Autumn is here, the kids are back at school and I have time to make a little something just for me! I saw the Happy Mail Kawaii Pencil Case designed by Mollie Johanson and immediately wanted to make one. This sweet case is simple to sew and easy to personalise. I'm actually going to use mine as a catch all in my handbag, for my glasses when I occasionally don't need them (the hard case I made houses my sunglasses) and any extra bits that I don't want floating around the bottom of my bag! 

Choosing fabric was interesting, I didn't want to use anything too patterned because it would detract from the cute smiley face. Being me I didn't want it to be completely plain either though. When I hit on this grid print - which is Aerial Clay, Gathered by Bonnie Christine - I knew I had a winner. Rather than use cotton inside, I picked out some heathered felt bought in a recent haul to add some more structure and give the case a soft lining.

Then I had to decide on a stamp and I auditioned lots of prints that had fussy cutting potential. Funnily I found that I wasn't in the mood for anything obvious, the sort of bright quirky motif I would usually pick didn't seem right. The spirit of the fabric range seemed to suggest something calmer and ultimately I stuck with the same Gathered collection, using these fern leaves from the Simple Living print. I love the fact that print has so many nice illustrations all separated by dots, so much cutting/piecing potential!

The fun embroidery details are really what make this case kawaii! I used three strands of Aurifloss to stitch the postmark, adding my initials in the centre. And then black and white Aurifloss for the mouth and eyes. I'm really pleased with how it looks!

The finish of the case is nice and quick. I sewed the case using 50 weight Aurifil in #2375 (such a staple for me that I need to order more) and I attached a pale pink popper (snap). 

The edges are finished by trimming with pinking shears - always so satisfying using those! I left a bit of space away from the stitches, not too close. It adds to the paper / stationery feel of the case too. Such a simple make, easily tweaked and perfect for gifts.

And ta dah! A totally adorable, handy case for my handbag stuff. It's a really nice size too. I know I will be smiling every time I use it! You can find the pattern for the case here.

For UK stockists of the Gathered fabric collection from Art Gallery Fabrics visit Hantex.