Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Fabric journal and a new creative space, hurray!

Hiya - sorry I have been absent, but only because I've been cramming soooooo much crafting in recently! Also a little change in my office work hours has rearranged my week slightly but in a good way, and I'm on a roll with my new schedule now :)  

We had a busy weekend as we were rejigging some furniture in our wee house - acquiring some new pieces from a relative and hence moving stuff about and getting rid of other stuff - you know how it goes!  Anyhow, I ended up reclaiming my old family sewing desk from my youngest as he managed to nab a new desk from his Auntie - cool!!  I have now rejigged my crafting area and have finally got a permanent home for my sewing machine - at last :) :)  The sewing table has drawers and everything - deep joy!

I know, there's a lot of c _ _ p under that desk, but I'm getting to it - honest!!  So no more complaining that I don't have a decent work area, because really I do, I just have to tidy it, haha! :)  I have plenty more space round the corner too ;-)  (Disclaimer - I profusely apologize to my extended family for bringing shame on our good name by revealing my messy workspace - sorry!)

The view out of my 'shared' craft room window today is nothing to complain about either though . . .

Anyway, that's that sorted!  No more grumbling about workspace - we're over it already :) :)

Now down to the first 'make' in my new(ish) space - I was scouring the internet at the weekend for tutorials on making fabric covered notebooks or journals.  For some reason the idea of having some little 'tweedie' notebooks for sale at fairs came into my head, so I bought a couple of little blank hardback ones (A7) - very little, but really they were just the job.  I roughly went along with this tutorial here which is really a lovely one and although I'd dismissed following a tutorial blindly it's the one that stuck in my mind when I set to the task.

Here's how it started . . .

I cut out one piece of fabric (tweed) which would cover the notebook all round when closed, leaving a gap of about 0.75 cm or thereabouts for the zig-zag edge.  I then cut out some interfacing the same size (heavy weight) and also a piece of kunin felt which I use a lot in my projects.  I've lined my journal with this felt, which differs from the tutorial as it is not lined with fabric, just interfacing.

I then cut out two pieces of kunin felt fabric (you could probably use a quality wool felt as well) the same height as the first piece of fabric but narrow enough to cover about half of the inside of the inner cover of the notebook.  I also cut out interfacing to back these pieces of felt.

Here's what I had ready to sew . . .

One tweed outer cover, lined with interfacing.  One felt lining for outer cover and two inner 'sleeves' for the notebook inner.  I also added a piece of covered elastic (you could use a covered hairband) for closing the notebook.  I added my elastic between the layers, which slightly differs from the tutorial too.

Pinned and ready to stitch, you can see the felt backing (lining) - tweed side down.  On top are the two inner pieces (which have interfacing ironed on the reverse)  and the slotted elastic loop in between the two covers.  Let's get sewing - I used zig-zag and simply sewed all around the outside edges ONLY in one go - simples!  (Remember to overstitch the elastic loop a few times!)

This is how the outside looked like when sewn up - not very exciting I know but . . .

. . . inside, the notebook slotted in perfectly!  Hurray!  The cover is removeable and the only sewing involved was sewing (zig-zag) around the edge of the rectangle, but it worked a charm :)  I'm happy with my journal anyway (I sewed a button on the front, as you can see) . . . 

It feels 'lush' to touch - a couple of these for a craft fair would definitey not go amiss!  If you're like me and do not like to toil unnecessarily over a 'hot and bothered' sewing machine ALL day, this is definitely a method worth trying for a fabric covered notebook.  It does produce a more 'rustic' appearance because of the zig-zag edge, but personally I like the 'rustic' look :) :)

As a quick reminder, I used Moonstitches general idea for the notebook cover but really incorporated my own method of working to produce my own version.  I think it's a fab little tutorial though and all credit goes to her original idea, which I, er tweaked to make it even easier for me to make :) :)  A really nice gift idea I think - have a go, it doesn't take long!  I'm sure you will have your own take on the original tutorial too :)

As a quick add-on, my youngest did cut out my rustic wooden fish and I was very pleased with them - he's promised to cut out more shapes for some pocket money (which I believe he's already spent!) - that boy, hehe :) . . .. the fishy tale continues!

I'll try and show some photos of them all soon, when I get round to downloading them!  So much crafting going on, it's difficult to document it all.   There was some jewelry making on the go last week too, but that had better wait for another post.  I'm off to make another journal - they're such fun!  Cheerio an Drasda :)

Alison xx


Gaia said...

The book cover has a vintage feel to it, very nice. The tweedy fish is cute.

june at noon said...

I *love* the idea of the notebook covers. It's something that everyone can use, so I would think it would be a very practical product to have available, and who wouldn't like it better to have one with a tweedy cover?

Alessandra Poggiagliolmi said...

I approve!!! Very nice the tweedy cover and so useful!!!! One day I'll try doing one!!! I have a little sewing machine from John Lewis, so…. no excuses!!!
Even the fish is adorable!!!
xxxxxx ale

Biba said...

Gorgeous new projects! I love the journal cover, anything tweedy is definitely my cup of tea!

Claire said...

Hey Alison, the notebook cover looks great. Once you've got the hang of it, you'll have lots of fun stitching up all sorts of covers....
Love the fishy with it's tweedy covering and the view from your craft space is wonderful.

Enjoy your weekend,

Claire x