Under Cover

It's free tutorial time! Yay!

It's been a couple of months since I last wrote anything - I can't even tell you everything I've done in that time - like where did it all go?

BUT I have been keeping busy with my shop - it's been hard at times and great at others, these are uncertain days so this is to be expected but when it's hard it's emotionally draining and that stops me from wanting to engage and interact.

I digress

In one of my more creative moments I came up with selvedge project packs - I have been collecting selvedges for years now and have made some amazing things with them - but now I'm so busy with my shop they are going to waste so I'm putting them out there for other creatives to take advantage of and maybe learn to appreciate them more.

Now I'm finally getting to it - as an extra incentive I put together a simple tutorial to go with the packs and I'm putting it here for you to use as and when you please - it's completely free and you can even download it from my Free Downloads page to keep on your computer.

Lets get started shall we?

First up you will need to gather some bits

Materials & Equipment-

  1. Sewing machine

  2. thread

  3. Open toe foot & quarter inch foot

  4. Iron

  5. Tool for pointing out corners

  6. Ruler & tape measure

  7. pins/clips

  8. Marking pen or tool

  9. Scissors

  10. Rotary cutter

  11. Elastic hair bobble - thin

  12. Fabrics for inner and outer

  13. Small paperback notebook (size featured approx 8 x 6”)

  14. Selvedges (this project uses 2)

Now let's make something!

Measure your notebook

Wrap your tape measure around the entire width of your notebook (like you would when measuring your waist for example)

Note the measurement and add an extra half inch to the dimension

Now measure the height of your notebook and add an extra half inch to this dimension

Cut your fabrics

Cut out 3 pieces of fabric - 1 from your outer and 2 from your inner - using your dimensions.

Fold one of the inner pieces in half and press the fold - open out and cut along the crease to make 2 pieces. Fold each of those pieces in half and press the folds - set to one side (these are your inner sleeves)

Place your selvedges

Select your selvedges to lay across the width of your outer fabric. Make sure the bottom most edge of the first selvedge starts at least ¾ inch above the raw edge of the outer fabric.

If you have a selvedge that isn’t wide enough - don’t worry this can be remedied! Simply add a piece of selvedge on to it!

Join the extra piece lining up any selvedge lines and press open your seams to reduce bulk - trim if one selvedge piece is deeper than the other. Use a pinking blade if you have one to reduce fraying - but don’t worry if you don’t it doesn’t matter!

Lay your first selvedge on your outer fabric - your outer fabric should be right side up and so should your selvedge. Pin in place and top stitch down near the bottom edge.

Now lay your second selvedge down - overlapping the first one by as much as you can - use your own judgement on this - topstitch this one down near its bottom edge making sure you are stitching through the selvedge underneath.

Top stitch near the top edge now - you can do 2 rows or a decorative stitch, you don’t need to worry about the raw edge as this is more an applique method - but if you have a selvedge with enough pattern still on it you could turn the raw edge under to make a neater finish.

Make your button loop

Fold your outer fabric in half (rst) and finger press a crease on the left side to mark the halfway point.

Grab your hair bobble and pinch it leaving approximately an inch. Use a piece of thread about 4 inches long and wind it around tightly where you’ve pinched - you don’t need to tie it, winding it will be tight enough and stay in place.

Lay your elastic loop so the binding sits just inside the raw edge, use a clip to keep it in place.

Layer up

Now place your inner sleeves over your outer fabric (outer fabric still right side up) - lining up the raw edges so your folded edges are towards the middle.

Now lay your outer fabric over these layers - right side facing down (so your layers are right sides together)

Pin in place carefully and check the hair elastic hasn’t moved.

Fold the whole thing in half to finger press a centre mark on the bottom edge and open out again. Use a ruler and mark a 3 inch gap for turning out - check that your turning gap doesn’t overlap your inner sleeves - you want those to be fully stitched in.

Stitch together

Now using a SCANT quarter inch seam stitch all your layers together starting at the mark for your turning-through gap and going around to the other mark, backstitch at beginning and end. Take it easy going over the elastic and backstitch over it just to reinforce it.

When that’s done, snip off your corners, trim any excess elastic and turn the whole thing out the right way and point out the corners. Move the sleeves to the back as you do this

Give your whole piece a good press so it’s nice and rectangular and flat. Quickly test your notebook fits - you stitched a scant seam before so you can stitch a tighter fit down the side seams if your cover seems a bit loose. Stitch your gap closed.

Attach your button

Measure the point where your button loop sits - put a matching mark on the opposite side approximately ¾ inch in from the edge. Attach your button using your open toe foot or zig zag foot - pull the sleeve out of the way before you do this. When your button is attached, tease the thread ends through to the inside and tie off.

Prep to finish

Get your notebook ready to fit- a couple of things to do to make sure of a really good fit. Trim a tiny strip off each side of your notebooks’ cover (if you need to) and then snip off the corners.

Insert into your new cover and enjoy!!

Alternitively use as many selvedges as you cant fit!

These selvedges are only laid over the original but you get the idea!

If you enjoyed this tutorial drop me a hell yeah! comment - if you need any more info or help with any stage of this project please don't hesitate to get in touch and I will help in any way I can.

Thanks for reading.

Amber x

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