Friday, 18 November 2011

Haneesa: Fabric Book Cover

I’m going to let you in on a secret of mine.

I hated my school

and although I never understand why there are people who love going and afterwards want to go back to school,
I'm just going to say that that's OK too.

Image courtesy of

I don't mean to be all emotional but it really isn't my fault that I didn't like school so much :( Why did it have to be so systematic, rigid and most of all, biased? And it was so confusing because I liked my subjects and I liked learning new stuff but I couldn't stand the lessons! They were so.... controlled. Plus here in Malaysia everyone only looks at your grades, and never your skills. Back in school, I never felt like my thoughts and ideas (basically my own brain) were important- the only way to learn was through books.

Don't get me wrong though; I love books... and I still miss some of my teachers and friends. However school was still torturous, so I expressed my thoughts and feelings through stuff like arts & crafts, writing and music. Thankfully as I got older I also found that religion gave me a lot of room to expand and express my ideas.
So for this post, I'm going to show you a way you can make your school life a little more endurable enjoyable or if you already like school, something to get your creativity going J.

First things first; you will need several materials and tools for this fabric book cover. They are:

♥ Notebook
For this project, I am using a spiral bound notebook, but I think any kind of notebook works just as fine
♥ Fabric
I got mine at Daiso, which was precut to 70cm x 100 cm. They have two kinds of materials; polyester and cotton, which comes in many pretty patterns :)
♥ Scissors
♥ Fabric Ribbon
♥ Needle, thread, pins
♥ Long ruler and pencil

Step 1
Take your notebook and lay it out open. Measure the full length and width in inches. Also, measure the length of the front cover  - this should be about half the full length of the notebook.
Full Length

Take these measurements, and follow this formula to start cutting out your fabric:
(a)   Full length + 1 ¼ inches
(b)   Front cover length-  ½ inch
(c)    Width + ½ inch

This is an example of the measurements from my notebook
(a) 12 inches + 1 ¼ inches =
¼ inches
(b) 6 inches - ½ inch =
 ½ inches
(c) 8 ½ inches + ½ inch =
9 inches

Step 2
Now, you will be cutting three pieces from your fabric.
First, take measurements (a) and (c) and draw them out on the wrong side of your fabric. This will be your outer piece.
Next, take measurements (b) and (c) and draw them out also. Remember to make two of these pieces. These two will be your inner pieces.
Cut them all out.

Top: Outer piece. Bottom: Inner pieces.
You can use a measuring tape for this step... though a ruler makes life much so easier!
Step 3
Take the two inner pieces and turn them wrong side up. Fold in one side over ¼ inch and pin them down. Press/iron to keep in place. Do this on both pieces of fabric.

Fold one side inwards, then pin to secure...
...and for a closer look :)

Step 4
Take the outer piece and lay it right side up. Take the two previous pieces, lay them on each ends of the outer piece, pin to hold, then sew them on. Remember not to sew the side that you folded earlier!
In this step, I used a back stitch, instead of a regular running stitch, for extra strength.

Back stitching; at the front here the stitching looks like dashes. At the back, it looks like one single line.

Wrong sides to stitch!

Correcto mondo!
End product :)

Step 5
Turn your book cover right side out. Pin the top and bottom edges of the outer cover, then press to hold them down. Sew these edges to keep them in place.
For this step, I used a zigzag stitch to create nicer patterned look.
Pinning them together

More pins..

Zigzag stitching from behind

Zigzag stitching from the front

Looks like this after its all done

Step 6
At this point your fabric book cover is already finished J
However, you can also add a ribbon to secure your book. 
To do so, open up your book cover and measure the middle of the full length and the middle of the width. This will give you the centre point of your book cover.

To measure the length of the ribbon, take the measurement of the full length of your book and add another 16 inches. This will ensure that your ribbon can be tied. Cut the ribbon.
Now, measure the width of your ribbon. Mark this width on the centre point of your book cover.

Ribbon with a 1cm width

Stitch an ‘X’ about the size of your ribbon width.
Mark the 1cm width on this centre point

How it looks like on the front
Turn your book cover around and insert the ribbon.

And now your fabric book cover is finished! You can adjust the ribbon so that it sits either on the spine, opening or front of your book. If you guys face any problems, you can have a look at this tutorial . This book cover can even be used for personal stuff like diaries, journals and the like. It not only makes a good protection for your book, it looks absolutely gorgeous too! I hope it makes your school days more enjoyable J Take care everyone!

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