Monday, July 09, 2007

How to make a reversible journal cover

Part 1: Measuring

1) Measure the height of your journal. Add 2cm. We will refer to this measurement as "H".

2) Whilst closed, measure around your journal, from the outside edge of the front cover, around the spine to the outside edge of the back cover. Add 2cm. We will call this measurement "L".


3) Measure how deep you want your cover pockets to be. 3/4 of the cover width or more is good. Then add 1cm to this measurement and double it. We will call this measurement "P". (eg: if your pocket depth is 12cm, then P = 13*2 = 26).


Part 2: Cutting

4) Cut your cover and lining fabrics, both the same size - H x L.


5) Cut your pocket fabric, two pieces, both H x P. Once cut, fold each piece in half widthways, with the correct side of the fabric facing outwards.


Part 3: Stitching

6) Lay the 4 pieces of fabric on top of one another and pin together like this:




7) Sew each of the sides of the cover and lining fabrics to the adjacent side of the pocket fabric, leaving a gap in the middle of one of the sides. I use an overlocker and trim about 2mm off the edge as I go. If you are sewing with an ordinary machine then stitch about 7mm in from the edge.


8) Lay the pieces down flat again, and then sew across the top and bottom. You should be sewing through the cover, lining and two layers of the pocket fabric each time:

9) Now for the moment of truth! Turn the whole thing right side out, through the hole you left in the side. You should be able to turn it out two different ways - either with the lining fabric tucked into the pockets, or with the cover fabric tucked into the pockets. This makes the cover completely reversible.

10) Finish it off by stitching up the hole, and ironing flat. Voila:



So there you go! Pretty easy, really. Would love to hear any suggestions if anyone has them! Personally I'd like to find a way to get the corners sharper so they're not so rounded, but I can't seem to poke them out enough. Must be something to do with the way it's all stitched together...

72 comments:

.freckled.nest. said...

Fancy tutorial diagrams! Very nice, thanks for sharing!! :)
Maybe for the corners, use a bone folder (once it's reversed) and thru the open hole, stick in your hand w/ bone folder and poke the corners a bit. This works great as long as the corners are stitched overlapping/no gap.
:) Leigh-Ann

Melanie said...

I was wondering about the construction of this since your post the other day. Very clever! Thankyou for the wonderful tute, I'm definitely making one of these :)

futuregirl said...

It looks like such a simple solution once you write it all out, but it would have taken me ages to come up with it. It's genius! :)

Patricia said...

Ooh! I'm going to have to try this. Thanks! :)

MJ said...

Great idea and beautiful illustration! Thanks for posting this

paper-and-string said...

fantastic!
i'm going to try this soon, I have a billion things on my to-do list but I might sneak this one in a the top "now, what's next on the list...hhmmm...a book cover, yippee!!" and I will let you know about the corners too :-)
thanks for sharing xxx

planetjune said...

Ooh, great tutorial, thanks for explaining it all so clearly :)
And by the way, I was admiring the rounded corners - I thought they were a design feature!

kwoozy said...

cool diagrams!
when i do corners, i snip them off. but sometimes i snipped too much and it doesn't hold. heheh..

kate1976 said...

I can't wait to give this a go. It combines my two favourite things - crafting and stationery! Thank you for sharing the tutorial. I am looking forward to reading more of your blog now I have found it (via Create).

Becka said...

Oh that is so wonderful you shared the tutorial with us all. Thanks. A really nice idea. Especially when you have a journal you might not like the look of. Thanks.

Blaize said...

Beautiful project and a great tutorial.

I, too, thought the rounded corners were a feature! My mom always used a chopstick to push out the corners of things like stuffed animals. As a kid, I thought it was funny.

nicole lecht said...

you go with your bad self!!!!!!

Anna said...

Clip across the corners, this will make them sharper. Great diagrams!
Anna

Tally said...

Thanks for this great tutorial. I plan to get around sewing your bookcover during the next weeks.
I admire how you put those drawings together.
Lovely fabric!

Hello from Hamburg
:-Tally-:

Hollabee said...

Great tute! I can't wait to start with this one, absolutely love it.
Greetz,
Bianca

Gracie said...

Wow thats great! Thanks for the tutorial.
I've been a lurker on here. =)

dandelion blu said...

ooooohhh!
So glad I found your blog!

