Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Fabric Notebook Cover Tutorial

Linen Journal Cover



One of our dearest friends turns 50 this week, so I stitched her up a little personalised present, a linen notebook cover with matching compact mirror.   The shops are full of beautiful (and expensive!) fabric journals but once all the pages have been written on they're rendered redundant.  Making your own removable cover means that you can simply pop a refill in, saving the both planet and your unique design!


I added a pretty little printed cotton panel, which provides a lovely pop of colour and texture.  The fabric is called Cottage Flowers and it comes in a pack of beautifully coordinating colour ways.  I've used most of the colours in the pack, but I can't blog all the projects yet as some have been sent off for publication!

As journal covers always make such welcome gifts, I've written a tutorial so that you can create your own.  Once you've mastered the basic construction (which is easy!) you can then decorate it in any way that takes your fancy. Perhaps some applique? Click on the link beneath the picture to be taken to some of my appliqued journals.

SewforSoul Appliqued Journal Covers

The tutorial will guide you through the process of making a cover with a panel insert. They're a little addictive and once you've made your first, you'll be dreaming up ways to customise the next!

Tutorial

The first step is to measure around your closed notebook from front to back edge including the spine.  As you can see mine is 31cm. You will also need its height, this one was was 21cm.



As I am going to be using 1cm seam allowances, I added 6cm to the width measurement of 31cm to allow for the joining of my floral panel, as well as the side seams.  If I were making the cover from just one fabric, I would only need to add 2cm for the two sides. You will also need to add 2cm to the height dimensions.  This sounds complicated but just remember that when you have pieced your fabric together it need to be 2cm wider and taller than your notebook!

The picture below shows the cutting measurements of my fabric pieces and when they had been pieced together the resulting fabric measured 33 x 23cm - Perfect for my journal which measured 31 x 21cm.
 

 
I simply joined them together with a 1cm seam allowance and then pressed the seams towards the darker fabric. A quick bit of top stitching adds a nice professional touch! 


The next step is to iron a piece of lightweight interfacing onto the wrong side of your pieced cover. This is particularly important if you are using a fairly open weave or light coloured fabric.  

To make the inner flaps, which will hold the journal in place, cut two pieces of linen fabric measuring 18 x 23cm.  Fold in half vertically and press, giving the folded edge a nice crisp crease.



Place your finished front cover piece down, right side up. Put the two flaps down on top with the folded edges facing in.  If you're adding a closure to your journal (I used a hair elastic) place it halfway down, in-between the back cover and flap.

Cut a lining from your floral fabric, so that it is the same size as your front cover piece (in my case 33 x 23cm).

Place the lining, right side down, on top of your fabric sandwich.  Pin or tack securely and then machine stitch around all four sides, remembering to leave a small turning gap!


Trim your seams and clip corners to reduce bulk and turn through to the right side.  Press gently and then hand sew the turning gap closed. 



Once the cover is turned through to the right side, the flaps will be on the inside ready to hold your notebook neatly in position. I took the photo above before the final press!


If you included a closure elastic, stitch a button into place on the front and then insert your journal and that's it.....


.......A beautiful handmade journal cover!








37 comments:

  1. Such a pretty little thing! I love fabrics notebooks, sketchbooks, diaries - but I've never done my own! Well, it's time to do some... finally! Thank you Josie for your easy tutorial :)

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  2. Lovely tutorial Josie, and glad you are back online after Easter!! Super fabrics as well.

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  3. Glad to see you posting again. Lovely tutorial, you make it look so easy! I shall have to have a go at this. Barbara xx

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  4. Thanks for sharing this tutorial, Josie. I love fabric covered notebooks. Definitely going to give this a go. Xx

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  5. That's a lovely present. I love pretty notebooks and wish I could keep them but you are so right they are no use once full, this idea is much better, I must try one. Thanks for sharing, Hx

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  6. Such a cute gift. Love the personalised mirror cover. Jxo

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  7. Aw that is crazy cute!! http://quirkybohomama.blogspot.com/

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  8. A lovely gift Josie, all your notebooks are fabulous! X

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  9. Of course, this is once again over-the-top adorably simple. Josie-all-over! See very special for your 50-friend!

    Hugs and happy weekend,
    Kelley~

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  10. Love these I did try to make one ages ago following instructions from elsewhere and it was a disaster so I'll definitely be giving this a go :-) xxx

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  11. Really good Josie! I shall be sharing this in my class at school. Thanks

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  12. What a lovely gift Josie, I bet your friend was delighted with it.

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  13. That is absolutely gorgeous, Josie! I love fabric-covered books and have made a few covers but they're not nearly as beautifully finished as yours. I shall use this tutorial next time I make one for sure. Did you cover that button to match yourself? It's the perfect finishing touch! Thank you so much for sharing this. E x

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    1. Yes, I used a (very) vintage covered button kit which I picked up at a car boot sale!

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  14. Love it! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  15. I've been on the lookout for a good fabric journal tutorial, thanks! Definitely on my (growing) to do list:)

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  16. So pretty! I've got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for this evening that links to your tutorial: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/?p=82256 --Anne

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  17. this has turned out amazing, i do love linen, (such a shame it creases), such a simple but effective pattern ( or it would be if i could sew ;-) )x

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    1. The sewing only involves straight lines, give it a go!

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  18. I love your personalised covers. I really must give this a go.

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  19. Definitely a good idea to have a removable cover, and i love linen with floral fabric.

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  20. What wonderful gifts! I love journal covers too and yours are beautiful :) x

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  21. That's so pretty, your choice of fabric is spot on as always! I think this is such a lovely gift I will have to pin this tutorial for another day - thanks.

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  22. Love journals and covered journals so appealing and yours are so pretty

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  23. Stylish, simple and effective - fabric choice is everything:)

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  24. Just beautiful! I love the button detail and floral fabric panel !

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  25. What a beautiful gift and a fabulous tutorial, thanks for sharing.

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  26. What pretty notebook covers, you're very talented :)

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  27. These would make perfect personalised gifts and the ones you have made are wonderful! Thank you for sharing this tutorial :)

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  28. Your appliquéd journal covers are so inspiring! I love them :)

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  29. BEAUTIFUL journal covers, Josie!!! The simplicity of the linen combined with the gorgeous floral is perfect. Lucky Mr Bradley - his notebook is awesome. You are so very creative!!!

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    1. Hi Josie, I've featured your beautiful journal covers today...

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    2. Thanks Pam, it's always such a pleasure to be featured over at Threading my Way!

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  30. Your journal cover is so pretty! I would love for you to link up at the Stitch It, Blog It, Share Link Party going on now! http://www.behindtheseamssewing.com/2015/05/stitch-it-blog-it-share-it-link-party-2.html

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  31. These are brilliant, my daughter was just trying to steal one of my paperchase covered notebooks for her brownie badge projects... I think I might see if I can make her one of these with an applique brownie on the cover... I can see it in my mind's eye... now can i make it...?

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  32. Very pretty! I've been wanting to do this. Thanks so much for the tutorial!

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  33. Before i read this post,, i have few some problem to create a good fabrics notebook cover. but now at this time, it is clear. so many many thanks for it.
    Fabrics Usa Inc

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