leather book cover

This project has been floating around my house for quite some time. Frankly, the idea of sewing leather was scary to me, so I hemmed and hawed a lot, but eventually I got through it! I had a swath of green leather from years ago, waiting for an interesting project so when my friend asked to make a book cover for her to keep records of her weaving endeavors, I decided now was the time.

leather_book_cover_1

I had the feather inspiration from Maureen Cracknell Handmade, and used hers as an outline. My version is intentionally not as delicate as hers with the idea that the chunky-ness would work well with the leather. Now that it is done, I am not so sure, but I would rather not copy someone else’s work exactly anyway.

leather_book_cover_2

My first hang up was cutting the leather itself. See, as I mentioned, this was stored in my closet for years, so it wound up with some creases and wrinkles. Can you iron leather? I am not sure – the internet says yes and no, so I tried a few methods on some scrappy edges and just couldn’t tell if it was working or not. Another problem is the nature of the leather itself – there are parts of it that just do not lay flat because that was not how the leather grew… I did have enough of it where I could cut a fairly flat piece out, so that is what I did (it was not the way I would cut if I was trying to get the most out of my yardage, if you know what I mean!). I will say it cut like butter, though:)

leather_book_cover_3

I used my rectangle hoop to stitch the feather onto the leather after I had embroidered it. I delayed here for a long while also because I was not sure how I wanted to do the outline. I tried a few methods on a scrap piece, and settled on using an outline stitch that I had just properly learned for the Zelda crest mug rug I recently made. I did vary between six and three strands, but you can’t really tell. I am still learning embroidery, you know. Plus, I could not find a hand-sewing leather needle that was straight. Mine was not only gently curved at the tip (a feature I actually fell in love with and will search for embroidery needles of like kind) but also had a 90 degree bend before the eye. That made the motions a bit trickier, as you can imagine.

leather_book_cover_4 leather_book_cover_5

Then, I delayed even longer yet because I was not sure my machine would appreciate sewing through leather. I did buy heavy duty needles, but since they did not specifically state “for use with leather”, nor did they have a cutting shape to their point, I was concerned – but it was all I could find at the store. Lucky for me, my leather was very thin and supple, so as long as I went slowly over where the leather was folded, it sewed great! I used my little clothespins to hold the layers together. Since both the leather and fabric was thin, I used a heavy-weight stabilizer to make it feel sturdy, and a brown ribbon for the marker.

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I used my quick & dirty method so I only had to sew two straight lines, adjusting for the size of the notebook obviously. I only chose this method because I didn’t want to put my machine through any more torture than necessary.

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I included a standard composition book; in the event she fills one up and needs to add another, it will be easy for her to find a notebook that fits.

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It feels really nice in your hands! The leather gives a nice grip but is so very soft!

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And now, I embark on another hexagon project! Yay! This was the first time I have ever cut squares in bulk – I felt like a quilter. While cutting, I asked myself if I would like to quilt yet – my family all does it so maybe I should join them. But the idea of having to cut more than this tiny stack (which felt monstrous while cutting) still has me holding off on that venture… for now.

fabric_stack

SMS Giveaway!

Boy worked his database magic – and our winner is:

mysql> select * from wp_comments where comment_post_ID = 3668 and comment_approved = 1 order by rand() limit 1;

+————–+—————————-+————————————————-+

| BreannaS  | 2014-12-08 21:57:08 | My favorite crafty site is ravelry.com |

+————–+—————————-+————————————————–+

A big thank you for everyone who played along and supported us crafters out there:D

giveawaydaydec8

Hello old and new!

My, my, it has been a long while since I had a chance to participate in Sew Mama Sew‘s mega-awesome giveaway day (which is now actually a week!).

fabric_bookcover_SMS__giveaway_Dec2014_3

Here’s what you can win: a handmade book cover for a standard U.S. mass market paperback book (which is not the same as a larger trade paperback book, and might even vary between countries for all I know).

