At the request of Erica from Caught on a Whim, I present to you, my most recent DIY project!
As some of you may know, I'm prepping to board a ship for 85 days to sail around the world while interpreting (Japanese/English). As an interpreter, we're not only in charge of actual communication, we also participate in creating and running some activities on board.
Needless to say, I need to carry around a lot of stuff, including pens/pencils/stapleless staplers/Japanese masking tape/etc. More importantly, since I'd already gathered the supplies, I needed a bag to put it all in. Pencil pouches are much more common in Japan than in the US, but it would still be a struggle to find just the right size.
Confession: I didn't really put much energy into trying to find one of the right size since I had some relatively stainless placemats I'd made before that I no longer needed laying around my apt. I stopped by a fabric store just to pick up a YKK zipper, and voila!
It was my second attempt at using a zipper, but I think it turned out alright.
I'm also packing up my whole room right now and keep finding knick knacks that I don't really know what to do with. In the case of this little badge depicting london sight-seeing buses that I got in a tiny countryside town in Japan, I pinned it on my brand new pencil case to add a little flair!
Country-chic seems to be quite popular in Japan right now, which is why I'd originally picked up the fabric I used on the outside and I added the rabbits with moons on the inside for a more traditional Japanese print/feel. At the time that I bought these fabric scraps, I figured that I'd go for things that felt more or less Japanese since I was buying them in Japan. It'd be much less fun if I bought a pattern that could be purchased just anywhere.
PS- For anyone who thinks that they can't sew: I started sewing in Tokyo, where I don't have a sewing machine. If I can do it, you can too. I mean, this isn't perfect in any way, but it's fairly sturdy so it does the trick!