August 12, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday

Hello and Happy Tuesday, everyone!

It's back-to-school time for many of us and today's tutorial is a fun way to add some stitchery to the school supplies either you or the kiddos might have to tote around. This pencil roll came together in one afternoon, it fits 10 pens or pencils, and is a fun way to keep all your writing instruments in one place.

To make your own pen/pencil roll, you'll need the following supplies:

- Two pieces of fabric for the exterior and interior measuring 12 inches wide by 7 inches tall
- Two pieces of fabric for the interior pocket measuring 12 inches wide by 4.5 inches tall
- 30 inches of Ric Rac or ribbon  
- Embroidery hoop, floss, needle, and scissors
- Iron and ironing board
- Sewing machine with necessary supplies
- Scissors

I used the "Make Something" pattern available from Urban Threads, and only transferred the pencil, marker, and felt tip pen. The pattern was only $1 and is available as an instant download. 

Step One: Print out your pattern, make sure to select that it is at 100% scale and not scaled to fit the page. Transfer the pattern to one exterior piece of fabric, keeping it one inch or more away from the edge of the fabric. I used osnaburg for the exterior because I like the natural look of the fabric and it's great for embroidery. 

Step Two: Embroider your pattern. I had to use a smaller hoop and embroider the pattern in two sections since it was on the edge of the fabric here. I used a back stitch for the whole pattern with 6-strand floss in 3-ply.

Step Three: For the pen/pencil pocket, take the two 12 by 4.5 inch pieces of fabric, place them right sides together, and stitch along the top long edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. 

Press this seam open.

Fold the fabric in half with the wrong sides together and press. 

Top stitch the folded seamed edge. 

Step Four: Place this pocket piece on top of the interior piece of fabric. Using a ruler, mark one inch lines along the pocket to create spaces for the pens and pencils. I used a pencil to mark the lines so they would show up in the photos, but I recommend using a water soluble pen to mark these lines.

Step Five: Stitch the pocket lines. These will create pockets for each individual pen or pencil and firmly attach the pocket piece to the interior piece of fabric. 

Step Six: Fold the Ric Rac in half and place it at the center of the short edge near the embroidery. With right sides together, place the fabric with the pocket on top of this. Pin in place. 

Stitch around the exterior of the fabric, leaving a 2 inch opening for flipping. 

Step Seven: Clip the corners of the fabric and flip so the right sides are facing out. Use a blunt object to push the corners out. Press the corners and use a pressing cloth to lightly press the side with embroidery. 

Step Eight: Top stitch the exterior of fabric. This will finish of the exterior edge, close up the space used to flip the roll, and add a second secure stitch to the Ric Rac.  I switched my sewing machine thread out to white, so that the edge along the outside wouldn't be too noticeable. 

Step Nine: Add pens and pencils, roll it up, and you are ready to go!

Hope you give this tutorial a try and have a very happy Tuesday!

Hi, I'm Kristen! I am a lover of all things stitchy and crafty. I have been sewing for as long as I can remember. My grandmother taught me how to sew Barbie clothes when I was young and I have been sewing ever since.

You can find me at Bobbypin Bandit, on Instagram, and my Etsy shop.


  1. Love your pencil roll very fun project!

  2. I love this! I want to make one for myself, and I'm way beyond school age! I have such a fondness for school supplies, and this...well it takes the cake!