December 19, 2014

Sewing 101: something for us wanna-be’s

Jul20

Last month, I mentioned on my Balancing Beauty and Bedlam facebook page, that I bought a sewing machine for Christmas for my daughter (three years ago…cough, cough). and it’s still sitting in the box. That is one DIY project that I really want to learn, but haven’t gotten up the gumption to start learning yet. I will….someday. My desire was to have a few guest posters walk me through some basic Sewing 101 tutorials, and my friend, Connie, came through with an easy sewing project for kids. It’s so cute.

Have you always wanted to sew, but were intimidated to learn?
Don’t be! Sewing is simple if you start with a simple project. I am here to guide you through “Sewing 101″.

Here is a notebook cover that requires 3 rectangular pieces and only 2 seams. You can complete this project in about half an hour.
You will need these supplies:

  • a notebook
  • scissors
  • measuring tape
  • 1/2 yard of fabric (I used 2 coordinating fabrics.)
  • matching thread

and here is a quick run-down of terms:

  • right side – the side of the fabric you want to show
  • wrong side – the side of the fabric you don’t want to show
  • raw edge – the edge of the fabric that has been cut
  • hem – a raw edge folded over and sewn to itself so it won’t show
  • serge – using a zig zag or serge stitch to finish a raw edge to keep it from raveling
  • seam – 2 pieces of fabric sewn together with a line of stitching
  • seam allowance – how much fabric is outside the seam

The first step will be to measure the notebook’s width and height.

Measure with the notebook closed so your book cover will have plenty of room. This notebook was 9 1/2 inches high and 15 inches wide.
Add 1/2 inch to each measurement to allow for seam allowances.

Cut one large piece for the part that will be visible when the notebook is closed, and 2 smaller pieces that will hold the cover on the book. This large piece is 15 1/2inches x 10 inches. The smaller pieces are 6 inches x 10 inches.
You can see that I hemmed the smaller pieces on one side. I simply turned the raw edge under and sewed a straight line so when the notebook is opened, no raw edge will be visible. I also serged the long piece, so those raw edges won’t ravel.

Now, place the smaller pieces with their right sides together with the right side of the large piece. When these are sewn together and turned right side out, the raw edges will be hidden.

You will sew the 3 raw edges of each piece using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Use a measuring tape to see where your needle needs to be on your fabric in order to have 1/4 inch outside the seam. I can see that if I line my fabric up at the clear edge of the presser foot (the thing that mashes the fabric down), that will leave a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

After you have sewn the 3 raw edges of both small pieces to the big piece, turn the book cover right side out and hem the area where the notebook binding will be. Simply tuck it over and sew a straight line. This will keep the raw edge from being visible. DO NOT sew past the binding area onto the other fabric or the notebook won’t be able to slide in.

Tu-DAH! Now you have a handy dandy, sleek and snazzy notebook cover!

This guest post is from Connie, wife for 26 years, mother of 8 rowdy children. She writes daily at Smockity Frocks about household management, homeschooling, crafts, recipes, large family living, and MORE.


Comments

  1. I really like using these kind of notebooks. Thanks so much!

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  2. great idea! Thank you, we will make these this week!

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  3. I have lots of bits and pieces of fabric; this is great way to use them and to make your notebook stand out from the crowd.

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  4. I love this tutorial! I use these composition books all the time, but the covers are so boring. Now I can make them pretty!

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  5. I just wrote about sewing yesterday–the desire is there…but the intimidation is greater–maybe, just maybe I can get it together long enough to just try…thanks for the break down!

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  6. Great project! I think I’ll have to make some of these. We just finished a summer sewing school at our home and online. I have several beginner projects listed. Most can be completed within an hour or so.

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  7. Thanks for sharing! What a great way to get started :D
    -Ami

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  8. Surreptitous says:

    Wow!! This looks fashionable!
    I’m totally doing this to my planner (even if it’s not a notebook, but it still does resemble) next year!!
    Is there a way to make covers for paper-back books?

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  9. Thank you for the tutorial! I plan on using it to make gifts for my team of teachers :)

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