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This particular cover is shown with a 560 page book, for what it’s worth, but I pretty much use these book covers on all my novels without issue, and the page count varies quite a lot!

fabric_bookcover_SMS__giveaway_Dec2014_4

It has a bird print cotton fabric, with a snazzy brown fabric  (I am no fabric expert and it was gifted to me), and a sweet little green ribbon. The bookmark is a yellow ribbon sporting a found bauble (a big red bead). The inner lining is a brown, green, and blue polka-dot print on cotton, and the cover is double-lined with a medium weight interfacing to give it a nice sturdy feel as it hugs your favorite book.

fabric_bookcover_SMS__giveaway_Dec2014_2

This giveaway is open to anyone in the whole world until Friday 12/12/14 at midnight CST (GMT -6)! To enter, simply leave a single comment and share your favorite crafty website (and yes, it could be your own! Be proud, yo!). Make sure to also include a way to contact you. Follow these two rules and you’re in. Winners will be chosen randomly and contacted by Sunday 12/14/14 and the cover will ship out by Tuesday 12/16/14.

Good luck everyone :D

Fabric book cover

My friend Angela gifted me a lot of unique fabric swatches that are just the right size for fabric book covers. I chose a faux alligator leather because I wanted it to be not feminine, which is kind of hard to do in the world of crafting, you know? The fabric was polypropylene, which melts at high temperatures (so I could not iron it), and using water did not help either (or a blow dryer), so making this one was a little trickier than usual. I opted to press it under a load of books until I gave it to my dad. Also, dare I mention that somehow I sewed the bookmark on the front cover instead of the back? After cursing at myself (one-of-a-kind fabric, you see) I decided that maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing since he is left-handed. Tofer, another lefty, said it would work. Phew.
Faux alligator leather book cover
Faux alligator leather book cover

Fabric Book Cover Tutorial

So…can you sew a straight line? Sew it six times and you’ll be on your way to reading in style! In fact, the Quick & Dirty version only uses two lines of stitching! I mean, does it get any easier than that? Download theCrafties Fabric Book Cover Tutorial, or continue reading:)
Fabric Book Cover Fabric book covers are awesome – they protect your pages, hide your saucy titles, feel great on your hands, and look super. Make one for you or a gift for someone special – even guys can dig a smart black cover. But don’t stop there! Get creative – embroidery, embellish with beads, applique, whatever floats your boat. But be sure to add it to the Flickr Pool and share it with all of us :D It’s super easy to make, and what else is cool about it? The seams are hidden so it’s very clean looking!

I will show you how to make a book cover for a standard mass market paperback (tradeback books are a different size!). There are also directions at the end for the Quick & Dirty version.

You’ll need:

  • Fabric (nothing stretchy – I prefer corduroys, linens, and soft canvas myself)
  • Interfacing (I use medium or heavy weight, depending on how flimsy my fabric choice is)
  • Ribbon (width is up to you and the ridged kind is great – oh! and a bauble if you like)
  • Fabric glue (optional – see Step Two)
  • Fabric marker

STEP ONE : Cutting

Fabric Book Cover

Outside Cover: Cut out a piece of fabric and interfacing measuring 18 1/2 x 7 3/4 inches
*Note: Super thick or super thin books may need adjustments in the length of the cover, but this is good for roughly 200-500 pages.
Inner Lining: Cut out a piece of fabric and interfacing measuring 10 1/4 x 7 3/4 inches
Bookmark: Cut a piece of ribbon 19 inches long

STEP TWO: Bookmark

Fabric Book Cover

Finger press the ribbon in half.

Fabric Book Cover

Attach your bauble – I slip on a circle shell bead, but you can sew a button on the end, or leave it bare, or whatever you can think of.

Fabric Book Cover

Pin the end of the ribbon (I found that miniature clothes pins work great for various sewing projects!). This will help keep the ribbon in line when you proceed to the next step.

Fabric Book Cover Optional: Use fabric glue along the ribbon to secure the sides together (put a piece of scrap paper underneath!). Another option is to sew it, but I found that too tricky. Of course, you could also cut the length in half instead of doubling up and skip this part altogether.

STEP THREE: Fabric and interfacing

Fabric Book Cover

Lay each interfacing on top of the Cover and the Lining.

