As I’ve mentioned before I use a bullet journal. It has made all the difference in the flow of my days. Being someone who is naturally disorganized and easily side-tracked, the bullet journal has been a great help keeping my days more focused.
Having a pen always at the ready is absolutely essential. Previously I used a small clip attached at the side of the journal to hold my pen. It worked. But then I found Kate’s post about the journal pen holder she made and decided to give it a try.
Kate’s directions are easy to follow and she has pictures that explain the process. I did make some changes in construction and measurement though that differed from hers.
So what did I tweak? To completely understand what I did you’ll need to jump over to Kate’s directions and read them first. Otherwise my tweaks may not make complete sense.
I added iron on inner facing to the pocket in order to make it stronger. I was afraid the pen tip would end up putting a hole in the fabric considering that I was using thin cotton. The pen would be removed and reinserted into the pocket multiple times in a given day and I didn’t want to tempt fate.
I also cut the back pieces a full inch longer than the height of the journal. Kate indicated she cut her lengths 8 inches long but that wouldn’t allow for a seam allowance in keeping with the fact that I wanted the finished pen holder to be as close as possible to the height of the journal. My journal is approximately 8.25 inches long, same as Kate’s, so I cut the back piece and back facing piece 9.25 inches. That gave me a full half inch seam allowance on each end if I thought it would be needed.
I used elastic that is 3/4 inches wide, mostly because I had it on hand, and cut it about 9 inches long to allow for overlap. It can be trimmed if it’s too long before the second end is inserted at the top. Plus, I felt the wider elastic might be sturdier. She doesn’t specify the width of the elastic she used but looking at her pictures I think she may have used 3/8-1/2 inch wide.
I constructed mine a little differently too. Kate’s directions tell you to lay the pocket piece on top of the back piece wrong sides together and stitch, but I skipped this preliminary sewing step preferring to stitch the pieces together all at once with only the one seam.
I sandwiched the layers of fabric and elastic together as follows:
1. bottom layer is the back piece right side up, 9.25 inches by 2 inches wide.
2. middle layer is the pocket (with iron on inner facing attached) also right side up, 6 inches by 2 inches wide.
3. next comes the elastic, 9 inches long, with about 1/4 inch extending beyond the bottom.
4. top layer is the back facing piece wrong side up, 9.25 inches by 2 inches wide.
I hope that’s clear…
After pinning securely I made one continuous 1/4 inch (or thereabouts) seam, beginning at the top of the side, down along the side, across the bottom, and up the next side ending at the top. I DID NOT sew across the top but left it open so the other end of the elastic could be inserted.
Turning it all right side out was a little fiddly and took a bit of time, but I was happy with the end results. I top stitched across the bottom for extra security.
The only thing left to do was to turn under the top by folding the ends inside and inserting the elastic. At this point you can adjust both the length of the holder and the elastic before top stitching across the top.
I did two rows of top stitching across the top simply because I’m neurotic and was concerned the elastic might pull out. Unlikely though since once the pen holder is placed onto the cover of the journal it is not messed with. It will sit on the journal until the journal is full and then it can be transferred to the next one.
Check out Kate’s pen holder! You might be inspired to give it a try!