Colored Pencils and Coloring Book Case

OR…..When something all wrong turns out exactly right!

Pencil case-12
Sometimes projects are wrong from the get-go. This was one of those projects. It’s purely my own fault. I kept telling myself to just unpick the zipper and start over, but, I didn’t. I kept going…

Pencil case-13

I started out making this zippered case for the colored pencils I bought myself. I wanted the top to zip around and lift (like a cosmetic case) so I could view the colored pencils. I didn’t want to dig for the right color in the bottom of a basic zippered pouch.

Pencil case-2

I dug through my fabric stash to find the last of this leaf print that I love. I carefully cut and pieced the body and lid of the bag. I marked and quilted it. I cut my lining, put in the zipper and somewhere in these steps, I knew something wasn’t quite right. But I kept going…I really didn’t want to unpick the zipper and have to put it back in. As I went to sew up the back, I knew I was going to have raw edges showing because I shouldn’t have sewn in the lining the way I did. So, I unpicked a bit of the lining from the zipper, sewed up the back seam and then pressed the lining and hand-stitched it to cover up the raw-edged seams. I also had to hand-stitch a small piece to cover up where the zipper came together and made a “hinge”. My father was a meticulous carpenter. I grew up well versed in measure twice, cut once. This is what my father would have called a “Mickey Mouse Job”.


But, wait. There’s more…

Pencil case-4

It became painfully clear that I really jacked this thing up. I seriously needed to start over. And, of course, even with 72 colored pencils, I knew it was going to be bigger than I wanted. But, I just kept going…I had to make this work. It was the last of my favorite fabric!

Rather than in-setting a piece to create a flat top and bottom, I sewed the ends straight across and made quick box corners. But…since I didn’t unpick that zipper and fix things, that left an unsightly raw-edged seam on the inside of the lid and body. I didn’t want to see that when the top was lifted. (The bottom wouldn’t be seen, so I didn’t care.) I hand-stitched a “lining” to cover up the raw edges and, oh yeah, this is where I jabbed my finger with the needle and bled on it…all the while thinking…”I should have just unpicked the @#%&! zipper.”

Pencil case-7

After making the box corners, the outside had a seam across the top that just felt odd to see. So, I stuck a handle on top to solve that problem.

Pencil case-14
And then…my birthday came around and my two Jen(n) friends gave me several gifts that included a small coloring book approximately 7″ x 7″. It fit perfectly into the case……and BOOM! Just like that, something all wrong became exactly right!

Pencil case-11



3 thoughts on “Colored Pencils and Coloring Book Case

  1. Love how it turned out! I love bag making, and it’s funny how sometimes our mistake bags end up being the perfect fit for something it wasn’t even designed for. 🙂 Sew on!

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