Back to School – Pencil Case

When I have warp left over from another project, I try something new, or re-do an old favorite, just to use up all of the yarn. The woven fabric for this bag came from the end of a warp, and the weave pattern quickly became one of my favorites.

The yarns: The warp is Anzula Dreamy in the colorway “Kale.”  In the weft I used the same Dreamy yarn alternating every other pick with handspun for the other picks. The handspun is also Anzula, an Organic Merino in the colorway “Forest.” Approximately a 2 ply sport weight similar to the weight of the Dreamy yarn. This pattern creates a background of the “Kale” yarn with little squares of the handspun. This showcases the texture and the color of the handspun beautifully!

The Project: I have given in to the fact that I LOVE making bags. So when we were brainstorming about ‘back to school’ projects, I knew a pencil bag would be the perfect project for me! I have found when I am using handwoven fabric, construction of the bag is relative, and I tend to make it up as I go along.

As for the size of this project, it is entirely up to your plans, and what kind of fabric you have lying around. The size of my pencil case ended up being 6″ by 10.5″. Make sure you buy a zipper that is similar to the size of what you want your finished project to be.

I started by putting tabs on my zipper in a coordinating fun fabric, tucking in the raw edges. I cut out a piece of the fun fabric the size of my woven fabric. The woven fabric was serged, but zig zag stitch would work too. With right sides together, sew the top of the woven and fun fabric together sandwiching the zipper in between.

On one end, I stopped short of the tab so I could leave that sticking out for a pull tab. Repeating it on the other side, I started with the same end because the woven fabric stretches when sewing.  This way, the excess woven fabric ends up on the same side. (see right side in picture below)

Optional: Add a small pocket into the interior of the bag before sewing to the woven fabric.

Top stitching the zipper seemed like the best option so it wouldn’t catch on the fabric. Sewing up the sides, started from the end that was not folded and just eased in the woven fabric as I went along, to be even when reaching the fold. A handle was inserted on the opposite side of the pull tab and it was done!



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Denise Renee Grace

Denise Renee Grace first learned to weave as a student at Bethel College. She later moved to Boulder and worked in a re-purposed product company where Barry Schacht discovered her and hired her to work in our sales and service department. Denise’s first love is spinning and she is especially fond of working with natural fibers on all four of her Schacht Wheels. When it comes to weaving, tabby tickles her. In charge of customer care, Denise spends her days here helping people—something she does so well.