It’s almost back to school time for students of all ages. Need a new pen/pencil case? Need a new case for long, narrow items like tools, electronic accessories or cables? Caroline at SewCanShe created a long and narrow pen case that might be exactly what you’re looking for. This is a how to sew a Zola Pen Case project review.
The link to the Zola Pen Case project free tutorial is:
This pattern is for personal use. Home sewists may sell Zola Pen Cases that they personally make.
For the purposes of my review, I’m going to summarize the basic steps, tell you what I did differently (if anything) and share my general thoughts about sewing the project.
The Zola Pen Case is inspired by Japanese pen cases and opens to it’s full width when unzipped. When zipped, the zipper serves as a handle and the case has a parallelogram cross-section.
Step 0 Gather Materials
Quilting weight cottons are recommended for this project. You can mix and match your fabrics as shown in the tutorial or use a cohesive theme with a single fabric for the exterior and another for the interior. I used about half a fat quarter for my exterior and a matching solid for the interior. You will also need a long zipper, a snap, and double-sided fusible ultrafirm stabilizer. I used single-sided fusible firm stabilizer.
Step 1 Sides
I sewed the side panels as per the instructions.
Step 2 Zipper
A zipper foot isn’t required to assemble the zipper panel. It was easy enough to sew the zipper to the fabric without using pins or clips. Be careful if you do so. My zipper tab opening wasn’t wide enough and I had to sew a second zipper tab with a narrower seam allowance than the instructions called for.
Step 3 Body
I numbered my fusible stabilizer pieces so that’s I’d know which one went where.
I had trouble pushing the outer pieces of stabilizer all the way to the edges so I turned the body piece inside out and then fused all four pieces of stabilizer in place. I suspect double-sided ultrafirm stabilizer is stiffer than the stabilizer that I used. I’ll use two layers of stabilizer for my next Zola Pen Case to add additional stiffness to the body.
Step 4 Final Assembly
I was surprised by how quickly I was able to complete the final steps of this project.
Here are some photos of my finished Zola Pen Case:
This tutorial is well written and well illustrated. There isn’t a difficulty rating on the project page, but I suspect that most beginners would be able to complete this project. Creating the zipper panel is more similar to working with binding than to installing a zipper into a pocket or bag. This means that a universal presser foot can be used and the steps of layering interior panel, zipper tape and exterior panel are omitted. This narrow case can be used to store a variety of objects. I had fun sewing my Zola Pen Case and look forward to making more in the future.
Have you tried this project? Did you like this Zola Pen Case project review? Comment below and/or Pin me for later!