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Hello readers of Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! I'm so happy to be here today! I don't know about you, but I sew about 10 dresses for my daughter for every one item I make myself. I love wearing or carrying around self-made items, so today's post is part of my effort to spend more time sewing accessories for myself and my friends.
Below are the instructions for how to sew and bind your own fabric notebook.
- One piece of outer fabric 9" by 6" (I especially like to use linen and home dec weight fabrics)
- One piece of lining fabric 9" by 6"
- One piece of mid-weight fusible interfacing 8.5" by 5.5"
- A 9" strip of leather or ribbon measuring 1/4" wide for the bookmark
- 1 piece of printer paper 8.5" by 11" to use as a template
- 12 pieces of printer paper for notebook pages
- Heavy duty or embroidery thread for binding the pages to the notebook cover
- Tapestry needle (or at least a needle that is thick and long)
PREPARE THE NOTEBOOK COVER:
Fold a piece of printer paper so you have a rectangle measuring 8.5" by 5.5" and place it on your main fabric. Using a clear ruler, cut around the paper template with an extra 1/4". Repeat with the lining.
Cut out a piece of interfacing 5.5" by 8.5". You should now have your outer piece, lining piece, and interfacing.
Center the interfacing on the outer fabric, leaving 1/4" of the fabric extending past the edge of the interfacing. Use your iron to fuse these together according to the manufacturers instructions.
Pin the ribbon to the top center of your outer piece.
To create the notebook cover, place the outer and lining pieces together with right sides facing and pin well. Make sure the ribbon is still pinned to the center top of the outer fabric and make sure the rest of it is pushed well away from where your stitches will be.
Sew around the outer edge with a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving a 3" opening for turning the fabric right side out. Secure your stitches at the beginning and end. Clip the corners to make the fabric easier to turn, but make sure you don't cut any stitches on accident!
Turn the cover right side out through the opening, and press well. Make sure to tuck the seam allowances in 1/4" at the opening.
Edge stitch around the cover as close to the edge as possible. (Tip: to keep a really straight seam, keep your eye on your presser foot rather than the needle. Keep a line on the presser foot lined up with the edge of your fabric as you sew, and go slow if necessary.) This will secure the opening closed and add a nice touch to your notebook cover.
Using a ruler and a piece of tailor chalk, draw a straight line down the center of the cover on both sides of the ribbon. This will result in two lines set 1/4" apart in the center of the cover.
Sew along each of these lines with a straight stitch. This is the spine of your journal.
Once the decorative stitches are complete, your notebook cover is done! Fold it together so the binding faces out and press well on high heat. The interfacing will hold the notebook in this shape.
Your notebook cover is now finished!
TO BIND THE PAGES:
To bind the notebook pages, I suggest working with four sheets of printer paper at a time. Place four sheets of paper on the cutting table and cut them in half so they measure 8.5" by 5.5".
You should now have 8 smaller sheets of paper. Put these together and fold so you have a booklet measuring 5.5" by 4.5".
Trim 1/4" off the booklet on three sides (top, bottom, and right) . Do not cut the folded edge.
Repeat these steps until you have 3 booklets measuring 5" by 4":
Take one booklet and mark the folded edge in 1" increments.
Put all three booklets together and use the markings on the first booklet to mark the others.
Open each booklet and use a needle to punch a hole through the pen markings. This will make it easier to stitch through the paper, and ensure that your booklets match up once they are sewn to the notebook cover.
Now it's time to sew the booklets to your notebook cover! For this step, I prefer to use Purl Cotton (a very thick, high quality embroidery thread.) You can also use heavy duty thread from your local craft store or embroidery floss, just make sure it's something thick and strong.
Thread your needle with a long piece of thread and do not knot the end.
Take ONE booklet at a time and insert the needle through the outside of the folded edge. Pull it through the center of the booklet. Make sure you leave a long tail of thread since there is no knot in the thread.
Now insert the needle back through the booklet using the second needle hole. Pull it out through the back of the booklet.
Next, insert the needle back into the booklet through the third needle hole and position the booklet in the notebook cover. Make sure the booklet is centered. Make a stitch through the remaining needle hole and push the needle all the way through the journal cover.
Pull the thread all the way through the notebook spine.
Then insert it again so there is a tiny little stitch in the spine. You won't really be able to see this stitch without looking closely. As you push it through the spine, look at the paper side to make sure the needle comes back through the hole in the paper.
Pull the thread through the paper and insert the needle back into the next hole. Make another stitch in the spine and repeat the above steps until you have four stitches in the notebook binding.
When you come back to the bottom and have finished the fourth stitch in the spine, push your needle back to the paper side and thread it under the first stitch on the paper. See the photo below for reference.
Push the needle back through the needle hole so that it goes through the paper but NOT the fabric cover.
Push the pages to the side and knot the thread using the two tails of thread.
Repeat these steps until all three booklets are stitched into the fabric notebook cover. This only takes a few minutes and is the perfect project while watching a favorite show on T.V. or riding in the car. I found it very soothing and satisfying!
Congratulations, you just made your very own notebook from scratch!
Enjoy using it for grocery lists, notes, or giving it away to a friend! These notebooks are perfect for busting that beautiful fabric stash I know you have.
Thanks so much for reading! Please check out my blog, CailaMade, for more sewing projects, inspiration, tutorials, and free patterns. For even more fun, check out my Facebook page or follow me on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Bloglovin'. I'd love to become friends!
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