Monday 15 December 2014

How to make a fabric book cover - Part 1

Here I want to write some instructions on how to make a fabric book cover. Sorry it took me a couple of days more than I intended but with Christmas coming up and trying to get a car fixed to go away time ran away with me.

Of course being me I'm not an expert on this I've only made 4 covers so far though I do have a fair idea of the times I've made plenty of mistakes. Mainly because I'm rushing through just throwing ideas through my head. The main issue has been when I estimate what I think it should be then I have serious problems. All entirely my own making.

You Will Need:

- To have some basic sewing/quilting skills
- A sewing machine
- A mix of fabrics, ribbons and trims that match.
- A book or folder that you want to cover.
- Iron on interfacing that is large enough for the cover to sit on. 

Now I am going to assume you have a basic knowledge of quilting and sewing. That you know to sew right sides together and to use a 1/4" seam.

Now you start with the book/binder you want to cover and place it down on top of some paper and measure it. Here is where I made my first mistake. I got cocky and traced around the book then cut out on that line figuring I could add the extra I needed as things went on. DON'T DO THAT! Trace around your book and then add an inch on the width and the length of your cover. This leaves you with a quarter inch leeway on all sides plus a quarter inch seam allowance.

I didn't allow for that this time around and because I didn't, I didn't manage to catch everything when I stitched it up. It's better to be safe than sorry.


Now is where I hope you have a basic understanding of quilting. I like to make crazy quilted journals and they are so much fun to make. You also don't have to measure anything you just keep adding on until it's the right size.

A couple of rules to follow:

1. Sew right sides together then press seam to one side.

2. As you build up the pattern you need to sew the whole length of the side that you're sewing onto. If that means piecing parts before sewing you may have to.

see below:

The bits don't have to be perfect the idea is not to make it all perfect. You can see in the photo below that the edges aren't lined up perfectly and that is alright it gets sewn so that it looks very neat.

Also as you can see here below the bottom row needs to be pieced separately then sewn onto the whole piece.

3. If you're adding ribbons onto a small piece then make sure you sew them in when you do the seams. If you are adding large pieces on then you can sew them at the end.

4. Feel free to fussy cut your fabric like I did for the trumpet above or use pieces with embroidery like I did for my first book cover with the kangaroo.

See Below:

Keep sewing until it is as large as the piece of paper.


Now you need to cut a piece of iron on interface the same size as your pattern piece. This you will iron onto the back of your quilting.
Warning: iron on the quilting side not the interface side it can stuff up your iron.


Here is the fun bit. Now your fabric has a bit more protection and is solid with the interface you can now add all your machine embroidery/ribbons etc. that you want to sew onto the front.

If you are hand sewing the embroidery you may want to sew before you put the wadding on but I'm not really sure on the logistics because I don't do much hand embroidery yet.

I'm going to leave the instructions here tonight there is a lot for you to be doing. I will start up next time with instructions to help you make the inside pockets.

Happy Stitching,

You can find Part 2 and Part 3 of the tutorials here.

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