Fabric Book Cover

Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew the two short sides of both the Cover and the Lining. You know what else is cool? It does not matter what color thread you use because you’ll never see it:)

Fabric Book Cover

Reverse both the Cover and the Lining. But see how its real loosey-goosey?

Fabric Book Cover

Introduce your iron to the problem and voila!

Fabric Book Cover

Here is the point where you can add embellishments – ideas: embroidery, buttons, applique, fabric flowers – try something out! I added a simple ribbon at the middle of the Cover along where the book binding will be.

If you decide to do something on just the front cover, measure where the center is and then measure from that point (towards the right): half of the depth of your book, and draw a line. This will be the left side of the front cover. Then measure from that point over by the width of your book and that will be the right side of your cover. Also remember to stay within the seam allowance along the top and bottom.

STEP FOUR: Folding

Fabric Book Cover

Lay the Cover face down. Measuring from both edges, mark 1 3/4 inches. The mark itself will roughly give you 1/8 of an inch for the fold allowance, so you’ll then want to move your ruler and mark 2 inches in from that. Do not worry about the 3 1/2 mark yet.

Fabric Book Cover

Flip the Cover over and fold both sides in at the 2 inch mark.

Fabric Book Cover

Fold the sides back over themselves at the 1 3/4 inch mark. Have a go with the iron again. Now is the time to mark the 3 1/2 mark at the top, only on the left side (this will be for placing the book mark).

Fabric Book Cover

Pin your bookmark centered over the 3 1/2 mark. Be sure to leave 1/4 of an inch poking passed the cover just to be extra sure it gets sewn in well during the next step.

Fabric Book Cover

**This is really important!!** Make sure that you twist your bookmark out to the side because if you don’t, and you leave it poking down at the bottom, you will sew it into the cover and curse yourself as you rip the seams out! Trust me!

Fabric Book Cover

Lay the Lining facedown on top of the folded Cover. Make sure you see that bookmark poked out of the side, gosh darnit!

STEP FIVE: Sew it up!

Fabric Book Cover

Along the top and bottom, sew with 1/4 seam allowance.

Fabric Book Cover

Clip the corners and the 1/4 tab left from the bookmark.

STEP SIX: Flip it out!

Fabric Book Cover

Reverse the cover.

Fabric Book Cover

Reverse the pockets.

Fabric Book Cover

Use your finger to poke the corners nicely and then iron the sucker out.

Fabric Book Cover

ENJOY!

Fabric Book Cover

I would love for you to add your photos to theCrafties Fabric Book Cover Pool, or leave a comment here, or send an email. Photos are awesome but so are any issues you had when making the cover. I’d be glad to work out quirks!

Fabric Book Cover

QUICK AND DIRTY:

The Q&R version omits the interfacing and is best with thicker fabrics because thinner ones will feel flimsy and cheap (and may even be see-through!). Because of that, the side edges are raw but this really doesn’t matter since they ultimately end up in the very inside of the cover.

  • Reduce the Length of both the Cover and Lining by 1/2 inch.
  • Skip the talk about cutting out interfacing, and the part about sewing the interfacing to the fabric in STEP THREE.
  • Follow all the other steps.

Quick, huh? :)

Do tell me if you enjoyed this, won’t you? And please remember to add your photos to theCrafties Fabric Book Cover Pool! :D

more fabric book covers

All the winners responded, so the covers were mailed on Tuesday from NYC. We are back home now, and I’ll be catching up a few things then I will post the tutorial! :D

Meanwhile, I had made an additional cover as a present:
fabric book cover
fabric book cover Then I also made a trade back size cover. Which incidentally seemed way more popular on the subways in NYC than mass market books, so perhaps I should give some of those away in the future, eh?
fabric book cover
fabric book coverWhat do you think – are mass market books or tradeback books more popular? Or is it that I should be making eBook covers instead?

SMS Giveaway Day!

************Comments are now closed!!************

I will tally it up and then post the winners soon! :D

Thank you guys so much for your interest :D

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This week begins Sew Mama Sew’s May Giveaway Day, and I am happy to once again participate!

