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Friday, 24 May 2013

How to Sew a Pencil Roll


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.

32 comments:

  1. Very nice tutorial, thank you for sharing:)

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  2. My son would love to have one for himself. Thanks for the tutorial! :)

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  3. Very beautiful and useful. Thanks for sharing. Tina

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  4. Very clever of you. Cute fabric!

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  5. I've been wanting to make one of these for so long, but I'm so bad a sewing. You make it look so easy! I call them crayons too!

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  6. Very nice! I hand sewed pencil rolls for my kids but they aren't nearly as cute as these (I used ribbon ti tie shut, I like your idea better).

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  7. Love those! Great back to school gifts! Happy FaF!

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  8. Great tutorial! Maybe one day I will conquer my fear of sewing and make one of these, would be great for crochet hooks!

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  9. Great tutorial. I second Cathy, I need to get over my fear of sewing.

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  10. Brilliant tutorial. I love the teddy fabric xx

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  11. Lovely tutorial. I love the idea of using fleece for the lining.

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  12. Great fabric. This would make lovely presents. Thanks for sharing. Just out of interest - what do you call wax crayons?

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  13. Lovely tutorial, thank you. We had crayons, which were wax crayons, and then coloured pencils which were obviously pencils!

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  14. Love the teddy bear fabric :)

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  15. Great tutorial and that teddy bear fabric is glorious. Like Tickled Pink Crafts we had wax crayons and colouring pencils at school. I have quite a collection of colouring pencils myself which are kept in a small planter and the cutlery holder from my Mum's dishwasher, but I think I may make one these for carrying some with me if I pop out sketching (something I keep saying to myself that I should do).
    Have a lovely week

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  16. I did sell one at a previous fair with boats on, which the buyer said she was going to give to her father-in-law to keep something to do with fishing in. I did think they could have other things in them, make up or cutlery.

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  17. A great idea for all manner of items, an easy tutorial to follow too. :)

    Jan x

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  18. Lovely tutorial...thanks for sharing. My little ones would each love one of these. Off to find some cute fabrics! Have a great day x

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  19. I love this idea! I want to make one for my knitting needles :-) It would be a lot better place to keep them than the basket they are currently in...a little more organized at least!

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  20. That's a great project and I love the fabric with the bears. Thank you for sharing your tutorial.

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  21. Great tutorial and a fantastic idea. Much better than a pencil case as you can see the colour you want immediately. I love the fabrics you've used. I found the tutorial really easy to follow and all the instructions are clear. I always worry when I write one if it makes sense. Can't wait to see more.
    Ali x

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  22. It looks great and many thanks for sharing your tutorial with us. I need a roll similar to this for my pottery tools, and this looks ideal. Hope you have a good week.

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  23. what a good idea to use fleece! It definitely simplifies the project. Pencil rolls are so handy aren't they and a great way to use some really fun fabrics :) x

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  24. A great tutorial, I can't wait to make one!

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  25. This is a great tutorial. I made something similar for my crochet hooks and now know where they all are when I need one! I used interlining but the fleece backing is great alternative! x

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  26. Excellent tutorial :-)

    I like how this makes it easier to pick exactly what pencil is needed, rather than digging around inside a pencil case.

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  27. I made one of these for my dpns they are so useful. I added a fold over flap at the top to stop the needles falling out and used ribbon instead of a toggle.

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  28. so sweet! Thanks for sharing on Keep Calm Craft On!

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  29. great idea your tutorial. With the same way I'll try to sew a crochet roll. Thanks for sharing your creative ideas.Marieta

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  30. Fabulous project, thanks for sharing on craft schooling Sunday!

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  31. Such a great tutorial and project! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

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  32. I've been looking for a pattern for these! Thank you! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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