How to : make a fabric journal cover
We love, love, love this fabric journal cover!
Practical AND gorgeous;
we don’t know anyone who wouldn’t appreciate a version of this as a very lovely, hand crafted gift.
We made the fabric journal cover in this stunning Kaffe Fassett printed cotton. This fabulous fabric is also included in the-S box September 2107
We used quite a lot of product from September’s fabulous box of crafty stuff to create this very desirable yet useful gift.
You will need fabric for the outside and inside cover. Fabric for the inside pockets. Light weight iron on interfacing. You will also need thread, elastic and a button option or maybe a covered button? (if you’re not sure how to make up covered buttons-head over to our useful how to cover buttons tutorial here)
We needed to find the right note book for our journal; we loved this triple pack of A5 kraft exercise books from Paperchase for lots of reasons…
…the flexible, neutral coloured vintage style covers, the plain paper, the great price and the fact that there were three in the pack (which inspired the pen holder idea) and oh, even though they wouldn’t show -the beautiful (and aptly) stitched spines…hmm do we need to get out more?
Start by measuring the notebook vertically. The horizontal measurement is taken all the way around the spine from front cover to back. Cut a rectangular paper pattern with 1.5cms seam allowance on all four sides. Now check that the pattern goes all the way around your note book/s. (We used all three books together – see later on how to join them)
Cut two fabric covers from your paper pattern –one will be the inside and the other will be the ouside. Iron on interfacing to the wrong side of the outside cover. If using a plain fabric, now is the time, if you want to, to decorate the outside cover with appliqué or embroidery for example.
But, as we’re using this stunning print cotton from the-s box September there is no need for any embellishment.
Now cut the pockets that will hold the back and front notebook covers in place. They will be the height of the notebook plus 1.5cm seam allowance on both the top and bottom edge. And they will be approx 2 x 8cms wide plus 1.5cms seam allowance on each side edge.
Fold the pocket pieces in half length ways and interface one half, on the wrong side, only up to the fold line.
Top stitch the folded edge now for strength and for a sharp decorative edge.
Place the pockets on to the right side of the interfaced outside cover.
Pin and tack the pockets in place.
Pin in some ribbon as place markers in a position on the top edge to the right of the notebook spine.
Now place the inside cover right side down on top of the outside cover with tacked on pockets and placemakers
Start machining 1.5cms from raw edge on bottom edge, through all layers including the pockets and the place marker ribbons on top all the way around. NB: leave a gap approx 8cms unstitched.
Turn the whole piece of work through the unstitched gap to the right side; this is called ‘bagging out’.
Use a knitting pin, (carefully) to get nice sharp corners.
Fold in the raw edges on the bottom 8cms gap where there is no stitching.
Edge stitch (do not catch in place marking ribbon/s) all the way around the whole cover including the gap. This will give a sharp professional finish.
We have the opportunity to put some pen holders in between the three covers because our journal is made up of three exercise books, but the pen holder could also be joined into the outside seam of the cover on the right hand side before the machine stitching.
To make a pen holder, cut a rectangular piece of fabric (approx 12 x 8 cms) and iron on interfacing to the reverse to strengthen it.
Fold all the raw edges towards the inside and straight stitch to reinforce it and form into a loop so that the pen can slide in and out of it.
Tape pen holder between the back cover of note book 1 and front cover of note book 2
Tape a second penholder, if required lower down (check the positioning of where the pens will sit-; we wanted three pens but there wasn’t room) this time between the back cover of notebook 2 and front cover of notebook 3
Again, we stitched the looped penholder in place.
Now tape the three note books together with double-sided tape.
The penholders will sit outside the covers.
For a final professional touch, cover a button or find a largish button to co-ordinate with the cover fabric;
Brass or mother of pearl would work here really well.
Now, catch up a loop of elastic around the button
from the top
(around the back cover)
and up from the bottom to form a neat closing method round the whole cover.
To stop the elastic from being lost when the journal is opened,
hand sew a channel for the elastic to pass through in the back cover,
(careful not to accidentally catch in the inside pocket).
Slide the front and back notebook covers into the pockets,
put the pens in place and ta-dah! you’re done !
What a totally fab present for someone lucky!
If you are reading this in Setember 2017 and would like to win this actual journal and the-s box September please go to our Facebook page and enter our competition