This round, I am giving away 4 book covers which fit the standard Mass Market size paperbacks. You know, the short fat ones that are about 4.25 x 6.75 inches.

Cute & Colorful

fabric book cover giveaway
fabric book cover giveaway

Old-Timey

fabric book cover giveaway
fabric book cover giveaway

Clean & Preppy

fabric book cover giveaway
fabric book cover giveaway

Embroidery Experiment

fabric book cover giveaway
fabric book cover giveaway

The first (and thus far only other) time I participated, I had asked for everyone’s favorite author or book. The literary winner was Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice for those interested.

I had also asked the winners last time to give me their thoughts on the product since I was still working out the pattern. Since then, I have worked it out and am now at the stage of experimenting with the embellishments. If only there were more weekends in the week, eh?

This round all I ask from you is to be kind and only leave one comment. Please include:

  • What character would you love to meet in real life and why?
    (Name the book and author of course;)
  • Which cover would you prefer?
    (Although in the case of ties, I will choose randomly.)
  • Your email address
    (It is ok to disguise it such as:  calynn ((at)) thecrafties ((dot)) com)

Side note: If you are having trouble finding the Comments link (look up top, under the date), then click on the title and scroll to the bottom. (This theme still has a few quirks, and for that I apologize.) Comments are moderated so it may take a while for yours to appear, what with work and a NYC trip and all, but they will be tallied in order, this I promise you:)

Comments will be closed around midnight Eastern time on Wednesday, May 25th. The four international winners will be chosen at random and I will ship the covers out by the end of the month. I will email each at the close of the giveaway for the mailing information but if I do not hear from them by Saturday, May 28th, I will select another random winner instead.

Also, check back soon after the winners have been announced for the tutorial! Yes, finally! :D

Good luck and huzzah!

things on my table

I am sure you have been expecting pictures of my new kitchen but it has been really hectic here. Not only is there still much to be done with it, but Boy also has moved his company to a new location so that has taken a higher priority of our time. I will leave you with this tease though:

kitchen remodel wip

I also began scrapping again since I recovered my craft room. I posted all the pages I have made in my personal book, but I have yet to show you my Peru scrapbook. I started it shortly after my return in 2007, and school got crazy so I never finished. This is a shot of me trying to work out the layouts for the day trip to the national museum in Lima:

Peru scrapbook wip

I also need to get in gear if I want to participate for the Sew Mama Sew giveaway, hopefully coming up in May. I’ve had so many ideas for covers but it is time to start working them through. This isn’t intended to become a cover, more like an idea board of options while I work through the problems and creative process and await my nice wool felt shipment. (I just may have purchased the dream bundle at WoolFeltCentral, ooo la la!)

bookcover ideas

And have you ever heard of 31bits? Apparently there are a few companies out there doing something similar but I must say this one rocks – anthropology for the win! One of the founders is a cultural anthropologist who saw these Ugandan women, having survived and been displaced from the civil wars, making paper beads and jewelry but with little market in which to sell. 31bits was developed as a way to give them a client base and therefore a way support themselves and their families. Unlike other “parties” out there, this one is neat and simple – you get a box of goods, you sell what’s in the box directly to your friends, and you ship back what didn’t sell. No overhead of shipping, waiting, or returns. No obligation to try to get to a certain price-point to get discounts. Just an honest transfer from their hands to yours. I’m not much of a jewelry gal but Boy felt the urge to buy me this bracelet:

31bits jewelry

(Oh, that background? Well, one day I must tell you of the gorgeous quilting my Aunt Sandy does – in fact if she is reading this, she should really consider having a website to show case her work!)

crafting!

While my house may be under construction, i have squeezed in some artsy time. Im working on a super secret project that i cant post about until after a wedding, but its coming up so I thought id put a shout out there to watch for it.

