Friday, 29 December 2017

Notebook covers

Christmas sewing

I didn't really have any plans for Christmas sewing as I was so busy in the run up. I would like to have made myself a dress and Joanne some new shorts but I knew realistically that it wouldn't happen. No point in putting pressure on myself.

A couple of years ago I made wine holders and was considering making one for a Magnum of prosecco. I'd have had  to work out the sizes from scratch - I decided it'd be best just to wrap in Christmas paper!

I actually gave away several metres of Christmas fabric as I knew I wasn't going to use it. That’s on top of the many metres of linings I gave away. I’m really trying to downsize.

However, Alison said she really fancied a silk covered notebook and gave me the link. I bought a notebook from the link and was disappointed with it, largely I think because it was so thin - a school jotter (edited to add that Alison loved it!). As a result, I decided to make some notebook (oh I mean those you write in not a mini computer!) covers and give a covered notebook to each of the girls. For  Alison, I had the choice of a lovely black and turquoise Linton tweed or a Japanese cotton with an owl pattern. For Joanne, I thought I was going to use a black or maybe it's charcoal grey Linton tweed with a silver thread through it. It was lovely but it turned out I didn't have quite enough. I knew there was another piece but my fabric has been put away pre-Christmas so it wasn’t accessible.  I considered using a piece of the red silk from Helen's dress for hers but used a piece of red Linton tweed as that's likely to be more robust. I have quite a few pieces of Linton tweed picked up in one of their mixed remnant/scrap bags. Some are too small (Joanne’s) but the piece for Alison fitted and no more - there was certainly nothing to spare. I bought the fabric for notebooks after seeing some in the Linton tweed shop so perhaps the stars have aligned! Maybe the fabric I used for Alison had originally been intended for that purpose! I pass reasonably close to the Linton Tweed shop fairly often as it’s just off the route I use to visit my mother.

I bought some notebooks, deciding to go for spiral backs as they'll be easier to put in and out of the covers.

I wondered how I would cover them. Some of the tweed frays quite a bit. I looked up a couple of online tutorials. The choice seemed to be to cover like I used to cover school books, cutting a section out for the book spine and folding the rest over and taping it, or perhaps gluing down and then adding a fabric covered cardboard front and back piece - but these aren't reusable. So I went for the other which is basically making a sleeve, with slots to hold the back and front of the book.

My notebook cover is basically the front fabric, interfaced with a fairly stiff interfacing, which I trimmed short of the seam allowances. This is sewn to a lining, right side to right side,  leaving a gap, then turned through and the gap closed. Then I topstitched the whole thing.

The cover was then placed on the book and the flaps turned over. I had hoped I could edgestitch on the machine to secure but this didn't work. In the end I did as Dan thought I would have to - namely slip stitch the flaps by hand.

Overall they look nice, I think.
Alison’s - black and turquoise Linton tweed, lining teal cotton from a shirt I made her years ago
Joanne’s - black fabric with red spots, cotton, lined with a nice red linen. The linen, also left over from a previous project, wasn’t big enough so I pieced it down the spine of the book where it will offer extra protection to the fabric
Helen’s - a finer weight plain red Linton fabric, lined with red spotted pink cotton fabric from Ikea. I thought I had used this fabric for one of the wedding dress toiles for Helen, but that wasn't so.

These fabrics and the interfacing had been in my stash for a long time. Nearly two years or even longer. I’ve decided to enter PR’s Fabric Stash contest with them - well why not? There’s a random prize.

I used 6 pieces of fabric and 3 pieces of interfacing  20” by 10.5” - total 9 pieces of fabric.  My fat eighths were too small. There was a bit of waste due to trimming onto the straight grain etc and cutting away a hem which had been sewn on Helen’s fabric. There appear to be complicated rules for calculating amount of fabric used so I don't know how much this will count as. I think I could call this a yard, though. It’s a bit more but I believe you can’t count the bits of a yard.

At our late family Christmas get together, the notebooks and sleeves went down quite well. Steven has requested an A4 notebook covered in Crab Nebula fabric which week have to print (David led him to that point). David wants one in his tartan.

Talking about David's tartan, Helen still hasn't told me what final shape she wants for her tartan skirt. She recognised this but sensibly realised I was busy with other things. Next year!


  1. These are neat! Because my job requires me to go from meeting to meeting, I always carry a notebook to jot down ideas, deadlines, etc...I am going to take inspiration from you and make a pretty cover.

    1. Thanks. I think they're rather nice, too. I don't have one myself - yet! What kind of pretty cover will you make, I wonder?


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