DIY Fabric Notebooks!
I’m excited to share this week’s tutorial by Caila of CailaMade! Caila’s work is always beautiful and this tutorial does not disappoint. I love it on so many levels. It’s a scrap-buster and makes a great project for a quick afternoon sew when you want to make something small. And it’s so giveable! I love practical, handmade gifts, and this project can be tailored to just about anyone depending on the fabric that you use.
Caila is the fourth of my new regular contributors, so you’ll be seeing more of her wonderful work here in the future. Haven’t they been awesome?! I hope you’re just as excited as I am about the new Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! contributors. (Psst…did you know I take submissions for one-time, paid contributors? I do! Submit a proposal today!)
Hello readers of Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! I’m so happy to be here today! I don’t know about you, but I sew about 10 dresses for my daughter for every one item I make myself. I love wearing or carrying around self-made items, so today’s post is part of my effort to spend more time sewing accessories for myself and my friends.
Does that sound like you, too? No fear, these fabric notebooks make a statement and can be used for grocery lists, design sketchbooks, or back-to-school check lists. They are also a great stash-busting project. I use my notebooks all the time!
Below are the instructions for how to sew and bind your own fabric notebook.
- One piece of outer fabric 9″ by 6″ (I especially like to use linen and home dec weight fabrics)
- One piece of lining fabric 9″ by 6″
- One piece of mid-weight fusible interfacing 8.5″ by 5.5″
- A 9″ strip of leather or ribbon measuring 1/4″ wide for the bookmark
- 1 piece of printer paper 8.5″ by 11″ to use as a template
- 12 pieces of printer paper for notebook pages
- Heavy duty or embroidery thread for binding the pages to the notebook cover
- Tapestry needle (or at least a needle that is thick and long)
PREPARE THE NOTEBOOK COVER:
Fold a piece of printer paper so you have a rectangle measuring 8.5″ by 5.5″ and place it on your main fabric. Using a clear ruler, cut around the paper template with an extra 1/4″. Repeat with the lining.
Cut out a piece of interfacing 5.5″ by 8.5″. You should now have your outer piece, lining piece, and interfacing.
Center the interfacing on the outer fabric, leaving 1/4″ of the fabric extending past the edge of the interfacing. Use your iron to fuse these together according to the manufacturers instructions.
Pin the ribbon to the top center of your outer piece.
Turn the cover right side out through the opening, and press well. Make sure to tuck the seam allowances in 1/4″ at the opening.
Edge stitch around the cover as close to the edge as possible. (Tip: to keep a really straight seam, keep your eye on your presser foot rather than the needle. Keep a line on the presser foot lined up with the edge of your fabric as you sew, and go slow if necessary.) This will secure the opening closed and add a nice touch to your notebook cover.
To add a really special touch, use a decorative stitch on your machine to fill in the two lines. (Tip: I suggest practicing the decorative stitches on a scrap piece of fabric first).
Once the decorative stitches are complete, your notebook cover is done! Fold it together so the binding faces out and press well on high heat. The interfacing will hold the notebook in this shape.
Your notebook cover is now finished!
You should now have 8 smaller sheets of paper. Put these together and fold so you have a booklet measuring 5.5″ by 4.5″.
Repeat these steps until you have 3 booklets measuring 5″ by 4″:
Now insert the needle back through the booklet using the second needle hole. Pull it out through the back of the booklet.
Next, insert the needle back into the booklet through the third needle hole and position the booklet in the notebook cover. Make sure the booklet is centered. Make a stitch through the remaining needle hole and push the needle all the way through the journal cover.
Enjoy using it for grocery lists, notes, or giving it away to a friend! These notebooks are perfect for busting that beautiful fabric stash I know you have.
Thanks so much for reading! Please check out my blog, CailaMade, for more sewing projects, inspiration, tutorials, and free patterns. For even more fun, check out my Facebook page or follow me on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Bloglovin‘. I’d love to become friends!
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