Tag Archives: art bag tutorial

Kid’s draughtsman’s pouch tutorial

This idea was born of a need to keep drawing notebooks and colouring materials together when travelling. It holds up to 4 A4 notebooks (though really designed for only 3) and 24 pencils/texters. Easy to carry and just folds open.



  • 24 strips of fabric measuring 1.5 x 5 inches each in rainbow colours
  • 4 different fabrics for the inside pockets, inside lining, outside, border and handles
  • some ribbon for the handles
  • calico fabric for the pencil pockets lining and the inside folder lining
  • medium weight interfacing
Size of the bag
The bag can be cusomised to your needs.
To work out the sizes, you need to decide how many notebooks the inside pockets will hold.
Place the notebooks on a pile and measure around the narrow part. Write down the figure and add 1 inch to it.
Measure the notebook height and add 1 inch to it.
This will give you the measurements for the lining, interfacing and outside fabric.
As a way of example, I used 3 A4 notebooks.
My pieces of fabric measure:
  • Outside, lining and interfacing pieces: 22 1/2 in x 12 1/2 in each
  • Inside pockets:
    • 2 pieces in coordinating fabric measuring 9 3/4 in x 13 1/2. I added 1 extra inch on the sides to make a pocket
    • 2 pieces in calico measuring 9 3/4 in x 13 1/2
    • 2 pieces of interfacing of the same size as the calico.
  • Rainbow pencil pockets:
    • 24 strips of 1 1/2 in x 5 in in assorted colours
    • 2 pieces of calico: 12 1/2 x 5 in
  • Handles
    • 2 pieces 2 1/2 in x 20 in of fabric
    • 2 pieces 2 1/2 in x 20 in of interfacing
    • 2 pieces 2 1/2 in x 24 in of fabric
    • 2  pieces of ribbon 20 in long each
Making the pencil rainbow pockets

A while ago I made a rainbow pencil roll using the same idea.

Assemble two lots of 12 strips of fabric in rainbow colours.
Iron with the seams open and square the resulting piece.

Square both strips.

size as the stitched strips and sew on

Cut 2 calico pieces of fabric the same size as the rainbow strips.

And sew together in 3 sides.

Turn inside out and iron flat. Take in the seams of the open side and pin.

Attach rainbow pockets to the outside fabric

Fold the outside fabric in two and place the rainbow pockets about 2 inches from the fold (I made a mistake on the photo and I attached the rainbow pockets 2 inches from the top).

Stitch around the edges first leaving the part facing away from the fold open.

Stitch on each seam between colours.

Now iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the outside fabric.

Making the inside pockets

The inside pockets are made of a piece of calico and one of the matching fabric sewn together and folded in half as per photo.

After folding the pocket in half, topstitch very close to the edge and then again 1/4 away from it.

Make a fold about 3/4 in from the bottom of the pocket and iron.

Place the pocket about 1 3/4 to 2 inches from the edge of the lining fabric and pin in place as per photo below. Stitch along the bottom of the pocket.

Do the same with the other side.

Pin the sides of the pocket to the lining fabric making sure you push the corner in a small fold as per picture.

Pin the sides and stitch.

The pockets are added.

Assemble outside and lining by placing both pieces wrong sides together.

Stitch around.

This is the front (as you can see, the mistake I made attaching the rainbow pockets made me cut the piece in half and restitch with the pockets facing in the opposite direction).

Finish binding the edges. My binding is made out of a double folded strip 2 inches wide.


I was inspired by this camera strap cover tutorial I saw though I didn’t follow the instructions.


  • 2 pieces 2 1/2 in x 20 in of fabric
  • 2 pieces 2 1/2 in x 20 in of interfacing
  • 2 pieces 2 1/2 in x 24 in of fabric
  • 2  pieces of ribbon 20 in long each

Take the longer strip and using a basting stitch sew all along the middle as per picture. When finished, pull the bottom thread holding the strip as you do it and spreading the folds along. Leave 1 1/2 in of fabric at each end flat.

Take the 20 in long strip of fusible interfacing and iron it to the 20in long strip of fabric.

Now take both strips and pin them with right side facing together and stitch along 3 sides leaving one of the short sides open for turning .

I found turning the handles very hard by the way. Once turned inside out, iron flat and sew the ribbon along the middle of the handle.

This is the finished handle (I replaced the ribbon with a different one when I realised I didn’t have enough for both handles, that’s why the next picture features a different ribbon).

Pin the handles not too wide apart, about 2 inches from the sides.

And about one inch in.

Stitch as per picture below.

This is the finished piece.

One side.

And the other.

Closeup of handles.


Easy open and close.

Easy carry.