July 19, 2009

"a" for applique

You may recall a few weeks back, when I tackled the zipper for the first time. Now in the midst of back-to-school prep, it occurred to me that I could use those new skills to fashion the required zippie pencil cases (soft pouch style) and personalize them to boot. Who needs to settle for store bought when you have zipper-know-how and a Singer?

A few times every summer, I stumble upon the yard sale of an interior designer unloading boxes of fabric swatches. The quality swatches I purchase (for pennies) are usually about 16″ x 18″…plenty big enough for pouches or other smallish projects. My fifth grader chose the above fabrics from my stash for her pencil pouch. I used the same basic zippie directions back in this post except I cut 12″ x 7″ rectangles (two rectangles from the print and two from a coordinating tan fabric for the liner. The red will be the applique fabric.) I wanted the pouch big enough to accommodate pencils, markers, highlighters, etc. That size worked perfectly. After I got the zipper in, I personalized the case with her name.

To make a name applique, I chose a chunky font on my computer sized appropriately for the case. I then printed the name out as a “mirror image” (this is usually a preference in your print settings.) I ironed on “Wonder Under” fusible web (found at any fabric store) to the wrong side of the chosen applique fabric. Then I traced the printout onto the “paper side” of fabric with a ball point pen. The pressure from the pen left a mark. Next, I cut out the letters and removed the paper from the fabric. Then I ironed the letters to the pouch.

After my letters were “stuck” I blanket-stitched around them with yellow and turquoise embroidery floss. I sewed on stacked buttons for more personality. When my details were complete, I sewed up the sides of the bag including the inside liner. To top off the pouch, I used coordinating beads for a zipper pull.

Pictured above is the finished case all stuffed and ready to head to class in a month or so. Cara is quite pleased with her one-of-a-kind pencil house and dare I say a tiny bit more excited for school to begin?! Additional cases for a special 2nd grader and a preschooler are now in the works.
Filed Under: kids, projects, sewing


  1. I LOVE the use of so much color/ Lovely, lovely.

    Josey's mom — July 23, 2009 @ 1:50 pm
  2. ooooh this is so cute! May I feature this on my blog? :)

    Aysha — November 4, 2010 @ 12:06 am
  3. Sure! Thanks for asking!

    June — November 4, 2010 @ 3:16 am

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