My grandpa was a maker. Whatever the family needed, he would whip up in his basement workshop. He built the house he lived in as well as most of the other houses on the block. I remember seeing his workshop as a kid and realizing for possibly the first time that everything had to come from somewhere. Grandpa loved making and modifying things, even with his limited tools, in fact, sometimes he would make his own tools if the job required it. I remember he kept his wrenches in a cloth wrap that he made, with twine around the outside to keep it all together.
17 years later, I bought a coloring pencil set at Otsu that had a similar cloth carrying wrap (see it here). It’s a classic case design, that’s easy for anyone to make as a first project. It was a good case, but a unnecessarily large for carrying pens and mechanical pencils (my tools of choice), but I just never got around to making my own until last night. There was a cool thread on Superfuture regarding one of a kind denim items, such as coats and shirts. After collecting samples of some of my more unique denim projects (here) I suddenly had the energy to finally make my own denim carrying case or art supplies.
I made two of them, one with 13 pen slots and one with 14. The “cuff” of the cases is chainstitched on my Union Special, but I used a regular sewing machine for all the rest of the work. The denim is 14 oz raw shuttle loomed denim and I used a durable strip of faux suede for the strap. The denim’s selvage line makes the perfect slot for the pens because it’s so thin… If I had cuffed the area where the pens go instead of using he selvage, it would have been too thick. I can’t wait to see how these break in, but I already love them. They fit in my bag much better than my older case and should last for 5-10 years of heavy use. Although grandpa’s wrench wrap was made out of some sort of tarp material, this little carrying case reminds me of him, like, if he was an illustrator instead of a carpenter, I would have found something just like this in his basement.