Thursday, September 25, 2014

FREE ePattern and Tutorial - Cool Car Pencil Case

Posted by Kashmira

This is sad but true - there are a million things to buy/ make for little girls out there, but not so many at all for the little guys. When the time came to make something for my friend's son for his birthday, I scratched my head and scoured the internet (not simultaneously) for some appropriate project, but nothing really caught my eye. 

I decided to address this glaring lack of sewable-especially-for-boys projects by creating my own pattern. I thought of what could be most suitable for a boy and came up with - surprise! - a car. Ever since my son was born, I used to think I'd try as much as possible to steer clear of gender stereotypes and let him play with whatever caught his fancy, including dolls, teacups and the like. But the fact is, he seems to be more interested in modes of transport. I don't know what it is, but even a set of stacking cups becomes a pretend car and 'vroom-vroomed' about the floor!

So anyway, I dare say a car shaped pencil case will get a seal of approval from most boys (or girls for that matter!). I started out with a shape that was something like an 80s VW Scirocco, all with the end goal of laying the zipper flat on top. However, the final pencil case left a lot to be desired as regards the cute quotient aspect. So I thought, what the heck, let me go ahead and try a pouch with a curved zipper and guess what - it turned out pretty ok, even if I do say so myself. The little window and wheel appliques also can make it as colorful and fun as you wish. (This has since been confirmed by the gift recipient!)

Here are some details about the project:

Level: Beginner/Intermediate. (No complex sewing techniques required other than sewing on curves.)

Time Required: 2 Hours or less

You’ll need basic sewing tools:  Sewing machine, scissors or cutting mat and rotary cutter, pins, ruler or tape measure, tailor’s chalk or fabric marker, thread, iron for pressing.

* The appliques used on this pattern needs zigzag machine stitch (and zigzag foot, if needed per your machine specifications)

* Zipper foot for sewing the zipper

Fabric supplies:
Fabric sizes for purchasing are indicated below. However, this project calls for relatively small pieces of fabric which you likely already have in your fabric stash. Please refer to the sizes in brackets which indicate what will actually be used for the project.

1) ¼ yard or 1 Fat Quarter fabric suitable for the car (Two fabric pieces sized 11” * 8” required)
2) ¼ yard or 1 Fat Quarter fabric for lining (Two Fabric pieces sized 11” * 8” required)
3) ¼ yard or 1 Fat Quarter fabric suitable for the front windows (Fabric piece sized 6” * 3” required)
4) ¼ yard or 1 Fat Quarter fabric suitable for the back windows (Fabric piece sized 6” * 3” required)
5) ¼ yard or 1 Fat Quarter fabric suitable for the wheels (Fabric piece sized 10” * 4” required)
6) ¼ yard medium weight fusible interfacing (Two pieces sized 11” * 8” required)
7) One 7” all-purpose zipper
8) Two 1” * 1” squares of felt in coordinating colors

Finished Size: The finished car is approx 8" * 6"

Link to ePattern and TutorialDownload the ePattern and Tutorial pdf here


Learning wise, we encourage you to give this pattern a go for a few reasons:
1) Get some practice with zigzag stitch and appliques
2) Sew a zipper on a curve. After all, riding along a curve can be risky, but steer carefully and you'll soon be home safe!

1 comment:

  1. This is so cute! Can I suggest you something to make it more cute? :-) It may not seem practical but I thought I'll let you decide. If there were little faces of travelers that could be attached to the window with a press button - a face of a dog, a boy, girl etc. it would be fun to pretend-play who's going to school today in the pouch. A press button is strong enough to hold the traveler to the window but easy enough for little hands to take off and replace with another one. A small zipped compartment inside the pouch could hold the other faces until their turn comes to 'travel' so they don't get lost. :-) It was just a passing thought. I thought I should share.

    - Priti