As mentioned in a previous post, I’m in the middle of making some gifts for family and god-children. One of the gifts to be given to my younger godchildren will be a Notebook-&-Pencil holder.
Here is a completed holder:
And the holder opened up:
This is quite a straight-forward gift to make and I thought I’d provide a tutorial on how I went about putting this one together. Please note that I am no sewing expert :-) so please excuse my rather barbaric methods and lack of proper sewing vocabulary :-) Please also note that this is an image-heavy post, so allow a few minutes for all the images to load up.
This holder has been made to comfortably fit an A5-sized 100-page notebook. You may need to alter the dimensions for larger notebooks.
What You’ll Need
- A 40cm x 28cm piece of fabric for the outer cover (I used a heavy-weight canvas cotton print)
- A 40cm x 28cm piece of fabric for the inner lining (I used a light gingham)
- A 40cm x 18cm piece of fabric for the pocket (I used the same light gingham as the lining)
- A 40cm x 28cm piece of interfacing
- Two strips of ribbon, each 30cm in length
- Materials for embellishment e.g. felt, buttons, etc
1) According to the instructions for your interfacing, attach interfacing to the wrong side of the outer cover fabric.
2) On one longer side of the pocket fabric, turn in the edge 1cm, then turn in again 1cm to make a clean edge and sew down hem. It helps to iron it down before sewing to keep it in place.
3) Putting the ‘sandwich‘ together.
a) Place the lining fabric down with the right side of the fabric up. Then place the pocket fabric on top, with the right side up also, so that left and right edges line up with left and right edges of lining fabric.
b) Place the two pieces of ribbon across the lining fabric, just above the top edge of the pocket fabric. Ensure that one edge of one piece of ribbon slightly overhangs the left edge of the lining fabric, and one edge of the other ribbon slightly overhangs the right edge of the lining fabric.
c) Place outer cover fabric on top with wrong side facing up and ensure the edges of the ‘sandwich’ are all lined up. Pin in place, making sure ribbons are securely pinned in place.
4) Starting in the middle of the top edge, sew the sandwich together using a 7mm seam allowance. Leave a 10cm opening at the top edge.
5) Clip the corners (if you want pointy corners) and turn inside out. Slip-stitch opening closed and iron out flat. You can skip this next step if you prefer, but I like to stitch around the edges (about 2mm in from the edge) just as an added step to secure the sandwich together.
6) Marking & sewing in the pockets. This holder has been designed to hold pencils so if you are planning to include larger pens or textas, you will need to adjust the following measurements. For standard pencils, from the left edge, mark 2cm in, and keep marking every 2cm until you have marked 10 pockets for the pencils. Mark at the top and bottom edge to ensure a straight line and mark in the lines (they are hard to see in the picture below but I have marked them in with eraseable fabric pencil).
7) Sew down the lines from top to bottom. Ensure that the thread you are using to sew in the pockets matches both the lining and outer cover as it will be visible on both sides. You should end up with 10 thin pockets for the pencils and one large pocket for the notebook. This is what the outer cover looks like after sewing down the pocket lines (and before I clip the excess thread).
8) Embellishment. I decided to feature the recipient’s initials so I cut out the letters in wool felt.
I stitched the initials and some cute buttons on a circular piece of the yellow gingham and appliqued that onto a piece of wool felt. I then stitched it onto the upper corner of the outer cover. Please note that if you do embellish, you will have to keep it towards the top section of the cover so that you don’t accidentally sew over the pockets!
9) And finally, apply some Fray Stop (or similar product – available at craft stores) to the raw edges of the ribbon to prevent then from fraying.
And there you go – a simple Notebook-&-Pencil Holder! I hope this tutorial was easy to follow and understand.
Variations include making a patchwork cover (rather than using one piece of fabric), or converting the holder into a pencil roll by shortening its length and width, sewing pencil pockets all across the width, and attaching both pieces of ribbon to one side only so that it can be tied around the roll.
Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about the instructions or any feedback on improvements. And please let me know if you do end up making one – I’d love to see it!!!