Here's a little blast from the past, a fab tune by Beautiful South, 'Song for Whoever', I make no apology for the 'oh so obvious' reason behind this choice! I do really like the song and it reminds me of listening to Terry Wogan's 'Breakfast show' way back in the '80's, whilst reading the 'Peanuts' and 'Fred Bassett' in my parent's 'Daily Mail'.
Around that time I used to spend hours decorating my pencil tins with clippings from 'Smash Hits' magazines, then putting cellotape over the top to 'seal them'! Perhaps that's where my obsession for tins of all shapes and sizes originates from...
2) Fold each tab piece in half length wise (so that the length becomes 1.5") and iron. Then fold each end under 1/4" and iron, you may then need to iron the halfway crease again.
3) Put the end of the zip inside the tab piece, as shown, maing sure that the ends (the 1/4" folds that you have just created) are past the metal zip tab, before pinning in place and sewing across close to the edge. If the metal zip tab is in the way then shorten the zip slightly, as sewing across the metal tab will most definitely cause your needle to break - and it makes a horrible noise!!
4) Repeat this process with the other end of the zip, but this time you'll need to undo the zip a little way to make sewing easier. Take your time with this step, to ensure that the zip ends are aligned. Once pinned, zip it up to check that the teeth are lined up, then unzip again before sewing across; again close to the edge.
6) Lay a piece of the lining fabric right side facing (so that the pattern is up facing you) and put the tabbed zip along the top edge, so that the zip is central, as shown.
7) Then lay one piece of the outer fabric right side down (so that you can see the wrong side on top), checking that the fabric is in the right direction if it's a specific pattern, then the interlining on top of that; again matching the top edge. Pin in place. You should have a sandwich of three layers of fabric, plus the zip.
8) Now sew a 1/4" seam along the edge. I have used a zipper foot (on my Janome Memory Craft 5900 QC, it is Foot E), which makes it easier to sew alongside the zip, but you don't have to use one. Just make sure that you take your time and that you are sewing through all of the layers. If you do use a zipper foot, you'll notice that there are two bars on the foot. If you're sewing to the right of the zip, which in this case you are, you attach the foot clamp via the left bar so that the edge of the foot presses up against the edge of the zip, vice versa if you're sewing to the left of the zip. To make this process easier, you can unzip the zip halfway whilst you are sewing, leave the needle down in the fabric and pivot the fabric around to zip it up once you get to the halfway mark. By leaving the needle down you won't lose your place.
10) Next lay your other inner piece of fabric right side up and lay your 'sandwich' on top of that, with your outer fabric right side facing. The edge of the zip should be along the edge of the fabric, as in step 6. Then, lay your second outer fabric piece right side down on top of that, followed by the second piece of interfacing. You should now have three layers of fabric and the zip along the top edge. Pin these in place and repeat the same process of sewing a 1/4" seam, unzipping the zip to ease the process when you get to it. Again, snip the loose threads to keep your work tidy.
5) Cut back the sides of the tabs so that they are the same width as the zip.
9) Once this is sewn, cut the loose threads and flip your layers right side out and iron, before sewing a 1/8" hem through all three layers, to keep the lining from getting caught in the zip when in use - I'm sure we've all experienced the annoyance of fabric being caught in zips! For this step I used Foot F, which is a clear foot and handy to see your stitches clearly. Again, I turned the fabric with the needle down and opened the zip a little towards the end to ensure that my line of stitches were even all the way along. Snip the loose threads at each end.
Turn through the gap, then push the corners out. I find a crochet hook particularly useful for this job, but anything 'pointy' is fine as long as you don't stab through the seam! Before you stitch the lining shut, fold the 'gap edges' under to match the existing seam allowance, then iron to create a fold in the fabric. You can now either use the sewing machine to sew a seam right along the edge or if you have OCD tendencies like me, you can hand sew a blind seam along the edge. Once the pencil case is full, nobody will see the seam... but I would still know...! If you just want the case finished and aren't as fussy as me (i.e. you have a life ; ) !),) then sew along the edge and pop the lining inside the case, you're now finished! Ta da!
13) Start to sew, a 1/4" seam, ensuring that you secure the first and last few stitches (reverse stitch) either side of your turning gap so that they don't come loose when you turn the case in the next step. When you reach the zip tabs, slow down and stitch right up close to them, but not through them. Clip the loose threads and corners, close to the the stitches but being careful not to snip into the stitching.
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I'll do my best to show you another piece soon that I've still not got around to finishing, as well as some tutorials using my fabulous fabric from Terrys Fabrics : ) I have some Father's Day gift ideas in mind... Until next time x