Creative articles about sewing

Back to (yoga)school: pouches!

With the holiday period halfway done, slowly preparations are being made for the new school year. Our youngest is going to high school and wanted a new pencil case. Scrolling through the many options online, which we both did not get very enthusiastic about, and the list of materials that should be included, I couldn’t help but suggest making it myself. I was allowed.

Want to read the blog in Dutch? Click here.

In search of sturdy materials I found an old worn down jeans (beyond repair;-)), white jeans fabric with newspaper print and various recycled zippers and other haberdashery. From Mettler’s thread case the Denim Doc colors blue, yellow and red. Ideal to use with these denim fabrics as beautiful stitching details.

The pattern

On Pinterest I found different cases and I made my own variations. Yep, more than one!

I started with the large version and then the small one. The large one is a bit easier to make, the small one requires more tinkering. This video from YouTube helped me a lot. In this blog I will explain the steps with pictures.

Case 1: 14×28 cm

Case 2: 10×28 cm

What do you need for a pencil case:

  • (sturdy) outer fabric 2x (14 or 10×28 cm)
  • inner fabric 2x (14 or 10×28 cm)
  • sturdy (bag) stabilizer 2x (14 or 10×28 cm)
  • a zipper (at least28 cm)
  • leftover fake leather
  • ring or carabiner (optional)

Cut the fabric to size plus 1 cm seam allowance, the stabilizer is without seam allowance. You can choose not to cut the corners yet (shaded in the drawing) and do this when the side seams are closed (see video). In case 1 I uses the two fabrics. The two are sewn together first and topstiched with red and yellow Denim Doc stitching. Then the stabilizer was ironed on.


  1. To get a nice finish on each end of the zipper, I first put pieces of folded fake leather on the outer fabric.
  2. Then the zipper goes on top; the teeth pointin downwards.
  3. On to that the inner fabric. Stitch the layers allong side the zipper teeth with a narrow zipper foot. You do not stitch the seam allowance, so that you can stitch the side seam later.
  4. Fold the fabric pieces over so that the right sides are facing out. Make sure the zipper pull is on the right side of the leather fold. Pin the inner and outer fabric together so they stay in place for the moment.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for the other side: Outer fabric on the zipper, inner fabric on the other side, stitch from and untill the seam allowance.
  6. Fold these fabric parts over as well. Iron and topstitch along the zipper. Again, you don’t stitch the seam allowance. Check whether the zipper works properly and that you have not accidentally stitched too close to the teeth. It happens;-0
  7. Now fold the outer fabrics right sides together and do the same with the inner fabric. Sew the bottom seam of both fabrics. Leave a turning hole at the bottom the inner fabric.
  8. Close the side seams. To do this, bring the bottom seam under the top seam / zipper. First stitch the outer fabric side seam. Fold the inner fabric out of the way. Stitch carefully over the teeth of the zipper*. This is also the time to sew in the loops (see below). Then stitch the inner fabric side seam. Fold the outer fabric out of the way. Stitch at half your seam allowance.
  9. If you had not already cut the corners, do it now. Then fold and stitch as shown. You have to do this 8 times in total. This is quite a bit of tinkering with case 2. (Especially if, like me, you have used very stiff stabilizer.) It helps if you have opened the zipper completely.
  10. Stitched every corner, time to …
  11. … turn. Press the corners of the outer fabric well with your fingers through the left open turinng hole.
  12. Then close the turning hole. I simply topstitched it shut on the right side. You could also close it by hand. Your pencil case is ready.

* Be careful when using a metal zipper. You can’t sew over that. A metal zipper is used in case 1. I did the stitching manually so I could ‘feel’ whether the needle would choke or whether it would go. I went back and forth a few times, so that it was well attached.

 Place the loop under the zipper and attach it when closing the side seam.

Happy customer!

 Zoom in on details

This is a typical project where I can get lost in the details. Love it!


Hook & eye

Pretty inside pocket

Super inspired

It was not done for me with a satisfied customer. The two pouches inspired me to make an even bigger pouch for my new yoga mat. There was jeans left and fabric too, so why not … Maybe a new blog?





Free sewing pattern & instructions: Pouches

Difficulty level: Beginner
Time to Complete: Evening
Used Material: denim, Denim Doc, fake leather, Jeans, leftover fabrics, mettler thread, oude jeans
Used Products:
Reverse Pattern Foot #1
Reverse Pattern Foot #1
Zipper Foot #4
Zipper Foot #4

Topics to this post , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Link this post Trackback URL

Related content you may be interested in

Comments of this post

0 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Required fields are marked *

Dear BERNINA Blog readers,

if you want to publish pictures via the comment function, please log in to the blog first. Click here to sign in.

You haven't registered for the BERNINA blog yet? Click here to create your free account.

Thank you very much

Your BERNINA Blog Team