Sewing with Kate: Pencil and Notebook Case Tutorial


The gift giving season is fast approaching, so Kate wanted to make a project that she could give to her friends. Kate loves to draw, so we designed a fabric case that will hold colored pencils and a notebook that she and her friends can carry with them from house to house. Kate loves to pick from her mom’s different fabric lines to create these one-of-a-kind cases for her special friends.

Photo Oct 01, 4 13 20 PM


  • 1/2 yard fabric for outer/inner case
  • 1/2 yard fabric for pocket
  • 18″x10″ craft fusible interfacing (Pellon 808)
  • 20-26″ of 1/2″ ribbon for tie
  • thread to match

Less fabric can be used if the pattern is non-directional (1/3 yard)

Step One: Cutting Fabrics

  • Cut 2 rectangles 18″ wide by 10″ tall from the outer/inner fabric
  • Cut 1 rectangle 18″ wide by 11″ tall from the pocket fabric
  • Cut 1 rectangle 18″ wide by 10″ tall from the interfacing

Photo Oct 15, 4 34 10 PM

Step Two: Prepping Fabrics

  • Iron the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the inner rectangle
  • Fold the pocket fabric in half, lengthwise (like a hot dog bun)
  • Press
  • Top stitch along folded edge

Photo Oct 15, 4 16 58 PMPhoto Oct 15, 4 12 09 PM

Step Three: Creating Case

  • Place the pocket along the bottom edge of inner fabric right side up (the one with interfacing)
  • Pin. Baste along the raw edges to hold the pocket in place
  • On the wrong side (the interfacing side) of the inner fabric, mark your pocket lines (see diagram below)
  • Use long ruler and pencil
  • Stitch along the stitching lines to create the pencil and notebook pockets
  • Remember to back stitch at the beginning and end
  • Stop at the “top” of the pocket (5 1/2″ up from bottom edge)

Photo Oct 15, 4 21 42 PM


Photo Oct 15, 4 43 58 PM

You made 7 smaller pencil pockets and 1 larger notebook pocket. Trim the thread as needed.

Step Four: Attaching Ribbon (2 options)


  • Attach 2- 10″ ribbon pieces, one on each side (right and left), where the top of pocket meets the inner fabric
  • The ribbon will be pointing toward the center of the case, raw edges together
  • Pin and stitch in place
  • This option allows the case to fold in half

Photo Oct 15, 4 48 20 PM


  • Fold the 26″ ribbon piece where one tie will be 10″ and the other 16″
  • Place the fold where the top of pocket meets the inner fabric on the right
  • Ribbon will be pointing toward the center
  • Pin and stitch in place
  • This option allows the case to fold in thirds

Photo Nov 05, 3 43 26 PM

Step Five: Finishing the Case

  • With the inner fabric and pocket facing up, place the outer rectangle on top, RST
  • Pin along edges
  • Stitch all the way around with 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving a 4″ opening at the top for turning
  • Keep ribbon clear of stitching
  • Clip corners to remove excess fabric being careful not to cut your stitching
  • Turn right side out
  • Use chopstick or finger to push out corners
  • Press flat. Do not iron ribbon (it may melt)
  • Top stitch around all edges, closing 4″ opening
  • Press again

Photo Oct 22, 4 25 13 PMPhoto Oct 22, 4 13 44 PM

Once you have your cases made, you can fill them with pencils and a notebook. (We put two pencils per pocket.) You could even write a special note to your friends in the notebook. Tie them up, and they are ready for giving. Kate and I hope you have fun choosing your fabrics and making these cases for your special friends this holiday season (or any time of year)!



This blog post was written by Shana Muse. Leave her a comment or take a moment to like and/or share on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. She’ll enjoy it as much as you enjoyed her blog post. 🙂
  • December 9, 2014 - 7:13 pm

    CraftCrave | DigiFree | CraftCrave - […] Sewing with Kate: Pencil and Notebook Case Tutorial – 1 freebie(s)? […]ReplyCancel

  • September 3, 2015 - 7:09 pm

    Karen rouse - love your ideasReplyCancel

  • September 23, 2015 - 9:13 pm

    Glenda Mcglothlin - pencial and notebook case please make me one for me

    Glenda Mcglothlin
    10610 Oakline dr
    Baton Rouge, La 70809

    Thank you ,

  • September 23, 2015 - 9:19 pm

    Glenda - please let me know how much for you make me one please ?

    Thank ,

  • November 15, 2015 - 9:21 am

    Handmade Holidays Nov. 15: Quilted Gifts | Sew Mama Sew | Outstanding sewing, quilting, and needlework tutorials since 2005. - […] + Notebook Case Journal writing is HUGE! This Pencil + Notebook Case project is perfect for the seasoned writer as well as the beginner. It’s an easy project for […]ReplyCancel

  • December 8, 2015 - 12:14 pm

    5+1 easy sewing projects for beginners | sitawil - […] This is so easy that even a kid could do it! Have a look at the tutorial. Beautiful fabrics used and very clear instructions. From Deena Rutter […]ReplyCancel

  • March 18, 2016 - 5:01 am

    Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week - Knitted Bliss - […] I love this simple sewing idea to whip up a notebook and pencil case- for those of you falling hard for the adult colouring books, this would be perfect! Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here. […]ReplyCancel

  • June 22, 2016 - 7:15 am

    Karen - What is the maximum size notebook that goes in here?ReplyCancel

    • June 22, 2016 - 2:26 pm

      Shana Muse - Hello,
      The pocket size for the notebook is approximately 6.5″ x 7″ tall. You can adjust the pocket to be wider, omitting a pencil slot if needed. Thanks for asking:)ReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2016 - 7:16 pm

    Shauna - My daughter is learning to sew and this was a great beginner project for her. She thoroughly enjoyed being able to read the steps and figure things out for herself. Thank you for sharing this pattern.ReplyCancel

    • July 17, 2016 - 8:13 am

      Shana - I’m so glad your daughter had fun making this project, and that the instructions were easy to follow. Kate and I had a great time putting this tutorial together:)ReplyCancel

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    john - greatReplyCancel

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  • October 3, 2017 - 9:55 am

    Margot - These are beautiful! I can’t wait to make a few….dozen!❤️ReplyCancel

  • October 24, 2017 - 11:49 pm

    Denise - I’m going to make this .it’s a great little Holiday gift or stocking stuffer . thanks for sharing .ReplyCancel

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