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Topic: sewn journal *tutorial added*  (Read 85107 times)
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« on: August 01, 2004 05:18:07 PM »

I've been making journals lately (but I'm REALLY a seamstress Wink..) and yesterday I decided.. why can't I combine it? So I made this:


I don't know if you can tell, but the cover is corduroy and I just stitched it directly to the cardboard. The pages are bound together with a coptic stitch.

Ok.. here's the tutorial. Show me if you make one Smiley

First: Get your fabric. I started with yellow for the main journal and pink for my accents. You dont have to have accent fabric.. and if youre using a print fabric you might not want one.


Next I cut my base fabric to 16 wide by 13 high so that I would be able to fold it over quite a bit.


Then I cut my cardboard to the right dimensions. This journal is the size of a piece of paper folded in half, plus a tiny bit of edging. (so its 9 tall and 5 3/4 wide). So you cut two pieces for the front and back (with the dimensions I just said) and a spine piece.. this one is however wide you want your journal to be, I made mine 3/4.


Next I laid my cardboard out on my fabric just to get an idea of what I was going to be working with.. As you can see there should be about a 1/4 gap between the front and back pieces and the spine. I then cut out the corners of my yellow fabric so it wont be so bulky in the corners when I sewed it.


Now take off your other two pieces of cardboard (keep the one you cut the corners away for) and after carefully positioning your fabric and cardboard, fold the top edge over and stitch along it. It is much easier to do this with the wrong side up than it is to do it from the front.

(Now, if youre like me, youll stitch your cardboard in to the front only to realize that you put it in the wrong way and you have a pattern showing through your journal cover. You then will have to rip out all the stitches on that and flip the cardboard and do it again. I dont suggest that method.. I suggest you start with your cardboard facing the right way (if there is a difference on your cardboard..).)

When you get to the corner youll fold it down and over (like when wrapping a gift).. this is just something you have to fidget with until you like how it looks.

After doing that, turn your corner and stitch down the side and across the bottom and back up the center part of your front piece. Your front will now be fully attached to the fabric.

Now is the time to decorate your front cover with anything else youll be attaching by sewing.  I decided to make a flower on mine so I cut out petals from my pink t-shirt.


I then eyeballed where they should go and machine stitched them on one by one.


I then sewed a stem and put a button center and voila!:


Next you have to sew in your spine. Position it next to the front piece, but dont forget your 1/4 gap or you wont be able to open and close the book. Sew across the top, down the side, across the bottom and back up the other side! (duh ;P)


Then you sew in your back piece of cardboard. Position it where it should be and cut away the corners like you did for the front. I dont like to do this until right now so that youre sure the corners are cut in the right place. You then sew it on just like you did for the front. You should end up with something that looks like this:

If you want to decorate the back or the spine.. now is a good time.. I didnt want to on mine.

Now you have to prepare the pages. The tutorial I used doesn't seem to be readily available anymore, so you can try this one: http://www.altered-book.com/coptic-stitch.html ..it looks pretty easy to follow. She tells you to punch holes with a needle and thimble, but I like to clamp my pages together and hammer through the holes.. hehe.. (If you use this coptic stitch tutorial just ignore what she says about the cover, and skip down to the pages!)


*me stitching*

After I have finished binding I like to hot glue the spine of my book.. I clamp it again so that the pages are nice and close together and then glue the heck out of it so that the spine part isnt a whole lot wider than the edge of the pages..

Now its time to glue your pages in and have a finished journal! I like to use rubber cement, but you can use elmers glue or whatever you want, pretty much! I tried hot gluing but couldnt put the glue on there and then get my pages there fast enough to stick it!!! I first put a layer on the cover of the journal.


Then I put a layer on the outside piece of paper. When youre gluing, line up the hot glued edge of the paper spine with the center edge of your front cardboard, so there is an even 1/4 edge all the way around your paper.


Let the first side dry for  a little while so that it doesnt shift around, and then glue the second side on! When its all dry, youll have a finished, lovely journal!
« Last Edit: November 12, 2010 11:39:22 AM by jungrrl - Reason: changed non-working images to links. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2004 10:31:49 PM »

that is super rad!!! Cheesy

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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2004 12:15:02 AM »

That's lovely! Tutorial..Huh Smiley
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2004 03:42:38 AM »

Oh my!
That is really nice!

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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2004 06:25:10 AM »

wow, can you show me how? I am a seamstress as well.

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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2004 10:17:57 PM »

Thanks for a great tutorial!!  I don't have any paper cement and I'm not sure what elmer's glue is like... Is it basically water based 'school' glue? I'll try and squeeze in making one of these and take a pic... Smiley
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2004 10:33:03 PM »

Thanks for a great tutorial!!  I don't have any paper cement and I'm not sure what elmer's glue is like... Is it basically water based 'school' glue?

Elmer's is just a brand.. it's just regular old white glue. Basically.. use whatever glue you want to Smiley

someone even suggested spray adhesive to me today.. i might try that on my next one.

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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2004 11:00:52 PM »

Thanks, alisonwonderland, I wouldn't use spray adhesive though. It tends to go dry and brittle after a while.
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2004 04:34:45 PM »

ooh thanks for the info on spray adhesive.. I guess I won't try it Smiley

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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2004 07:10:49 PM »

spray adhesive gives off a nasty smell when using it too, and i got dizzy last time i used it because i didn't use a well ventilated area like it said too.

honestly, it didn't hold well, but i probably used it wrong. it was stick and all ove the newspaper, and evne the carpet 

mom told me next time i use it, i'd better glue stuff to the grass, instead of the carpet  Roll Eyes


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