We have become a nation of hot deskers, zipping between home and the workplace – or sewing studio if we’re lucky! As a result, we need a mobile ‘office’ that can be quickly packed up and transported to another desk. With that in mind, Amanda Walker has crafted the pencil case of our dreams. The added detail of the bulldog clips allows you to attach this funky office essential to your laptop bag, too – you’ll be out the door in no time!
- Fabric: contrasting, two prints
- Mini bulldog clips
- Tin can, 200g
- Jump ring, small
- Pliers, small
- Tape, double-sided, narrow
- Fabric glue
Cover the base of a 200g tin with fabric by first measuring the can’s circumference and depth, then cut a rectangle to these dimensions with an extra 5mm added to the circumference. Snip a strip of contrasting fabric to the circumference measurement, 5cm wide. Stitch this to one of the long edges of the rectangle with a 1.5cm seam allowance.
Wrap the strip around onto the wrong side and stick it in place with fabric glue. Repeat on one of the short ends of the rectangle, cutting the strip 1cm longer to enable the raw end of the strip to fold over to the wrong side of the bound edge. Now the rectangle can be stuck with double-sided tape or glue to the tin can with the bound edge at the base.
Cut two rectangles, one in each of the fabrics, to the circumference plus 2cm and a height of 15cm. Fold one of the rectangles in half with the two shorter ends matching, then find and mark the centre point on one of the long edges. Open out the rectangle and make a notch 5mm away on both sides of the centre mark.
Position the zip end with the stoppers to one of the shorter ends of the rectangle and the length of the zip running along the long edge, with the right sides of the zip and the fabric facing one another. Open the zip, pin and stitch in place as far as the 5mm notch. Repeat the process, stitching from the opposite side as far as the opposite 5mm notch. This should create a gap in the stitching line of 1cm and the remaining length of the zip hanging in the centre of the piece.
Lay the remaining rectangle over the other, right sides facing and sew together using the previous stitching line as a guide. Carefully thread the zip pull through the 1cm gap to the right side, then trim any excess. Leave the zip open. With the right sides of the fabric facing, sew down each of the shorter ends and across the base, leaving a gap in the stitching line. Trim away any bulk from the corners, then turn right side out through the gap. Tease out the corners, press flat and slip-stitch the gap closed by hand.
Position the piece around the top of the covered tin can and stick in place. Connect the two edges of the rectangle together by hand stitching up 2cm from the base edge and the top of the can. Attach a mini bulldog clip to the hole in the zip pull with a small jump ring and a pair of pliers.