Saturday, January 30, 2010

Want to have a go at this?

When I was in London I bought a bag of scrap papers from Faulkiners. This week I decided to put some of them into a small sketchbook. If you would like to have a go at this project here is how I did it. It’s not meant to be perfect.

1.Find a piece of fabric from your stash, mine is batiked and painted graffiti style ala Alisa Burke. It has been on my wall sometime. You can use any piece which has some marks you think would encourage stitching.
2.Find a variety of papers and measure the size of cover needed. Mine is about 13 x 7 1/2inches.You will need a sympathetic backing fabric and a piece of wadding.
3.Make a sandwich of the fabrics with the wrong sides together and machine; leave a small gap for turning. Clip the seams. Turn to the right side and push out the corners with something pointed but blunt, like a knitting needle. Machine the gap closed.
4.I have just rediscovered my cording foot, so I used this to put a line of two threads round the edge and over the part where I had sewn over the gap Just zigzag over a thread if you don’t have the foot. As my fabric is about Questions, I added some not v. good question marks with the cording foot.

5.Decide how you will add stitch. I mainly used blocks of Cretan Stitch to echo the graffiti look. The fabric could be stitched first, but I think it is a sort of organic process that sort of grows as you begin to literally get the feel of the chunky book.

6.I made three holes in my papers and cover and joined the paper with pamphlet stitch. I didn’t worry about the grain of the paper being parallel to the spine, I just went for it. I left the end of the thread on the outside of the cover and tied it; you could add a bead but I decided this would get in the way for using the paper to sketch.

7.Nearly there. Make inner pockets as shown for pens and postcards. I machined mine but for neatness they could be over sewn.
8. I added two leather ‘flaps’ because I also got some leather off cuts in my scrap bag. They could be made of the main fabric.
Now all I need to do is actually use the book!


  1. ..great little tutorial...

    ...and a really useful item too..

    I'll make one for my next holiday!

    Thanks for sharing

    x Chris

  2. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I will be giving this a go.

  3. love this idea

  4. Fabulous fabric cover and great tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

  5. What a great sketchbook!

  6. I have given myself the challenge of making a book a week this year, with the added proviso I can only use whatever materials I have in my stash already, except for buying paper for pages and card for covers. So this is definitely going on my list of books to make. Great tutorial. thanks. Lesley


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