Noodlehead · Mar 28, 2017

Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial

Finally, right?! Eeek! I hope you find this tutorial fun and helpful!

Quite a few months ago I made these pencil pouches from the canvas fabrics in my collection for Cloud9 Fabrics, Rain Walk. So today I’m sharing the how-to and pattern template as a way of saying thank you to all who stop by my website, leave kind note, and are excited about sewing! I’m grateful for the community and fun and sharing!


  • 10″ zipper (I buy mine at Zipit)
  • templates CLICK TO DOWNLOAD (print at 100%, no scaling)
  • fat quarter – 18″ x 22″ cotton canvas for lining (I use an unbleached 9 oz. weight cotton canvas from my local Joanns, it’s perfect for showcasing all your pretty pencils and pens!)
  • 6″ x 18″ main print (canvas/denim/twill)
  • 6″ x 12″ accent fabric (canvas/denim/twill)
  • 1/4 yard fusible woven interfacing (I prefer Pellon SF101 which is 20″ wide)

Note about materials: If you choose to substitute a different fabric type than suggested, you may need additional interfacing for desired structure. Just sayin’.

All seam allowances 1/2″ unless otherwise noted. Seam allowance included in template.
RST=Right Sides Together, WST=Wrong Sides Together

Approx. finished size: 3 1/4″ tall x 10 1/2″ wide x 1 1/2″ deep


(1) Main, (1 Main reversed)
(1) Accent, (1 Accent reversed)
(2) lining
(2) fusible woven interfacing – using lining template

A note on cutting: Because you’ll want the color blocking to reflect on each side of the zipper, make sure you cut the exterior pieces accordingly (reversed as directed), they’ll look like this:

*my exterior pieces in the following steps are shown without interfacing so as to hopefully better show the process.

Piece the exterior

  1. Start by sewing the exterior together by placing the main print and accent fabric RST and sewing using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press seam to one side and topstitch. Fuse woven interfacing to wrong side.
  • Repeat to assemble remaining exterior panel.

    Prepare the zipper

    1. Bend zipper ends in place and sew (at both the pull side and end stop side).

    View from wrong side of zipper.

    View from right side of zipper.

    Attach zipper

    1. With assembled exterior panel right side up, center zipper right side facing down (zipper pull at left) along top edge. Pin in place.
  • Place one lining piece, right side down on top. Pin in place. Using your zipper foot, sew along top edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  • Press exterior panel away from zipper and topstitch along zipper using an 1/8″ seam allowance.
  • Position exterior panel and lining panel WST. Press away from zipper.
  • Repeat 1-4 to attach remaining exterior panel and lining panel to remaining zipper side. This time placing zipper pull at right. Make sure your exterior panel seams match up at the same location as best you can.
  • Complete Pouch

    1. Open zipper halfway!!!
    2. Position exterior panels RST and pin along sides and bottom. Position lining pieces RST and pin along sides and bottom. Be sure that you place pins at the intersections of where the lining meets the exterior on each side of the pouch.
  • Sew around perimeter of exterior and lining leaving a 4″ opening at the bottom of the lining.
  • Press seam allowance open. If desired, trim lining seam allowance to 1/4″ except at opening.
  • Reach inside the pouch and wiggle the zipper open fully.
  • Box corners by pinching one bottom seam to match it’s corresponding side seam. Sew. Repeat for remaining 3 corners.
  • Turn pouch right side out through opening in lining.
  • Sew opening in lining closed (by machine or by hand)
  • Push lining into exterior and press along zipper edge. Tip: To get the pouch corners crisp, use your fingers to squeeze the seam allowance together at the side seam when the zipper is fully open. Use a chop stick or other dull instrument to poke out the corner on the metal end stop side.
  • I hope you enjoy making some pencil pouches! They make such fun teacher gifts and of course my kids love theirs. If you want extra credit these would be an awesome companion to a Wool Wax Tote. I also wanted to point out that this is just one way to install a zipper or make a pouch, believe me when I say there are many many more options! Check out my other tutorials and patterns if you’re interested in working with zippers or love to make pouches.

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