Monday, 13 February 2012

Book covers for book lovers: a tutorial

Tomorrow is Valentine's day, as you know...Oh, you forgot?! Well, there is still time to make something pretty and useful for your loved one! If they love books, why not making them a book cover?
On the tube I've noticed that many people cover their paperbacks with folded white paper or newspaper...I've always wondered: are they all secretly reading something Oh La La! (for the 80's movie lovers among you, remember the book featured in Back to The Future II??? if not, go and watch that masterpiece!), or is it just to preserve their books when thrusting them at the bottom of their bags in a hurry? perhaps the latter; so I thought, wouldn't it be nice to have a cover that you can reuse for the next book, and the next one, and the next one...??

My wonderful Alison Smith's The Sewing Book has a book cover project in it, but with the quilting technique involved, I just didn't feel it was the 'quick 'n' easy' project I was after (you'll see, I am most of the time really after quick 'n' easy when it comes to crafting stuff, I just can't wait ages to see the results).

So this project, which is of my own making, is a sort of happy compromise which will take no more than a couple of hours to finish. See? You still have time.

Materials (to cover an A5 paperback):
  • 46cm x 25cm of any fabric you like for the cover exterior. I've used some lovely Amy Schimler for Robert Kaufman cotton fabric; I just love that retro, funky look. You can get similar, great fabric on Etsy or Fabric Rehab
  • 46cm x 25cm of any lining fabric you like that would match the cover fabric
  • 21cm x 33cm of a thick fabric for your wadding; I've used a white upholstery fabric oddment. Just be mindful of the fact that depending on the fabric you choose for the outer section, if your wadding has a pattern you may still see it through the finished cover. Plain is better.
Place the cover fabric right side up, then place the lining wrong side up on the cover fabric, so that the right sides are facing each other. Stitch them together on the long sides and on one short side, and leave one short side open.
Turn this envelope to the right side and press. Place your wadding inside the envelope, making sure the corners of the envelope poke out nicely. Fold the open side of the envelope 1 cm towards the lining side to make a simple, single hem. Press and stitch the hem.

Fold the short side of the cover 6cm (see picture on the left) towards the lining side, and stitch the top of the fold to the body of the cover, very close to the edge, along the long side; stitch the bottom of the fold in the same way: this will be one of the two pockets in which you will slide the paperback cover.
Repeat at the end of the fabric cover to create the other pocket.

Et voilĂ ! Job done.

Now, it's really easier to do than to describe in words, but if you need extra help...I've created a little sketched tutorial that I hope will explain a bit better:

I hope I've helped you making your loved one smile!

Happy lovers' day everyone!

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