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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Pencil case
with all sorts of fun, impractical stuff...

One of the super-cute (kawaii) things f2tY brought back from Japan was a little, oblong zippered pouch made from recycled kimono silk. I was enchanted. F2 really liked this object, and gradually became clear that if I wanted one, I was gonna have to either purchase or make my own.

Underside. Completed 11Oct2015. 3.25 x 8"; silk, cotton, other assorted fabrics, assorted beads, mostly glass.

While I was in Japan I did purchase a nicely made one (for the princely sum of roughly $20—I can't imagine spending that much money on such a thing here) which I actually use as a glasses case. Reproducing it on a home sewing machine looked difficult if not impossible.

Top side.

However, as I gradually got better at doing the little pouches, I thought I might be able to make a jumbo size one, for holding a lot of writing implements—say, a complete set of microns, a pencil or two, a stick/holder style eraser, and a brush (water-handle) pen or two. I didn't want the case to be too heavy or fragile, so I focused on appliqued embroidery and attempted to keep the bead embroidery to a minimum.

in progress. Shot 12sep2015, the approximate start date for this project.

I was by this time thinking I should do something besides just red and green, and incorporated the golds that worked so well in the second pouch, as well as my beloved fuchsias, magentas and purples. I was really happy with the way the copper thread worked out.

Actually, a lot of the color scheme started out as an idea for this project, during which I very soon discovered was too difficult to push a needle through that many layers of fabric that taut.[1] I backtracked, but as you can see incorporated many of the scraps into the piece featured on this page.

And I thought the larger bead embroidery went fairly well (though it still added more weight than I really wanted, even spread out far more usual). However, the project started to go off the rails when I began tacking down the seed beads. The red on red just didn't look good, as they nearly disappeared into the background fabric—boring. (So it sat for awhile while I was busy a)being disappointed or b)trying to figure out how to fix it.) Then I realized I needed the beads to be a contrasting colour, and put orangey red on magenta and dark green.[2]

I used an old lime t-shirt for the lining. Didn't want silk, because I figured something would inevitably leak all over. Strictly speaking, the hole in the side (end) of the lining still needs to be sewn up by hand, but it's basically done.

And it worked. So I was back on track, and finally got a chance to finish the embroidery and insert the zipper last Sunday. While my old kenmore, being a cabinet machine, doesn't do free-arm sewing, I can get around the problem of topstitching the zipper by using one twice as long as I need.

[1]There's a support layer under the fashion fabric, which meant my base later was already doubled. Also, even the beginning stages of arthritis sucks.

[2]Most obvious in the first photo.