Pencil rolls are so handy. Just chuck the roll in a bag, and you instantly have something to amuse your kids on a day out. Children also really love arranging the pencils or crayons in a rainbow order, so it can mean your colouring pencils last longer. (When I was young we always called them crayons. When I say this at school the children are always perplexed, and colouring pencils seems to be the term now used.)
I have not really posted a sewing tutorial before, but I had a go at making some pencil rolls for my craft table, and although there are few tutorials out there, couldn't find one I completely liked. I wanted my rolls to have a good finish, top-stitching etc., but also wanted to simplify the construction as much as possible. To do this I decided to use a layer of fleece, with means you get a lovely padded roll, but without the need for a padded interlining.
Pencils come in different lengths and numbers, so there is a little bit of calculating, but I have tried to keep this as simple as possible.
1. Measure the length of your colouring pencils.
Cut two main pieces of fabric, one from cotton and one from fleece or felt. To calculate the length of material, take the pencil length and add 5cm. To work out the width multiply the number of pencils you are going to have in your roll x 2 and add 3 cm.
My teddy fabric has some handy lines, which were almost 2cm apart. Lucky eh! You might want to consider this when picking a fabric.
2. Cut out the pencil flap piece from the cotton material. To calculate the length of the pencil flap take two thirds of the length of the above main piece x 2 and + 2 cm.
3. Iron interfacing onto the reverse of your main cotton piece. The interfacing may seem a bit fussy, but it really helps your fabric keep its shape, and results in a much better pencil roll.
Then fold your pencil flap piece in half, and press. Then open out and interface half of this piece.
Fold this piece in half again and top-stitch along the fold 0.5 cm from edge. Top stitching should be a long stitch, and if you think you can be very neat you can experiment with contrasting thread colours.
4. Pin the pencil flap on top the main fleece piece, so you are looking at the right side of each fabric. Sew lines to divide each pencil pocket. The sewing lines should be 2cm apart, and you can use your long top-stitch and coloured thread. Mark the position of the lines with pins. It is best to sew your central line first, working your way out. Do not sew the outer most lines on either side. So on my roll which is going to have 10 pockets I have sewn 9 lines.
5. With right sides together pin your main cotton piece to this pocket piece. If your fabric has nap, like my teddybear fabric, make sure you have your pieces are the same way up. Sew around the roll 0.5 cm from the edge, remembering to shorten your stitch for this sewing. At the sides your stitching will be 2.5 cm from the nearest pencil pocket line. This may look as if the side pockets are going to be too large, but this extra 0.5 cm is used in the topstitched seam, so the pockets will all be the same size. Leave a gap of 7cm mid-way up one side.
6. Trim close to your sewing line, except where your opening is. Clip the corners, and turn your pencil roll the right way out. Turn the corners out and press.
7. Make a loop for the fastener. You can use cord or ribbon.
8. I am not a big tacker, but tack this loop in place in the opening, and try to get it exactly half way up this side as this will look much neater. Also tack the opening closed. Then top-stitch around the edge of your roll 0.5 cm in from edge, remembering to use your long stitch again.
8. Have fun arranging your coloured pencils.
9. Finally roll up to work out the position to sew your button or toggle fastener.
I am going to put this tutorial in a new sewing section in my side bar. I would love to know if you found it useful, or if you think there can be any improvements.