Steph said...

Hi Lara,
Just came across your blog and wanted to let you know that I love your fabrics, and my mum would too (textiles teacher and avid sewer!) Where is your fabric stocked - I would like to see it and perhaps buy some. We are about to make a large bag for my travels and I want it to be unique.
Thanks and have a lovely day!
Steph :)

debra cooper said...

Thanks for the great tutorial. Your fabrics are gorgeous!! I've been wanting to make a cover for my art journal--but I'm going to have to get some of your fabric first. It just looks too good!

Molly Irwin said...

Maybe try a bone folder to get the corners tighter.

Mymsie said...

Thanks for the great tutorial! Here's my first try.

Diane said...

thanks for this tute! i've been wanting to cover my 'spesh ideas notebook' w/ fabric but haven't been sure how to do it, so finding this was just perfect =}

downstairs Designs said...

For sharper corners, you first snip the corner tip off, a cm or so out from the stiched corner. (Ok, this is hard to explain without a picture) Then on each side, trim a long sloping bit, imagine a ramp, maybe? It ends up looking like a squared curve. Basically, you are just removing the bulk of fabric from the corner.

I used to use a bone folder, but it is very easy to put it through the stiches. I use blunt ended chopsticks now, and they work perfectly.

The rounding happens simply because of the amount of fabric you still have in there- remove it, sharp corners.

Love your fabrics, still can't cut into any of mine!

Waldeck Dry Goods said...

Thanks for posting this. I'm glad I didn't have to figure it out by myself! I made a cover for my planner last night (you can see it on my blog), and there are more in the works for some back-to-school presents!

ali c said...

Total Genius!
Love the design - would never have thought of it by myself!

craftyclaire said...

What a great tutorial, thank you for sharing

ldahospud said...

Wow, great blog and a fun tutorial that is written so clearly! I appreciate the photos and drawings, as well--I'm a very visual person. I'm so glad I found your blog and I look forward to more!

theresa said...

looks fantastic!
my respect, i would never had this idea! thx

So So said...

Hi Kirin ! Just to say thank you for your tutorial. I have made 5 book covers as gifts for friends & family. One (with the mistake in it)I am keeping for myself.I have made them as paperback book covers.And your reversible instructions ahve alowed me the time to included a bookmark. (The one i have kept the bookmark does not work for both sides) i have also put on a button and used a thin coloured elastic (hair elastic from superdrug)to allow the bookcover to be closed.I was wondering if you would like me to post the pictures on flickr or here.Also I was wanting to make a box of things like this to give to fundraisers. Witht eh idea tha they give me what is left and i would replenish stocks and the next charity would get them and so on.Of course I feel I must insisit that they charge what I put on them. How often do we made things and non sewers/crafters let them go for pennies. I am also going to enter them in teh patternreview contest. All credits to you naturally.Thanks you so much.

AnnaDrai said...

Thanks for this great tutorial! I like your blog and your style
Thanks again from Italy!
Anna

Sarah C said...

Fantastic! I have just made my first journal cover for an ugly generic school magazine holder for my daughter - a school requirement. Now she will have a cover designed especially for her which can be reversed....
Your tutorial was very easy to follow and I had no troubles with any of it - except I probrably should have whip stiched the opening closed rather than machine..
Thanks I look forward to another tut.
I willpost pics on my blog over the next few days.
:)

Frau Traumberg said...

It really works and it's so simple once you tried it!

Great tute, nice diagrams, thank you so much!

Greetings from Germany,

Tanja
:-)

LL said...

I've searched so long for a zippered portfolio pattern to put the retro back into the dull black corporate world of Melbourne Oz, so thank you for this!

Nancy said...

I read a tip somewhere once for sharper corners. Stitch to the point, take 1 diagonal stitch across the point and THEN turn and continue down the other side. The one extra stitch there allows for that bit of fabric left when you trim off the corneres and turn. I've tried it and it does seem to help make more pointy corners. Great tutorial! Thanks! Nancy

troublemaker25 said...

i love that ....


its so cool

i wanna try it..

Natalija said...

Very clearly written and thank you for those diagrams. Those are worth 1000 words.

K said...