What i can share with you is this super sized bookcover. I will eventually post patterns but they arent ready yet so chill out there, cowgirls. Patience is a virtue:) I am happy that now Ill be able to offer two sizes : the standard “mass market paperback” size and the standardish larger “trade paperback” size such as this one:

Purple Butterfly, a la Heidi Grace
Felt and Embroidery (Chain stitch and back stitch)

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Check out size descriptions here: Wikipedia Paperback Types

experiments

I havent been crafting as much as Id like to lately, but ive been doing some much needed things around the house so i forgive myself. I have been playing with some ideas though and learning more embroidery. This is my sample so far (candidate for worst photo on thecrafties thus far):

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The first few stitches can be seen in detail here. So far I have learned something like 24 techniques. Here are the latest ones, so you can see them better:

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Huh, maybe i shoulda pulled out the iron for that. But anywho. I also worked a bit more on this thread art experiment thingamabob. I decided it should go vertical. Im still pondering on how to fill in the empty space up top, as you can see.

embroidery_flowers

And I made this bookcover a while ago, but I hadnt posted about it. I made a fabric flower for the detail by somewhat following a How-Tuesday post at Etsy. I havent decided yet if I will stitch the leaves up at all, and this is the first cover I made with a fabric glue on the page marker. I like the way it turned out but Im not sure if the marker is too stiff now. The book I am currently reading isnt the right size to give it a go so the jury is out on that at the moment.

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Giveaway Day!

I felt compelled to participate in Sew Mama Sew‘s May Giveaway Day this year. You may remember me mentioning it once upon a time when i randomly stumbled upon the glory that is is. I urge you all to check out the other bloggers participating this round, after commenting for your chance to win here, of course;)

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For those of you just joining me, one of the things I enjoy making is bookcovers. So far, they are only sized for the average softcover novel (for your reference, I used the same book in all of these photos and it has 814 pages – works great on shorter novels too!). You can see some of the other ones I made here. I would love to post my pattern but after much thought I have decided that I need to work out all the kinks and I am hoping that this opportunity provided by Sew Mama Sew will allow that.

Therefore, I have decided to take a different approach to this giveaway.

I have five book covers chosen, but I do not consider them completed projects. Instead, I consider them prototypes, but in truth I cant read that many books quick enough to see what the hangups are. So i am enlisting your help by kindly requesting that if you win, you report back to me with any and all your thoughts.

So here goes: the five different bookcovers, one of which very well might make it into your own hands! (Oh, not a reader yourself? Well surely you know someone who is!)

BUTTERFLY #1

bookcover_butterfly_no1

This cover sports lightweight interfacing and lightweight (narrow wale) corduroy. One of the first covers I made, using my 2stitch method (see below for details). It also has a looped ribbon page marker, secured to a round shell bead. One butterfly on the front has been embroidered in a simple fashion.

BUTTERFLY #2

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Identical to the first butterfly cover with two changes: A bit more stitching to secure the shell bead on the page marker and more elaborate stitching for one butterfly on the front of the cover.

BUTTERFLY #3

bookcover_butterfly_no3

This cover is just like the first two except that the page marker sports sequins and beads which match the embellishment of one of the butterflies on the front cover.

SIMPLE GREY

bookcover_simple_grey

This cover was made from a lightweight (narrow wale) corduroy with tiny embroidered flowers on it (i bought it that way), and lightweight interfacing. However, it was put together with my 4stitch method (see below for details). The page marker is a single ribbon (not looped) and does not have a finishing touch (although I did add some fray-check) – feel free to customize it with your favorite bead or button! :)

SPRING COTTON

bookcover_spring_cotton

This is the first cover I have made using quilters cotton rather than something thicker. I used a combination of lightweight and heavyweight interfacing to give it the sturdiness I feel comfortable with. It sports a few sequins and beads on the cover and spine. It also was made with my 4 stitch method. Like the Simple Grey, its page marker is unlooped and left undone (topped off with fray-check only – leave plain or add your own special touch!).

The difference between my 2 stitch and 4 stitch is simple. 2 stitch bookcovers have unfinished (raw) edges hiding under the flaps. 4 stitch bookcovers have finished edges under the flap. Both ways work quite fine for the purpose of a bookcover, and when I finally post the pattern, both options will be noted. I have simply decided that I like the extra two lines of stitching more.

bookcover_2_stitchbookcover_4_stitch

And now you know what Im offering, so let the fun begin!

