Pinterest UnTutorial Solved… Check out my Zola Pen Case!

Update: The Zola Pen Case pattern is done… get it free here!

Whew! I did it… I knocked off our Japanese pen case! Let me tell you, sewing this thing was fiddly.

I love the boxy rectangular shape of this sweet case, and I think it will be great for so many things besides pens. 

I will admit that I went back to Target and found the similar case that they were selling for $3. I unpicked all the seams and it was wayyyyy worth the cost so I didn’t have guess about measurements – I had instant pattern pieces. The fiddly part was the construction. I sewed and re-sewed this silly case so many times trying to figure out the easiest way. It would have been quick to simply show you one way to sew up this case, but I was determined to find the easiest way – because who doesn’t like easy??? 🙂

I also added a few touches of my own – like binding the zipper so (1) we could see another pretty fabric ❤️ and (2) it would make a snappy handle to carry the case with!

The zipper-handle snaps to the bottom of the case, or unsnaps too – however you like it.

The fabrics I picked are from the delightful new Zola collection by Junebee for Ink & Arrow fabrics. I LOVE how saturated it is – but it’s still playful and fun! So far I have seen lots of Zola yardage at, and a Jelly Roll here. These fabrics inspired the name of my Zola Pen Case too – what do you think?

I can’t wait to use one of those snail prints to sew up more pen cases and write a tutorial for you. Watch for it very soon!

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. 🙂

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  1. Love the Zola pen case! I can’t wait for your tutorial! Thank You!

  2. Caroline, thank you for all your "Untutorials." Sometimes I don’t think we realize the amount of work that goes in to developing these patterns. I think this post really brought that out. You are awesome.

  3. Sandra :) says:

    Oh that is CUUUUUTE! I’ve never done binding on a zipper before but that little case would be a good project to learn on! I’m looking forward to your tutorial 🙂

  4. I like the fabric and the extra touches you added to make it classier than than the $3 version. Looking forward to reading the instructions.

  5. Marlen Clausen says:

    I have a great-great niece and nephew in Texas (I’m in Tennessee) who I like to send a little handmade gift 3 -4 x/yr. Girls are easy, boys are not! This is perfect for Riley and can’t wait to make it in (maybe) his favorite soccer fabric or computer fabric or super hero fabric!!

  6. Linda in Calif. says:

    Love those fabrics. Caroline, you did an awesome job on this case. I noticed right away you fixed the problem of that zipper hanging out looking so unfinished, and your solution is wonderful! I love the extra pop of color and making it into a handle. Sounds like you really worked on this one to make it the "perfect" tutorial. I can’t wait to make it. Thanks!

  7. I love that you are making this pattern available in the future, but isn’t it stealing to take apart the Target case, use the same techniques for sewing it and present it to us to sew? You didn’t seem to have significantly altered it in any way to make it uniquely yours. This concerns me, and I think it’s on the same line as if you purchased an item on Etsy, picked it apart, put together the instructions and passed it off as your own. It would be different if you saw an item, worked out the pattern yourself and shared it. But to use the original as pattern pieces is crossing a line. Even though the item was probably made in China/Taiwan/Malaysia/etc., and you will probably never get caught for "making it your own", there is still an ethical dilemma to be concerned with.

    1. Hi Fonda,
      I appreciate your concern, but actually there is nothing wrong with this at all – even if I hadn’t changed a single thing (which I did change quite a bit, you just didn’t see the original case).

      In the U.S. and internationally there is no copyright on techniques or on designs for ‘usable objects.’ Copyright only applies to photographs, images/diagrams, and someone else’s words, which I am obviously not using.

      I hope you enjoy the tutorial when I finish it. 🙂


  8. I cannot wait for the tutorial!! So cute and can be used for so many things.

  9. Lesley Gilbert says:

    Love those colourful fabrics – love your end result and the popper ‘handle’ – now looking forward to seeing your tutorial – great job – thanks 🙂

  10. Theresa Jones says:

    Was hoping to sew out up really quick for my grandson’s birthday this Sunday

  11. great pen case…but the idea for used may be unlimited…love the fabric bright and pretty……will be making one or some of these…..

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