france: wednesday 091609

We went to Narbonne on this day. Its a wonderful city – lively and restful and historic and modern all at once. They have preserved part of an ancient Roman road, which was cool. We also experienced just how nice the French are – we parked at a meter and I was trying to read it to know what to pay, but it was confusing me because it said something about being free, but i couldnt make out when. So, to be safe we started to put money in and this lady ran down the length of the parking lot and stopped us, to explain that during lunch, parking is free. There were many other instances of overly helpful and caring people – not at all what I had heard about the way Americans are treated.

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Then we drove to Beziers and found this gorgeous massive church. We climbed 166 teeny spirally stairs, and had an amazing view.

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Tidbits i picked up: I found it strange that almost everyone we saw smoked. Feral cats are more common than random dogs (a kitten joined us for lunch once). Driving was not as agressive as I had heard, although people did get a little crazy at the round-a-bouts (which are more plentiful than any other kind of intersection outside of the city centers).

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another book cover

I believe in the last post i had mentioned i would be more technical here but…i dunno, im on some sort of spree so i just couldnt stop myself to take “during” photos. Check it!

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I finally made a template and got the measurements exact. The best part is there are just TWO seams! Neither of which can be seen once the cover is reversed. (This does not include sewing the embellishments on.) Its so simple too. I cant wait to share it with everyone, but I want to make a few more with the template first before i try to explain anything.

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Plus, if i do anything akin to a tutorial, I need a better light source. And Id like to know where my iron is so you dont have to sort out the wrinkly fabric (gosh, wouldnt that save me some trouble when trying to cut and sew straight!)…If you want to start gathering supplies, aside from the obvious fabric and thread, I use fabri-tac, ribbon for the bookmarker, and a little trinket to tie it off – buttons, beads, pendants, whatever suits you. This cover also sports a ribbon down the spine, and you might have seen my other ideas of piping and whatnot here and here.

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I am almost back into the world of crafting I think. My house is still under renovation (we should be finishing the laundry room this week and Ill post photos) but I decided to not let it deter me anymore. I mean, my craft room is pretty much done so…so what if the rest of the house is a war zone? I can just go in there and shut the door and crank on my electric heater while i crank out some crafty goodness.

I believe I will have a lot more to show you soon, but let us start with more book covers. You may remember Tofers book cover? I learned a lot – especially because i do not have a pattern. Just a rough measurement of the one that inspired me. I examined it and tried my best to replicate it, but i feel like it is too difficult for a novice sewer like me, to really justify making more than a few.

I spent the better part of a day using my brain and trying to figure out a simpler method. The results? I can whip these suckers out in no time compared to other projects, and you only see the seam once you open the book, as the only visible seams are along the pockets for the cover. And honestly, those could be hidden too I suppose. I hadnt thought of that yet til just now. Thanks blog!

The first cover is hideous, and well you just need to get over that. I was using some scrap fabric to get the logistics worked out and before I tried anything on pretty fabric, i needed to do a test run. It worked like a charm. On this version, I used piping. And if i were to do it again, i would actually have the pockets be a different piece of fabric so that the piping could go all the way around the perimeter.

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I was too excited to wait til my next shopping spree at the fabric store, so I just went with what i had. The color match isnt perfect but I couldnt stop myself from pushing on. No piping here, but instead some ribbon detail down the front. I learned two things with this one: a) i forgot to include the book marker on it and the ugly one, and b) i shouldnt use really flimsy fabric for both the inside and outside pieces. It just doesnt have the quality feel and wouldnt help protect the book much.

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The last one thus far was made differently yet again, as you can see. Using the same measurements, i just adjusted for having the spine area a different fabric, with the piping and additional seam allowances. This was the same day that i did not go shopping so, again, color matching is hit and miss but I am undeterred.

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So, I hope to add some instructions someday on how to do it. Ill at least be more technical with my next book cover post, if not also include all the appropriate photos of the different stages during the process. I have lots of other ideas for these – not just with embellishing, but maybe latches, handles, pockets? I foresee many trials in my future.