Five random winners from anywhere in the world will be selected from those who follow these rules:

1. Please be kind and enter only once

2. Tell me your favorite book of all time or favorite author (and anything else youd like to say;)

3. You must include a way for me to contact you

4. By commenting, you agree to provide me feedback on your thoughts and how well the cover endures (and also to not steal the pattern for commercial use!) Simple things like : Did the stitching hold? Was the interfacing too stiff? Did anything about it annoy you? Etc etc. Honest answers for an honest crafter.

This giveaway is open until 11:59pm central time on May 20th and I will ship internationally so anyone can participate. I will then select five commenters randomly and announce the winners and ship the prizes by May 24th. I moderate comments (shame on spammers!), so dont worry if you do not see them post right away – they will still post in the order commented:)

Good luck and huzzah! :D

WIPs

Here are some sneak peeks of current projects. All of these will be bags and the fabric was (mostly) chosen by the future bag owners. The patterns are cut out, but I need to start sewing the pieces together. I had a bit of a crafting lull for a while when the last bag i made just didnt turn out right. But the good news is that (i think) I know what i did wrong so hopefully it wont happen again.

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I also have made more book covers and am working on the March toy for my neice (yep, im running late). I havent taken photos of those because a) the lighting is really horrendous but the weather  seems to be finally breaking so maybe that will no longer be an issue and b) i was waiting for my new craft table, which i finally got put together last night! I got it from Macys for half off, but they are already discontinuing it so good luck trying to find one.

craft_table_counter_height

It is awesome because its very deep, but not long enough to be too large for the room, and my favorite part – it is counter height! I could have been crafting all morning with it, but since the weather is actually nice i was cleaning out the garage and i took the girls for a stroll while i dreamed all the changes i wanted to make on the outside of the house. I might not start crafting yet still, because now the whole set up of my craft room has been upset and it needs to be reorganized. Good times!

crafty catch-up

One of the projects I made since losing my usb cable is Ruar, the Starfish. I used some gifted fabric and felt, did a little embroidery with french knots and fern stitching, and sewed and stuffed. My neice loved it, as it was small and fit in her hands and mouth:) I got the pattern from futuregirl, from her super cute sea creatures set. Since i committed myself to one toy a month for the year, you can expect to see other creatures from her set here in the future.

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Another project I made was a very belated project – a purse for my sis-in-law kt. I was a little nervous at how small it came out but shes into small purses so it was a perfect choice for her afterall. Phew. I also learned how to do one of the fancy stitches on my sewing machine. I still need way more practice with that, but I was really excited about it! I got this pattern from Made By Rae. Its her internetly famous buttercup bag pattern.

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I also made a a little monster for my friends daughter as a birthday present. I had fun personalizing it for her from RevoluzZza’s How to sew a RevoluzZzionary monster tutorial.

felt_toy_monster2felt_toy_monster1

This is the first bookcover made with my new process. Im very proud of it because it has a much more quality feel to it but its just so easy. I took some pics for a tutorial, but the light was poor (much like most of my photos) so I am going to sit down tomorrow and make a better effort. Hopefully, fingers crossed, ill have the tute up soon.

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There is still one more project to talk about, but Ill save that for tomorrow. Good night and dont forget to change your clocks!

photo dump

I got my new memory card reader, yay! So as promised, here you go:

I took Sasha out in the snow. The coldness didnt bother her, but the depth of the snow did, so she stayed near the house.

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Maya checked out Tofers new bookcases.

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The evil damage caused by an even more evil pothole…

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Experimentation with different styles and fabrics for bookcovers. I finally got the pattern and specifics worked out. I am out of practice mode, and they look really great (much better than these below). Check back soon for a tutorial!

bookcovers_tests

Some birthday cards I made, using my Cricut and the Wild Card cartridge.

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This weekend, ill post more on the other crafts I made.

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!

bookcovers_favorite2

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.

bookcovers_favorite3bookcovers_favorite1

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.

book covers

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.

a dudes bookcover

I have a quilted bookcover that i picked up at a local arts and crafts show. I love the thing. It helps keep my books in great condition, and even resist dog eared corners and the occasional spill (its just enough to soak up the wetness while i whip the book out of its cover). Plus, the bookmark always stays put, and as a friend once pointed out to me – it allows privacy of the book you are reading so people cant make judgement calls. (Do people do that??)

