I wanted to try something different today. I really liked the JOY Christmas Pillow that Jennifer shared with us for the Seasonal Sewing series and I wanted to try my hand at applique. But nothing on too big a scale in case it turned into something terrible and wasted my precious imported fabric stash. At the same time, I just bought a new sewing notebook this morning so everything came together fortuitously and I made a Fabric Covered Notebook with applique.
All dimensions given are for my regular composition book. Measure your book to see what size fabric you need.
- Outer fabric – 16 x 10.5 inches
- Inner fabric – 16 x 10.5 inches
- Inner pockets – 2 at 8 x 10.5 inches
- Plus scraps for the applique
- Paper and pen for your template
- Disappearing fabric marker
- Piece of fleece
How to make a Fabric Covered Notebook
Measure the height of your book cover and add one inch. My cover is 9.5 inches high, making the height of my fabric needed 10.5 inches
Measure around your book from the edge of one cover, across the spine to the edge of the cover on the other side. Mine measured 15 inches so I added one inch to give me a piece of fabric 16 inches long.
Cut one piece of fabric for the outer, one the same size for the inner. Then cut another piece the same size again for the two internal pockets and cut it in half. Mine were two pieces at 8 x 10.5 inches.
Fold these two pocket pieces in half and press them.
The inside front pocket is where I decided to try out my first ever little applique. Because of my stash of pink scraps and because Valentines Day is fast approaching, I decided to cut a small heart. I drew this on the back side of some HeatnBond® Lite, then pressed it to the reverse of my fabric.
Then I could cut out my heart design accurately and press it again to ‘glue’ it in place on my inside pocket.
I set a small zig-zag stitch and carefully stitched around the heart with the right hand swing of the needle just falling outside the edge of the heart shape. I took it nice and slowly and kept pivoting the fabric as I went and voila – my first ever applique. I think it turned out great. Not the most exciting or unique subject, but I was delighted at my first attempt.
Now I wanted to try some reverse applique for the outside. I drew a freehand irregular heart shape on paper and placed it on the fabric to see where I wanted to place it. Draw around the template using a disappearing marker.
Then using a small stitch length, stitch a line of running stitches to trace the outline of the shape. This will help us to turn it neatly. Once its sewn, cut out the inside of the shape leaving about 1/2 inch of fabric inside, and then clip all around the shape up close to the traced stitching line.
Press the fabric to the underside, turning just enough so that the stitching line appears around the shape on the back. Put this aside for now.
Use the paper template to draw the same shape on a piece of fleece or batting.
I arranged a few pink scraps of fabric how I wanted them, then roughly quilted them in place across the heart shape so I knew it would be fully covered, then cut away some of the extra fabric.
Now pin the cut out shape over the quilted backing fleece and stitch close to the edge of the shape to hold everything in place. Pull the threads through to the back to knot them. Then cut away any extra fleece and fabric. Looking great!
Now it’s time to put our pieces together to make the cover. Place the cover fabric face up. Then add on the internal pockets face down. My applique heart for the inside is placed on the right with the heart facing down. Then add the lining fabric face down over the top. Pin in place, then stitch around leaving a space about 4 inches wide in the bottom center for turning. Use a seam allowance a little less than half an inch.
Snip the corners, turn the cover right side out and give it a nice press. Hand stitch that bottom opening closed and slide in your book.
It’s done. My first ever applique and reverse applique project was a success. I learned some new skills, covered my boring sewing notebook in some pretty fabric and had fun doing it too.
Authored by: Deby at So Sew Easy