Sunday, February 17, 2008

Journal Covers

I carry around a composition book filled with my ideas and plans. It's with me wherever I go so I can jot down all those ideas that pop into my mind while I'm waiting for kids. But it's sooo ugly and makes me feel like a kindergartener. So I made a cover for it. Then I made a few more as gifts for my niece and my daughters. Of course they wanted some for friends too, so I kept making them.

Instructions for making a Journal Cover (for a standard composition book):

Create the following pattern pieces by tracing around the open composition book, allowing 1/2" seam allowances for the outer edges, and 1/4" seam allowances for all other pieces. Don't forget to add a little bit of extra width for the book to close. I added about 3/8."

Here's a pic of the pattern pieces for the journal cover shown above:
And this picture shows the cut pieces of the outer cover.
To sew:
1) After handstitching your sashiko block, trim it to the correct size and piece together the front cover section, using 1/4" seam allowances.
2) Sew the spine piece to the front cover and back cover pieces. I usually edgestitch along the spine seams too.
3) Apply interfacing to the outer cover piece.
4) Finish the edges for the sleeves.
This is what you should have so far:

5) Now, baste the sleeve to the cover pieces, right sides together.

6) Place the lining piece on top, right side down. Baste. At this point, I check fit for the composition book by matching the center back along the spine, and tracing the open composition book outline on the interfacing. I allow a scant 1/4" along the short edges of the book so it can close without distorting. I also sew just slightly outside the traced line along the long edges to allow for turn of cloth. Sew, leave an opening in the back cover to turn it right side out. Trim edges, clip corners, and finish edges.

7) Turn right side out, handstitch the opening closed and press. That's it!
Tada! What a beautiful way to keep your thoughts at hand. The best thing is you can reuse this cover for the next book when you fill up the first!

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