Easy FQ Project - Pencil Roll Tutorial

Easy FQ Project - Pencil Roll Tutorial

Published by Louise on 25th Mar 2020

We love pencil rolls in our house. They come everywhere with us. In the car, on holiday, to restaurants, on planes, to the doctors. Guaranteed to keep children entertained (for a little while at least!). They are also perfect for giving as presents along with a pretty little notebook. You can make them to accommodate coloured pencils, crayons, felt tips or gel pens - whatever your child prefers. You just need to adjust the size a little bit. 

You will need
Two 10.5 inch x 6.5 inch pieces of fabric
One 10.5 inch x 4 inch piece of fabric
(See photos above for different fabric combinations)
25 inches Ribbon
10.5 inches Bias Binding
A set of felt tip pens/pencils/crayons (I used felt tips pens from Asda as they were only 33p!)


The pattern template really depends on what size pens or pencils you are using as they all seem to be different lengths in my experience. The coloured pencil rolls I have made before are much too tall for felt tips and gel pens for example so I needed to make a new template.

To make a pattern template, I just found some thin cardboard. To measure the width, I counted how many pens I had and allowed 1 inch for each pen. My set has 10 pens so it was 10 inches. I added 1/4 inch on each side for the seam allowance so the total width for my template was 10.5 inches. To measure the height, I placed one of the pens on the card and gave it a little bit of space at the top and bottom and then also added on another 1/4 inch seam allowance for the top and bottom. In my case this worked out to be 6.5 inches so I cut out a rectangle shape measuring 10.5 x 6.5 inches.

I find it quite helpful to mark the seam allowance and inch spacings on the template in pen. You will see why later! You then need to make a template for the pocket that holds the pens. Its the same width as above but you just need to decide how deep you want it by deciding how much of the pens you want to show. I choose a height of 4 inches including a 1/4 inch seam allowance (you don't need a seam allowance for the top of the pocket as we are using bias binding). I know this all sounds very complicated but it really isn't! Once you have a template you can use it again and again if you use the same pens. See below for mine.

Cut out two large rectangle pieces of fabric and one pocket sized piece of fabric. You can use lots of different fabric combinations. You choose!

Cut a 10.5 inch piece of bias binding and 25 inches of ribbon

Sew the bias binding along the top of the pocket piece of fabric.

Pin the pocket to the right side of one of the rectangles of fabric.

This is where the one inch marks on your template come in handy! Use it as a guide to pin along the bottom of the two bits of fabric. Place a pin every inch. This is to guide where you will be sewing up and down to make the individual pockets. Its worth putting some pins along the top of the pocket too to keep it in place. Its helpful to have the seam allowance marked on your template. You don't need to pin or sew the seam allowance at this point.

Starting at the left hand side, sew along very close to the bottom of the pocket. At your first pin, turn and sew up to the top of the pocket, turn and sew back down over the same line. This helps reinforce the pocket. When you get to the bottom, turn and continue along the bottom until the next pin and do the same all the way along. Remember you DON'T need to sew the two edges as these will be sewn at a later stage.

See now you have individual little pockets. Cute!

Fold your ribbon in half and place facing inwards on top of the bias binding on the right hand side. Leave a small amount hanging over the edge.

Place the remaining piece of fabric face down over the pocket and pin all around the edge of the rectangles remembering to secure the ribbon (tuck the remaining ribbon away from the edges so it doesn't get caught up). Remember to leave a gap large enough to turn it through later. Make sure this is in the top half of the rectangle ABOVE the pocket. Sew all around the edge using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Clip the top corners.

Turn inside out, make sure the corners are neat and carefully press. Make sure that the opening is neatly folded under and pressed. We can close this when we top stitch around the edge. Top stitch all the way around as close to the edge as you can go to finish. Be careful as you don't want to make the 2 end pockets too small for the pens!

Add felt tips and admire your handiwork!

Let us know if you make a pencil roll. You can tag us in on facebook or instagram. We are @sewscrumptious

Happy Sewing!

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