Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Pencil Case for Lola Tutorial

Download the pattern for A Pencil Case for Lola at our website. Then follow along with our step-by-step tutorial. Happy stitching!

NOTE: Use accurate ¼” seams unless directed otherwise.

A. Cut project pieces, quilt the fabric, and trim to size.

1. Following the Cutting Instructions on the back page of the pattern, cut out pieces for the project.

2. Sandwich the three 9” x 12” pieces (lining face down, ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable™ or batting, main fabric face up). Pin through the layers every 6” to 8” to hold together. Optional: Before making the sandwich, mark a vertical line from top to bottom in the center of the main fabric to use as a guideline when quilting.

3. Quilt the layers together. Suggestion: Quilt vertical lines 3/4” to 1” apart across the piece. TIP: A walking foot is helpful to prevent puckers when stitching.

4. Trim the quilted piece to 8” x 11”. Stitch ⅛” from edge around entire piece to seal edges.

B. Mark and sew fold lines.

1. Mark horizontal lines from side to side 1” down from the top and 1” up from the bottom.

2. Mark horizontal lines from side to side 3” down from the top and 3” up from the bottom.

3. Sew along each of the marked lines. The finished case will fold more easily along these stitched lines, adding definition to its shape.

C. Sew

1. Attach the border to the case.

a. Mark a horizontal line from side to side 1¾” down from the top.

b. With right sides out, fold the 2¼” x 11” border strip in half lengthwise to 1⅛” x 11”; pin every 3” to 4” along raw edges to hold together.

c. With the fold of the fabric toward the top of the case, align the raw edge of the border strip along the line marked 1¾” down from the top. Sew across long raw edge, stitching ¼” from raw edges.

d. Press the seam to set, fold the border over; press. Stitching ⅛” from the edge, sew the border to the case. Begin stitching on right side, continue by stitching across bottom, and up left side. Finish by stitching across the top, sewing ⅛” from the seam line.

2. Attach the zipper to the case.

a. With right sides together, position the closed 14” (or longer) handbag zipper on the top edge of the case with the zipper pull to the left side and the zipper tape extending beyond the case on each end.

b. Using a zipper foot, attach the zipper to the case, sewing ¼” from the edge.

c. Turn the zipper tape to the inside of the case and finger-press to flatten. Sew along the very edge of the zipper tape. This will close off the raw edges and produce a nice ¼” topstitching on the outside of the case.

d. In the same manner, match the other side of the zipper to the other edge of the case and stitch together, being careful to align the sides of the case so that the sides of the case are even on top and bottom.

e. Open the zipper, fold the zipper tape flat against the inside of the case and stitch down, closing off the raw edges. Leave case turned right side out for next step.

3. Make and attach the handle.

a. With right sides out, fold the 3” x 6½” piece of fabric in half lengthwise to 1½” x 6½”; press to mark the center. Bring the raw edges in to the center fold; press.

b. Fold in half again to make a piece ¾” x 6½”.

c. Sew along each side about ⅛” from edge.

d. Being careful to sew through only the top layer of the case, position the ends of the handle with their raw edges even with the raw edges of the case and their inner long edges along the inside edge of the quilted fabric at each side of the top (open) end of the zipper.

e. Stitch in place.

4. Sew side seams and bind raw edges.

TIP: Wonder Clips work well to hold the layers together.

a. With right sides together, fold case so that zipper is aligned in center of the front. Clip/pin each side together, aligning raw edges on each side. Move zipper pull to inside and sew each side together.

b. Trim ends of zipper even with sides of case.

c. With right sides out, fold each 2” x 5” strip of binding in half, turning raw edges to inside ½” at top and bottom, making two 1” x 4” strips.

d. On zipper side of seams, align raw edges of binding with raw edge of sides of case and sew across.

e. Turn binding to other side of case, enclosing raw edges of seam; stitch along folded edge of binding.

5. Make a boxed bottom and bind edges.
a. Fold each corner to form a triangle, with the bound side seam running down the center.

b. Sew a straight line across the triangle about 1” from the tip. Repeat on the each corner. Turn the case right side out and push out all the corners.

6. Make and attach a zipper pull. 
a. Fold the 1” x 12” piece of fabric in quarters to make a piece about ¼” x 12”. (A ½” bias tape maker makes this easy.)

b. Sew down the middle of the pull to secure the layers together.

c. Trim one end to a point and pull it through the hole in the zipper pull. Bring the ends together and tie in a knot close to the zipper. Trim any excess fabric.

Enjoy your pencil case!


  1. Excellent sewing tutorial. I wish I had found this when it was posted. I signed up for the newsletter. We'd love to feature this sewing tutorial at PP. Thank you for sharing your ideas and techniques.

  2. Have tried several times to download the pattern and nothing happens. Any suggestions? THX!

    1. Linda, I am sorry it's not downloading for you! I just tried and it works for me so I'm not sure what's going on. I would make sure that all your software is up to date such as flash, and you could also try a different browser (try Chrome instead of Mozilla, etc).

    2. Maybe it was my internet connection the other day... I just downloaded it with no problem! Thanks for a cute pattern... I have material and zippers waiting to start.

  3. Thank you for the pattern and the tutorial!

  4. The pattern that was in the catalog says, tutorial with photos, but I don't see any photos here on the blog.

    1. Hi Theresia, our apologies for this and the delay. We moved to a new website and it broke the connections. We are working to fix this soon.


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