gingham style // knotted zipper pencil pouch tutorial

how to sew a pencil pouch

I have a problem keeping track of pencils in my house probably because a certain toddler loves to pull out the eraser and chew on it while he dumps the lead and breaks them all one by one. So whenever I need one for pattern drafting they are so hard to find! I don’t mind sharing most things, but toddlers shouldn’t be playing with mechanical pencils anyways.

I made these cute pencil cases as an easy solution. First, they are the perfect size for mechanical pencils, I’m sure regular pencils or colored pencils would fit, too.  Now I can stash all my pencils in the same place.

This is a basic zipper pencil pouch tutorial but the pattern is a super weird shape to account for the cute bow knots at the top and/or bottom.
DIY pencil pouch
knotted pencil pouch tutorialThe weird shaped pattern makes it a yardage sucker, but it’s worth it! And you’ll have lots of scraps.

The construction of this pouch is pretty complicated. I would definitely recommend sewing up a basic zipper pouch before proceeding. It gave me a headache figuring out how to do this, so I hope that these instructions are clear enough!

You can make this pouch with a bow at each end, or just one end. Follow the dotted line on the pattern piece if you want just one bow end.


free pattern download for the knotted zipper pencil pouch tutorial
3/4 yard main fabric
1/2 yard lining fabric
1/2 yard lightweight interfacing

cutting guide

Fuse interfacing to wrong sides of all 4 main and lining pieces.


Cut 1 of the main pieces and 1 of the lining pieces in half. I used a rotary cutter to make this easier. Leave the other pieces whole, this is just for the top to insert the zipper.zipper pencil case



To insert the zipper, lay it face down on one side of the main (gingham) piece. Pin in place and baste. Then put the lining piece on top, face down and sew at 1/4″. Repeat on the other side of the zipper and press when your zipper is inserted.gingham style: knot bow pencil case

To finish the lining of the pouch, pin the whole lining piece to the lining piece that were just attached to the zipper.
knot bow pencil case

The bottom will look like this:knot bow pencil case DIY

Now sew it up all around. When you get to the zipper part it will be a little tricky. Just pull the main pieces out of the way.knot bow pencil case tutorial


Leave a 2-4″ opening on one of the straight edges to turn later. (I forgot to do this and had to unpick one, so don’t look for the opening in the picture!)zipper pouch tutorial

Now turn it over so the lining is on the bottom and the zipper is facing up.
lining5Lay the second main piece on top of the zipper and pin it on. If you have too much fabric, pin a little pleat over the zipper.

Sew it on all the way around. Don’t leave any openings. Sew the lining and main pieces together where indicated below.main-piece2

Trim and clip the seam allowance and then turn. The corners will be a little tricky to turn, but you can do it! Push the lining into the bag. Now stitch up the opening you left in the lining with a topstitch or a hand slip stitch.turn

Tie the corners into individual knots or tie two together to make bows. I prefer the bow method.knotted corner zipper pouch

If you make the version without the bows on the bottom, they will look like this:pencil pouch tutorial sewingFill it with pencils and you’re done!

pencil pouch sewing tutorial /// see kate sew

I’m definitely a pencil person in the great pencil/pen debate, I am too indecisive for pens. What about you? Pencil or pen?

Fabrics used in this post:
lilac gingham c/o Fashion Fabrics Club
brown 1″ gingham c/o Fashion Fabrics Club
orange 1/4″ gingham, Fashion Fabrics Club
polka dot c/o Two Blue Birdies
kawaii deer c/o


  1. says

    Oh, these pencil pouches are so cute! While reading your tutorial I tried to figure out who will be the right one for such a cute gift :-)

  2. says

    Ok this is seriously beautiful!!! I LOVE your color/pattern choises!!! Great tutorial!

  3. says

    OH! perfect timing! I signed up to sponsor school supplies for a 7th grader in Honduras, and on the list is a pencil case. I kinda thought ‘oh crap – there’s only going to be Dora stuff in the store.’ This will be perfect for her. Thank you!

  4. says

    I am loving gingham style but this is my favorite so far. Really fun! Thank you so much for sharing, I think the fall just got more stylish for my girls :)


  1. […] Kate from See Kate Sew shares a tutorial (and free pattern) for a zippered pencil pouch with a clever twist.  She extended the ends of the pouch and tied them into a knot.  You can make them with a knot at both ends, or just one end (like in the photo I’m showing here).   Go to her blog for the pattern and tutorial. […]