Knitting needle holder or Pencil case Tutorial

Knitting needle holder or pencil case Tutorial

How to sew knitting needle holder - big enough that I will be able to store all my knitting needles in one place and bright enough that I shouldn't lose it.

So here it is:

Knitting needle holder or pencil case Tutorial

I have seen patterns for some very snazzy knitting holders out there, with individual pockets so you can store and see your matched pair of needles in a wink. Getting all my knitting needles in one place is a big enough achievement for me, so this barrel shaped case works just fine. If you are ultra-organised and have one of those flash knitting needle organisers or you are not a knitter but still want to give this project a go, this tutorial will also show you how to make the little sister - a pencil case:

Knitting needle holder or pencil case Tutorial

In this tutorial the measurements for the knitting needle holder appear in the main text, while the measurements for the pencil case are in brackets.

What you will need:

Knitting needle holder or pencil case Tutorial

1.2m (50cm) of piping. I bought my bias tape pre-cut and then made my own piping.

35cm (18cm) zipper

For the main body of the case - a rectangle cut 42 x 52 cm (25 x 24 cm) in your main fabric, your lining fabric and an iron-on medium weight interfacing

For the barrel ends of your case - 2 circles of main fabric and 2 circles of lining fabric with a diameter of 18 cm (9cm). You will also need two circles of your iron on interfacing. Cut these with a diameter of 15cm (6cm).


Let's start by ironing on the interfacing. Fuse the rectangular piece to the wrong side of the outer fabric and the circles to the wrong side of the lining. Centre the circle on the lining fabric so that the margin around it is even - this will be your seam allowance.

Cut your piping into two equal lengths.
Pin your first piece of piping to the edge of your rectangle that measures 52cm (24cm) - Line up the raw edges of the piping with the raw edge of the rectangle. Using your zipper foot sew it in place. Sew directly on top of the line of stitching that holds the cord inside the piping.

In the same way, add the piping to the other side of your rectangle.

Now it is time to make a little home for your zipper. You are going to make a window in both the main fabric and the lining in which your zipper will sit.

Fold your main fabric in half so the sides that do not have the piping attached meet. Iron this crease in. This is to mark the centre of your fabric where the zipper will eventually sit.

Unfold your fabric. With a marker of your choice, (I used a water soluble one) draw a rectangle that is 1 cm wide and 35 (18cm) long on the wrong side of your main fabric. Draw it so the crease you have just made runs through the middle of the rectangle.  This picture will explain it better: 

Pin this piece to its matching lining piece, right sides together. Sewing directly on the lines you have just drawn, sew your rectangle.

Cut the widow in the rectangle, clipping carefully into the corners. Trim back your seam allowance to 0.25cm.

Now it is time to turn the fabric so that the right sides are facing out. Reach through the window and pull the lining fabric out. Flip the fabric over so you can see the right side. Gently stretch the window especially at the corners and then iron it so you can not see any lining.

Pin your zipper in the window and then stitch it in place with your zipper foot. You will be sewing in the shape of a rectangle pivoting at each corner. Once it is sewn in, undo the zipper so the pull is at least half way down the zipper. You will need it open to turn through the case right at the end.

Now, the fun stuff begins - it's time to make your barrels. Line up your fabric so the right sides of your lining are facing and the right sides of your main fabric are facing. The zipper will run down the middle:

For now, ignore the lining. All our construction is going to be happening on the main fabric. Sew the seam that will be the base of your case with a 1.5cm seam allowance. Take care to match up the piping well - this will give you the best finish.

Fold your circular barrel ends in quarters and iron them to create 1/4 markings around the circumference. Open up the end of your case and mark the quarter points as well.

Clip into the seam allowance of the main part of your case. Pin the barrel end to the main part, matching the quarter marks you have just created. Use lots of pins!

Using the stitch line you created when you sewed the piping to the outer fabric as a guide, sew in the barrel end. You will need to use your zipper foot.

Repeat with the other end of the barrel.
You will now have something that looks like this:

Now it is time to repeat the whole process with the lining fabric. There are just two differences. When you sew up the base of the case, leave an opening in the middle of about 10cm. You will use this to turn your case right side out at the very end. The other difference is when you are sewing in the barrel ends you can use the edge of your interfacing as a stitching guide.

So in the end you'll have something that looks like this - two floppy barrels joined together with a zipper you can't see:

Knitting needle holder or pencil case Tutorial

It's not really what I promised, is it? But wait..... there is more.....

Put your hand in through the hole you left in the base of the lining, grab hold of the main fabric and turn the whole project inside out. Stitch up the hole in the lining and then tuck the lining back into the bag.

Well, would you look at that... It's magic, fully lined and ready to go.

Knitting needle holder or pencil case Tutorial

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