Pencil/Makeup Case with Internal Pockets – Free Pattern


Finished Size: Approx 7.75” x 4”


External   Pocket (makes 2 pockets)
8.75” wide x 4.75”   x2 in external fabric + heavy weight fusible interfacing.8.75” wide x 4.5” x2 in external   fabric + heavy weight fusible interfacing.8.75” wide x 4.75” x2 in internal   fabric

8.75” wide x 4.5” x 2 in internal   fabric

Inside   Pocket  x1
7.5” wide x 3.5” x   2 in external fabric + heavy weight fusible interfacing.7.5” wide x 3.5” x 2 in internal   fabric 
16” bias tape or fabric to make the tape
19”   zipper tape plus zips if not included (1x 9” and 1 x 10” zip)
2.5”   x 2” rectangle for zip cover (tab)


Making the External Pockets

Iron heavy weight interfacing on to the pieces listed with the heavy weight interfacing in requirements.

Take one external pocket piece measuring 4.75” long (with interfacing) and one piece measuring 4.5” long (with interfacing), place them right sides together, so that the bottoms and sides are lined up.  Sew a seam around the sides and bottom, starting and finishing ¼” from the top of the 4.5” long piece. Repeat.


Repeat with the internal pieces, this time also leave a gap in the middle of the bottom of a couple of inches for turning out (but do not turn out).  You will now have 4 pockets.

all four external

Place an external pocket inside an internal pocket, so that the right sides of the fabric are facing each other.

case and sack 130

Sew seams along the top on both sides, matching up the corners of the two pockets.  You will then need to sew down from these seams to the existing seam on each side, taking care to make sure you are only ever sewing through the two layers of fabric (one internal one external) for the side you are working on.

hems on external

Turn out.

Push all the corners out and then fold the raw edges on the internal pocket (where you turned the case out) into the pocket (creating a neat line).  Sew a top seam along the bottom of the pocket.  Then push the internal pocket into the external one.  Repeat these steps with the remaining 2 external pocket pieces.

internal seam

Making the Inside Pocket
Place an external and internal inside pocket piece together (one with interfacing and one without), right sides facing, and sew a seam along the top.  Iron the seam flat, fold in half so that you can see the right sides, and iron again. Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces of fabric.

internal pocket together

Take your first zip and sew one of the inside pocket pieces on to it, taking care to line up the folded over edge of the fabric with the outside edge of the zipper’s teeth.  Sew the second inside pocket piece onto the other side of the zip, making sure you end up with a neat rectangle.  Once sewn into place, trim the zip at each end.

add zip 1

Putting Everything Together
Take one of your external pockets, you will notice that one side is taller than the other.  Place the inside pocket fabric (the piece with the zip) on top of the shorter side, lining up the edge sewn onto the zip, with the top edge of the shorter side of the pocket, ensuring that there is the same amount of space on the left and right sides of the inside pocket piece (see image 2).  Pin the two fabrics together (do not pin all the way through both sides of the external pocket, only the first two pieces of fabric). 

lining up sides
Sew the two pocket pieces together by sewing a rectangle, a minimum of 1” in from each edge of the inside pocket fabric, ONLY sew on one side of the inside pocket and the short side of the external pocket together, push the other side of the external pocket out of the way.

sew lines on sides

Repeat on the other side of the inside pocket with the other external pocket.


Peel the external pockets away and you will find the raw edges of the inside pocket, pin these together.

pinned midd;e

Make a length of bias tape to trim your inside pocket (detailed instructions at the end of this tutorial).   Pin one of the raw edges of the tape to the raw edge of the inside pocket, starting at the top of one side, leaving approx. 1” of the bias tape sticking out over the zip.  When you get to the corners, curve the tape round, and finish with 1” of tape sticking out at the top of the pocket on the other side.  Sew along the first crease of the bias tape, using your longest stitch.

adding bias tape

Fold the tape over the raw edges of the internal pocket (the raw edges of the tape and pocket will be hidden) and sew into place using a regular stitch, starting and ending just below the zip.


If your zip doesn’t already have a zipper attached, add one now.  Make sure the zip is closed (as far as possible).

Take the 1” at the top of the bias tape, fold up so that the raw edges are hidden and then fold over on one side (see image 2).  Sew into place.   Repeat on the other side of the pocket.

fold over ends

Now add the zip to the external pockets.  Line up the zip and the outside edge of one of the external pockets, making sure that at one end the zip hangs over by no more than ½” (there will be a couple of inches hanging over the other end).  Pin into place along the top of the pocket, then snip into the zip tape at the end with ½” hanging over, fold the zip tape at the snipped end, so that it follows the external fabric’s line, and sew into place (see images below).  Repeat on the other side. 

If your zipper needs a zip, add it now.  Make sure the zip is closed as far as possible.

Cut the other end of the zip so that it is no more than 2 inches long.   Take a piece of fabric to make the tab to cover the zip end (2.5” x 2”).  Iron a ¼” seam on all sides.  Fold in half and sew seams along the edges which adjoin the folded edge.

Insert the end of the zip and then sew over the open end.  For extra strength sew a cross in the square.

adding tab

Fill up your case!


Use PUL or laminated fabrics to provide a waterproof finish, either on all sides or just internally.

Fabrics used:  Riley Blake Little Red Riding Hood Border Fabric, Riley Blake Super Hero Collection and Sasparilla for the red star fabric.  Beige Zip Tape and Zippers.

Buy as kit here.

Click here to download printer friendly instructions including bias tape instructions

Click here to view more free patterns and guides.


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