I used your tutorial to sew my very first project, and it turned out beautifully. The rounded corners are perfect for the standard-issue calendar that my office hands out every year. Thanks!

sana said...

a thousand thanks for this tutorial! i modified your idea a little bit, but your pics helped soooooo much of getting a first idea of what to do... have a look: http://mycopyshop.wordpress.com/2009/02/11/books-again/ ;)

Sharon said...

Great tutorial! No questions at all...it was well explained! You can check mine out at www.mamasamess.blogspot.com Thanks so much! :)

Danielle said...

I love this! Once again, kudos to your genius (I know it's been said a lot on these posts, but once more won't hurt!) Thank you thank you THANK YOU!

Funny thing is, I couldn't quite visualize how it would be reversible until I actually made it. Awesome instructions, very clear even for a novice seamstress like me :)

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Haven´t I said THANK YOU for this?? shame on me!! I´m going to try it out soon, thanks!!!!!

yellowwarbler said...

That is genius! And so wonderful of you to share this tutorial.

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Totally Stitched Up said...

I love your tutorial and am responding to the 'sharper corners' enquiry. If you google 'Once Upon A Time Pillow' you find Nancy's special technique on a pdf file. I hope this helps.

Caros Taschen said...

Thank you for this tutorial!

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Gathered said...

Thank you so much! The only book cover tutorial I've found which I can follow and which turns out great. Your images are hugely helpful. Thanks for sharing your cleverness.

dillee::dallee said...

I loved making this! Thanks for posting such a great tutorial. Check out the one I made!

abbie at play said...

wow this looks great!!! can't wait to try it!

Julia said...

Awesome instructions - so very clever. I now want to rush out and find some fabrics and try it.
Someone suggest adding a bookmark - I guess like a thin ribbon sewn into the top centre?
I would also try sewing a piece of elastic from top to bottom at Step 7 - positioned toward the outer edge - this could help hold it shut.
Thank you so much for your generosity with the pattern and instructions

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JenMeister said...

Thanks for this, I saw a journal made like this recently and wondered how it was done. Lovely diagrams too.

Anonymous said...

This is brilliant! I added some embellishments ( a couple of ducks) and it worked beautifully. I'm not sure how it happened but the end result is amazing. Thanks so much for sharing it.

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I was wondering about the construction of this since your post the other day. Very clever! Thankyou for the wonderful tute, I'm definitely making one of these :)

Brandy said...

This was so easy and awesome! I will be making many for Christmas presents! I had no problems with the corner issue. I clipped before turning. Thanks for the great directions!

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Seelenschwester said...

Thank you, this is awesome - tried it last week - wonderfull description! Thank you so much (have a look at my blog, there you can see the cover)!

Laura said...

Thank you for such an easy project. I have made a few book covers before but none reversible or quite as simple as this. I wish I'd found this tut first.

Midwife17 said...

I did my first and it's awesome. I was really scared, if that would be working. but it fits pefectly!
Thanks so much!
Nicole

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Erica-Jane said...

This is my favorite tutorial on the Internet. I,have used it many times and it is just wonderful. Thank you

Molly said...

Thanks so much for helping a new sewer make a cute Christmas gift. Great directions. Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

What a amazing tutorial. I have made a few diary covers and I so thrilled with result. THANK YOU

min said...

Thank you for this beautiful (with easy to understand diagram to boot!) tutorial. I've been searching for one for my friend as his wedding present. Since both of them are in professional area and they're bound to have one journal at hand and I'm just a college student with no money, I thought this would be a lovely wedding gift. I'm going to try it out later and maybe make a few adjustment (is that ok?) but I'll post to you the result after I finish it. Thanks again :)

Anonymous said...

Great tutorial. Thank you so much for the details.

Tamra said...

HiRegina!
To get my corners to appear square I actually make a few diagonal stitches at the corners. 2-4 stitches depending on the thickness. It really helps the corners look square. I cannot do a drawing but I hope this makes sense to you.
Tamra P.S. Great tutorial and designs!!

mylittlecorner said...

Just wanted to thank you for your lovely pattern for a notebook cover ... it was so easy to make and I LOVE those type of sewing projects. I have made two for gifts this year ... take a look at my blog if you like ... you did of course get credit for a wonderful design.... many many thanks. I am glad that I stumbled accross your blog. xxx Charlotte.