May 17, 2011

Tutorial: Journal Cover

Just thought that it would be nice to share a journal cover that I recently made for myself.  First up, this is the video that I watched How to sew a book cover by Emeline Villedary and then I just added my own finishing touches.

For those of you who are beginners to sewing this is REAL easy.  If you get lost in my instructions I recommend watching the video link before you start.

Things that you need are:
  • Sewing machine
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • material (depending on book size)
  • Journal or book to be covered
  • pins

This is the easiest way to make it for me. As I am not really one for patterns and I tend to get impatient and rush to get on with things, I mostly wing it.  So I am not going to give exact measurements.

Lay your piece of chosen fabric down and lay your journal/book open on top of it.  I measured approximately  2cm around the entire book to allow for seam allowances and top stitching.  You could trace around it and then measure out seam allowance...but me being me I just eye balled it and cut it out (impatience thing).


As you can tell....my eye balling procedures gets nice straight pieces of material! (LOL)  Anyhow...you need to cut 2 pieces, so either measure it out or lay first piece on top of fabric and cut it out.

For this next bit, we need to create the inside sleeves for the book covers to slide into. 
 You'll want to measure about an inch or so from the inside join of the book, to the edge of book cover and then add on 2cm for seam allowances etc.  Eg for this book, I allowed 10cm and then add on 2cm = 12cm.



No that you have that measurement..  Fold your material in half and measure out from the fold your sleeve measurement.  eg. my measurement was 12cm, so I measured from the fold out to that length.  The width is the same measurements from Step 1.  Cut 2 of these.
See I know I have probably lost people at this point...sorry, I suck at instructions.


 This is totally optional: But I wanted to add a small piece of calico to the from of my journal for painting on etc.   If you want to do this step, this is what I did....  I folded one of the large rectangle pieces in half (kinda resembling a closed book), roughly measured a piece of calico so that it was sorta centred (eye balled it again), unfolded piece of material out keeping the small piece of calico in place and then pinned and stitched in place.  I like the rustic look of things so I left my edges raw for this process and stitched about 1/4" in from the edge.




 So you should have 2 x rectangles (one with calico on it if you wanted to do that), and 2x folded pieces (keep them folded).

Next....if there is still people reading that is (I'd be surprised!!) .... It's time for assemblage:

Lay 1 x rectangle right side up (you can just see my piece with calico on it)
Then..on top of that, lay at either end your folded pieces with the folds pointing in (raw edges to the edge).
Then, on top of that lay your last piece of 1 x rectangle with the wrong side up.  I haven't put the last layer on in the photo.


Now pin and sew about 1/4" inch from raw edges BUT on one of the long sides LEAVE a gap between the  the two folds so that you can turn it right side out.  See pic.


Before turning trim the corners so that they turn out properly.


 This is what it should look like.  Note the little gap at the bottom.  That was were we turned it right side out.  I always like to iron it out at this stage so that it is nice and crisp.

Next stage is to top stitch all the way around.  By doing this it gives you a nice finish and it also sews shut the opening that we used to turn it out the right way.


Slip your book in it's new cover and WAH..LAH.  I hope it fits.  If you chose to sew a calico piece on that it should look similar to this.


Inside view.


Now if you like.....this is just what I wanted to do as I have had that fabric for so long and I felt like it needed a bit of a lift.  So I decided to paint the front cover.

For this step I used:
  • gesso
  • sharpie
  • acrylic paint
First, I put the gesso on, fairly rough with just a piece of old cardboard.  I didn't care if it wasn't all covered as I like some of the material to show through.  Unfortunately, the scrap calico I was going to use as a title cover ie Journal etc I decided to just paint over but you can do as you like for this step.  This is just what I felt like doing at the time.

Once the gesso is dry, you can either dry it with a heat gun or hair dryer, but it needs to be dry or it will clog up your sharpie pen.  Then just doodle whatever design you fancy...



I added some paint, dried it with my hair dryer.


Once it was dry I went back over it and added some highlights and detail with a finer sharpie pen and that was it.  I decided not to add a sealer but you could if you wished but just becareful that the sharpie pen doesn't bleed or run with it.  I like mine the way it is.


My finished journal.



I hope it wasn't tooo confusing...but I really wanted to share it.