Tag Archives: review

The Pencil Bag Postmortem

Hey all,

Life took me away from the sewing machine, and I didn’t like it, no sir, not one bit.  But over the last 3 days I completed another project, this time a pencil bag.  This one right here:

Pencil bag

Now that I’ve had a chance to sleep on it, I decided a recap, a postmortem might be helpful to you and to me.

I got the pattern from this blog post just passing it along to anyone else who wants to try it out.  I learned a lot in this project, and that’s the point right? Here’s what I learned:

I hate using duck fabric, I felt like I was a in a race again time the whole time as it was fraying from the moment that I cut the pattern out.  I think using pinking shears would have helped in this regard.  If I ever try and use duck again I’ll make sure to use pinking shears.

Making a fabric tube is hard, like whoa.  I must have pinned and repinned the sides 3 or 4 times for each of the 4 round panels.  That brings up another point, making a panel that’s 4″ diameter.  Remember how we thought we never needed geometry when we learning it in school? I tried printing out a circle that was 4″ in diameter, but that didn’t work, then I started looking around for something that fit the bill.  I ended up using a roll of blue painting tape that was just about perfect.  If you all have a different idea, let me know.

Zipper foot! After trying to do the piping in step 9 with a normal presser foot and not getting as close as I wanted to the piping cord, we bought a zipper foot from a local store in Austin called Austin City Stitches. Nice ladies there with a good selection. Anyway after installing the foot which was really easy, I did a test run and with the foot and I quickly learned that it’s nothing like a standard foot.  The fabric didn’t advance unless I guided it through the machine, I’m not sure if that’s normal or not.

Sewing the zipper closed was another challenge as I didn’t baste the zipper and instead pinned it, I had an issue of trying to maneuver the bag around the machine.  Next time, I’ll just baste and be done with it.

I learned a lot on this, and I think I will be redoing the zipper sewing as it’s a bit well, gross.


That’s it for now.  I’m working on another project starting in the next day or so.  I’m going to be deconstructing a dress I bought at the goodwill for 2 reasons, 1 for a pattern, and also so I can get a better idea on how it was constructed.

Keep Crafty,

The Dude.