One of the neighbor girls, who also babysits the kids from time to time, recently turned 18. She's studying art in school, so I decided to make her a paintbrush roll to match the bag that I made her for Christmas. (A tutorial for that coming soon!) This is so simple, but makes a great gift for the artist in your life.
To get started, cut out your fabric. I'll let you know what I used, but you can tweak these measurements to fit the brushes, pens, or colored pencils that you're wanting to tote around. You'll need a piece of outer fabric (mine is the blue patterned fabric below), a piece of inner fabric, and three pieces of fabric for the three layers of pockets. In addition, you'll need ribbon to tie it closed (or you can make a ribbon from your fabric).
My measurements were:
Outer Fabric: 20" x 13"
Inner Fabric: 20" x 13"
Long Pocket: 8" x 13"
Medium Pocket: 6" x 13"
Short Pocket: 4" x 13"
Ribbon: about 24" long
Fold down the top edge of each pocket piece about an inch and press. Then fold the raw edge in, and press again. Top-stitch in place. If you have a fancy stitch option on your machine, you can spice up your top-stitch that way.
Note: You might be tempted, as I was, to cut your fabric twice as long and just fold it in half to make for a smoother look, but you end up with twice as many layers at the bottom of your project, which makes it hard to roll.
Now lay the pockets in place on the inner fabric piece and mark a line down the center with chalk. Mark out from the center where you would like to sew pockets. I made even-width pockets of 1.5 inches, but you can make wider and narrower pockets, depending on what you're planning to stow in them.
Now pin the sides and between some of the pockets to hold it in place while sewing. Sew along each mark, reinforcing at the tops of each pocket.
Now it's time to layer your fabrics to sew them all together.
First comes your inner fabric with the pockets attached.
Next, place your ribbon, folded in half, with the fold hanging off the edge, and the open ends toward the inside of the project (you'll probably need to fold the ribbon over to assure that it doesn't get too close to the edge of the fabric, where you're about to sew 1/2 inch from the edge).
Now place the outer fabric on top, right side facing down. Stitch, leaving a space at the top to turn the project inside-out. Trim your corners before you turn it inside out.
Now press it well and top-stitch around the entire project.
Fill it up with your paintbrushes and whatnot... and roll 'er up...