I had an idea to make some fabric book covers for a while now, but this week I finally got down to business and made one! I am so happy with how this turned out.
As I typically do, I tried to stick with using only materials I had on hand (not that hard to do, since I have a plentiful stash of fabric scraps, buttons, ribbons, and other odds and ends).
I started by doing a quick Internet search to figure out the logistics of construction (I didn't use a pattern). So, first I found this site which got my creative juices flowing. Next I found this helpful tutorial video at About.com. I basically followed the video tutorial's instructions, but I did make a few alterations, which I will share:
- I sewed all seams with a 1/4" seam allowance.
- I added some lightweight fusible interfacing -- fused it to the fabric that goes on the inside of the book cover.
- I added a ribbon bookmark, a pen holder, and a closure tab.
- I added some decorative embellishments.
Also, if you decide to make one of these, I have a couple of tips and suggestions:
1. If you are making the cover for a spiral notebook (as I have), when you measure the width of your book cover, do it with the notebook in the CLOSED position. I measured mine both open and closed and there was a significant difference in the result. With the notebook closed, the measurement is larger. You want to make sure you have accounted for those extra inches before cutting out your pieces of fabric. Use a flexible tape measure and wrap it around the book to get the measurement.
2. If you plan to topstitch, add more than 1/2" seam allowance all the way around. I would increase that to 5/8" -- which is the same as adding 1 1/4" to the height and width of your book. So, for example, if your book measures 8" high x 12" wide, cut your main pieces of fabric 9 1/4" x 13 1/4".
The reason I would do this is because I originally intended to finish the book cover off by topstitching all the way around, as shown in the video. However, I did not end up doing that because after checking the fit of the cover with my notebook, I realized that topstitching the top and bottom edges was going to make it an extremely tight fit for my notebook. There really wasn't adequate roominess for me to topstitch without compromising the fit. The ends were a bit more roomy because I had added more than 1/2" to the width of the notebook, so instead of topstitching the entire book cover, I just did a little decorative blanket stitch on the ends.
3. Sew your embellishments BEFORE sewing the pieces of the book cover together. The only exception is that I didn't sew the pink button (for the closure tab) until the end because I wasn't sure of the positioning until after it was all together. My stitches ended up hidden behind the inside cover anyway, so it worked out just fine.
Well, that's about it. If you have any other questions, feel free to comment below and I will try and reply as best as I can.
Good Luck! And remember: When life gives you scraps, make yourself a beautiful book cover!