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I wanted to try my hand at making one because i didnt see any that were embellished. Im thinking embroidery, beads, sequins – whatever. Since i usually dont make anything for myself, i needed a volunteer. Tofer was the obvious choice – we read the same kind of books and i see him like every day so hes who i thought of. But…

Invaraibly, he is a dude. And do dudes want a quilted book cover? Prolly not. He liked the idea of having one, but we agreed it had to be “manly”.

So i picked up a few fat quarters and chose this as his fabric. Black and white – classic, “man” colors, and a pattern that was simple. Now i needed to embellish it, but that very word seems feminine, doesnt it?

I went with “blood red” thread and followed some of the pattern. Two things:

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1. I had to color the pattern so i knew  where i was sewing, but also so that any  stitching gaps werent as obvious. My red  pen turned more pink on the fabric, so  that would be something i would change  if i made this one again but in general, you cant really see it.

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2. This part of the project was done before i had even more practice at embroidery and so I used all kinds of crazy stitches. Were i to do it all over again, i think i would use a chain stitch, and definitely vary the number of threads – by using the same everywhere, it gives it a very flat appearance. Lesson learned.

I didnt have a pattern. I kind of looked on the internet but wasnt quite confident that they matched the cover i owned. So…i winged it. I measured 3 times to cut once, but admit i cut sloppily for the outside piece because i had expected that i overshot the seam allowance more than i actually did. Good news though – i didnt run into any problems! Just had to adjust my sewing to make the edges straight.

So i had two peices of cut fabric and therefore a dilemma: My purchased cover was quilted, but i felt that would take away from the pattern and dudelyness of it. I could tack it with small stitches here and there, but again, i was worried that wouldnt be a good move. So i called my psuedo mom and she suggested finding a kind of hem tape. One Joanns trip later, I had Stitch Witchery to work with.

Since I wasnt sure how stiff it would become, i only used it in three strips – one for each flap that would get folded over, and one down the spine, where the embroidery was. It was an incredibly easy process, and was only barely stiffer than the fabric – i assume after a wash or two, you wont even be able to tell. BUT… somehow part of my fabric yellowed a bit. I tried to figure out what caused it: (a) i had already washed the fabric, so it wasnt any kind of bleeding from using a damp cloth with the stitch witchery (b) if it was caused by the stich witchery, it would have been in a different place, and at each strip (c) i used the same amount of time on each place, so it could also not be from too much heat from the iron. I am still at a loss at how it happened (though i am leaning on that it just must be from the heat of the iron), but Tof thinks its not noticeable and its his cover so Im good with it.

The last detail is the bookmark. A simple black ribbon sewn at the center of the top. Chris really digs dragons, so i searched Etsy and found artdawgs. The size of this pendant seemed good, and the colors were perfect. (It was also my first Etsy purchase, hooray!).

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The token had a tiny little hole and the larger black ribbon didnt fit through it well. I improvised and sewed a smaller black ribbon along it. The first time was purely by machine, and it got crinkly. I used a zigzag stitch at 3 with length 4.

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The second time, i stitched it by hand in long stitches, just so that when i used the machine, i wouldnt have to pull it left or right to keep the little ribbon center, which probably caused the crinkle.

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It lies pretty much flat, so it worked! I did change the stitch length to 2 though, and it gave a really sturdy feel to the bookmark.

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So, without any further adieu – voila!

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etsy package

I got my first etsy order the other day. I needed it for the bookmark of the bookcover I am making. (The soon to be owner likes dragons.) Once i get it all attached, Ill post about it. The stick pin is for reference size – i think it will be a good fit!

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I ordered it from ArtDawgs Studio. I like their packaging – they have dogs everywhere! AND they sent biodegradable bubble wrap and recycled packaging. My kind of people! :D

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Sneak peek on another project, long overdue:

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I hope to get both projects done and posted by Monday! (Dont hold your breath though;)