I have no idea how many of these beauties that I’ve made. Lots and lots. This Summer I taught a friend of my daughter’s to make them, and she went on to sell them as part of a Young Enterprise competition at her school. She did really well.
The essence of this pencil cake pattern is wadding, scraps of fabric, a zip and lots of machine sewing. You don’t even need wadding. Interlining is the stuff that goes in between the lining and front of curtains, it is cheap and readily available. Anywhere that sells curtain material will sell interlining – John Lewis for example. A 1/4m would be plenty to make a few pencil cases and should only cost you a few pounds.
I first used this ‘Quilt as You Go’ method in an online class about four years ago. I then went on to create a range of projects using it. For this pencil case project, a small piece of material is placed in the centre of the wadding. Then the sewing machine is used to sew parallel lines back and forth over the fabric. Adding the lines of thread over the fabric and through the wadding changes the texture and feel of the combined fabrics. It becomes firmer and more substantial which is perfect for the exterior of a bag, wallet or case.
Moving on, another, different, piece of fabric is added to the wadding. It needs to be slightly larger than the side that you are joining it to of your initial piece. To join the new piece to the original one, place them right sides together and sew a 1/4″ seam along the desired joining edge. Now fold the new piece back against the wadding (right side now facing up). Next, once again sew parallel lines over this second piece. I like to keep my lines parallel to the way I have joined that piece to the last one, so for example, if I joined the two pieces by sewing vertical up/down my project, then I would sew my line up and down.
The task continues now, to add further pieces of fabric and sew over them, all over the wadding. I find it easiest to work clockwise around the initial piece, but however you choose to do this, I suggest that you either work from the centre out or from one side right the way across the wadding to the other side.
So that is as difficult as it gets ! You can click below to download the full instruction to complete the pencil case. Once you get the hang on the method you will find it a great way to use up scraps and make bespoke accessories for yourself or gifts for others.
Here are some of the pencil cases made using this method!