Fall is at our doorstep and we’re getting ready to welcome it around our house. The kids are back in school so I have more time to clean up their closets. As I’m putting their outgrown clothes aside for donation, I decided to keep a couple of zippered sweatshirts to experiment with for this project. I ended up making this little pouch, perfect for my daughter’s crayons, here’s how I did it:
1. Use an old zippered sweater to upcycle. Turn the sweater inside out and place it on a flat surface. Decide the final length of your pencil case by marking the zipper at two points (blue dots on picture). If the sweater has a front pocket, try to avoid it to facilitate sewing. Machine stitch on the marked points to close the zipper, making sure the zipper pull is between the points.
2. Hold the sweater (still inside out) from the center front zipper, fold it and lay it flat as pictured. Use a water-soluble pen or chalk to mark the shape of the pencil case (blue dotted line on picture). The shape can be anything you want, rectangular, square, rounded corners, etc, depending on the size of the sweater. Mark a seam allowance of about ¼” (red line on picture).
3. Pin down the two layers of fabric and cut along the marked seam allowance (red line) Make sure the zipper pull is pulled to the middle of your work so you can turn it later. Stitch along marked stitch line (blue line). At zipper points, make several stitches to reinforce.
4. Turn your pencil case right side out and tidy up the edges with a pointed tool (pencil, chopstick, etc). Voilà! You’re done… start using to store school supplies, even cosmetics or electronics!
TIP: When stitching along marked stitch line (step 3) you may want to add a second stitch line just next to the first, using your machine’s zig-zag stitch. This is helpful reinforcement, specially because you’re working with a knit and your straight stitch may brake after a while.
Have fun and please share pictures of your upcycled pencil cases!