U-Pick Sewing Project Fail!


This challenge did not go as smoothly for me as I hoped it would. As I totally expected it would.

I mean, you only wanted me to design a pencil case for you, right?

I started by planning my stand up pencil case all out on paper…. dimensions, materials, and techniques. I was so sure that it would turn out fabulous.

But then it didn’t.


This was the first one I made. The materials were all wrong.

I used Pellon Shapeflex (a fusible heavy weight interfacing) on the bottom portion which did not provide enough stability, plus it became unpleasantly wrinkled after turning. That does happen sometimes, so I tried to turn the case very carefully, but it still looks bad to me.

Then there’s the top part, sigh. I had high hopes for it, but the foam interfacing in my top portion was too thick and the cute way that I planned out my tabs did not turn out so cute.

To look on the bright side, I like my zipper install!


But that’s not the worst of it.

Using cotton fabric for the lining was the biggest fail of all. I felt like I should use two layers since the outer lining does show under the cuff (if you look).

But then the lining becomes so bulky that it makes it difficult to push the top part of the case down.

And when the case is ‘compacted,’ the lining fills up 50% of it leaving very little room for your tools.

This was just not going to work. There’s no way I would share a pattern with you that would turn out so crummy!

But I didn’t give up!


Yes… there is a happy ending to this post after all!

The first problem that I had to solve was the bulky lining that took up too much space and didn’t want to help the case slide down into the ‘compact’ configuration.

So I went back to our inspiration photos and realized that their lining is made out of thin slippery nylon fabric. At first I figured that was because nylon is so inexpensive – all the cheap pouches have thin polyester or nylon linings. But then I realized that a thin slippery fabric was just what the lining needed!


They sell rip stop nylon fabric in the ‘utility fabric’ section at Joanns, and it’s easy to find on Amazon too. It is the secret ingredient that fixed my stand up pencil pouch!

The rest of the pouch is made with beautiful quilt weight cotton, Pellon SF101 woven interfacing, foam stabilizer, and a nice wide handbag zipper too, of course!


And look how nicely it fits my tools! You have probably guessed (and I’m pretty sure about it) that mine is bigger than the inspiration pencil case. That is intentional because I want to use it to hold sewing tools, not pencils.

You’ll have the option of using nylon or polyester lining fabric for all of the lining or just the top portion. The rest of the pouch is fat quarter friendly!

If you decide to shop for zippers now, choose a YKK size 4.5 handbag zipper that is at least 20’’ long (or Zipper By the Yard – that’s what I used).

I’ll write up the Stand Up Tool Pouch tutorial as soon as I can. Make sure you are signed up for my email newsletter so you can watch for it!

Happy Sewing,

Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