up. Press.
- Find the back exterior panel and the remaining lining panel. Make a second sandwich similar to the first one. Place the back exterior panel right sides together with the front exterior panel, aligning its top raw edge with the remaining free edge of the zipper tape. Lightly pin in place.
- Place the remaining lining panel right sides together with the in-place lining panel. The top raw edge of the lining panel should also be flush with the free edge of the zipper tape. As with the first sandwich, you have sandwiched the remaining free edge of the zipper between the back exterior panel and the remaining lining panel. The two exterior panels are right sides together and the two lining panels are right sides together. Pin in place through all three layers.
- Stitch in place through all the layers, again using a ¼” seam and moving the zipper pull as described above.
- As you did above, fold the exterior back and lining wrong sides together and press.
- Open up the entire unit so it lays flat. The exterior front and lining are wrong sides together to one side and the exterior back and lining are wrong sides together to the other side with the zipper in the middle. Press well and pin in place.
- Lengthen the stitch. Edgestitch along the zipper teeth on either side on the zipper to hold the fabric layers together. As above, stop to move the zipper pull out of the way so you can maintain a straight seam along either side.
Complete the pouch and the lining, including boxed corners
- Make sure the zipper is still open half way.
- Re-fold so the exterior pieces right sides together. Align the raw edges along both sides and across the bottom. Pin in place.
- Fold the lining pieces right sides together. Align the raw edges along both sides and across the bottom. Pin in place, leaving an approximate 3” opening along the bottom for turning.
- You again have one flat piece, but this time the lining panels are together to one side of the zipper and the exterior panels are together to the other side of the zipper.
- Trim away any excess zipper tape at the top or bottom of the zipper so the edges of all the layers are flush all around.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along the sides of the bottom of both the lining layers and the exterior layers.
- Remember to lock your seam at either side of the 3” opening at the bottom of the lining.
NOTE: Do not stitch around the cut out corners — you are just stitching the sides and the bottoms.
- Press open all the seam allowances.
- At each corner, pull apart the cut out square to align the side seam with the bottom seam.
- For the very best look, take the time to really make sure your seams are aligned at each corner.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch across each corner.
- For extra security at this stress point, consider double or triple stitching each seam.
NOTE: As mentioned above, if you are brand new to making boxed corners, take a look at our full tutorial on the topic.
- Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining.
- Hand stitch or machine edgestitch the opening in the lining.
- Push the lining down inside the pouch. Align the boxed corners at the bottom and push out the top corners. A long, blunt tool works well for this, such as a knitting needle, chopstick or point turner.
Optional pom pom pull
- Thread a hand sewing needle with a double strand of embroidery floss and tie one end into a knot.
- Sew one of the poms on this knotted end.
- Thread the opposite end through zipper pull. Tie it in a knot around the zipper pull.
- Thread the free end through the remaining pom and knot to secure.
- It looks best if the two poms are slightly off-set. Our strands finished at about 1” and 1½” but you can make them as lone or short as you want.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild