Calligraphy Pen Rolls

I’m so excited to share our first calligraphy pen roll! This is a cloth roll up pen case used for storing artist tools while travelling. I wrote the calligraphy and block printed it by hand onto muslin. I also drafted the pattern and sewed the brush rolls together! Scroll to the end to see a quick process video!

Our calligraphy pen roll, shown open with the red lining fabric and pockets full of calligraphy tools!

Earlier this year, I fell in love with the idea of machine sewing clothes, but I decided to start with pen rolls and zip pouches. Early in my zeal of learning about sewing, I got the idea to put calligraphy onto fabric before cutting it. I would either write in calligraphy directly onto the fabric with a paintbrush or carve calligraphy into a block and printing onto fabric. (Once I’m more intent on it, I’ll start screenprinting my calligraphy onto fabric. This is just the play stage.)

A calligrapher opening a calligraphy pen roll

With this idea came the concept of calligraphy textiles for calligraphers. At first, it was just going to be for me for fun. I know, however, that people who write calligraphy like to take good care of their beautiful tools. What could be better for this than a calligraphy pen roll?

I tried to start small, so I wrote out the phrase, “love to write calligraphy” and transferred it to a rubber printing block and carved it. On the other side of the block is the carving for our Printable Yule Holiday Cards (available here). I used an oil-based block printing ink to print the design onto muslin. After the ink cured, I soaked the fabric in water and vinegar to set the ink. Lastly, I ironed the fabric from the wrong side. It was such a joy to see the prints coming together, stage after stage.

After I drafted a pattern for a paintbrush roll, I cut the fabric, medium weight interfacing, and nylon lining. It was fairly simple to stitch the cloth pen roll together. The hardest part was getting the Velcro to stay put as I stitched it to the slippery nylon. But I’m thrilled with how the pen roll turned out!!

This is the first thing I’ve sewn that’s seen the public eye! The finished calligraphy pen roll features 12 1-inch pockets for pens, pencils, erasers, and brushes. I even slipped a bone folder and a hair pin into mine because I reach for them so much! The liner is not completely waterproof, but it’ll hold moisture while you grab something to wipe it away! The pen roll has a 12″ Velcro closure that overlaps more than enough to keep it securely closed during travel.

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