This project can vary from super easy to hard, depending on how detailed you want it to get. If you want the plain vanilla, don't worry about the embroidery-- if you want to learn more about hand-embroidery, drop me a line and I'll make a separate instructable solely on that.
Well, let's get started!
Step 1: Plan of Attack!
Or you could use mine. That works too. (I'll giver you scans of all of the sketches for this project at the very end of this instructable.)
Step 2: Gathering Your Materials...
~ 2 9"x12" sheets of felt in your favorite colors
~A cool button, preferably 1" or larger in diameter
~An embroidery needle
~Complementary embroidery thread
~A sewing machine
Step 3: Measure and Cut
Ah, screw it. I hate axioms. Mistakes in craft projects make them seem more homespun, amiright? Lets just cut this thing and get it over with!
For your outside shell, you'll want a piece measuring 7.5"x6"
From your corresponding color, cut out two liner pieces measuring 3.5"x6"
Also from your corresponding color, cut out five pockets that measure 3.5"x2.5" for the pockets, and a strip that measures 1.5"x3.5" for the button strap thingie.
Step 4: Embroidery Time!
Now, once more, WE SKETCH.
I came up with a sort of art nouveau design, along with some text. I like embroidering text. I'm masochistic that way. You can use my design (scan posted at the end! Keep reading!), or you can come up with your own.
Got your idea? Good! Now draw it onto your felt using a soft-leaded pencil. You could use a ruler to lay out your boundaries or somesuch, but I'm too punk rock for that. Free hand, ahoy!
Then all that's left is to follow your lines with embroidery in the thread colors of your choice. I used a chain stitch* for the main part of the pattern, and a running stitch for the details on the pockets and the button strap. Don't forget to measure out the button length onto your strap, and sew around that before cutting it. This will reinforce your buttonhole, and prevent future embarrassing slippage.
*You could also use a split-stitch (like in this episode of Threadbanger). Sweet!
Step 5: Pin and Sew
1.) Pin pockets in place, starting an inch down from the top of the left-hand liner. Pin first pocket and sew (ONLY THE BOTTOM) to the liner. Measure an inch down from the top of the first pocket and pin in the second pocket; again, sew only the bottom. For the third pocket, align the bottom of the pocket with the bottom of the liner and pin. How off on sewing this one.
For the right-hand liner, measure an inch and a half down, pin and sew the first pocket. Align the second pocket with the bottom of the liner and pin in place.
2.) Make a sandwich of all the layers, first the shell (face down), then the button strap on the right side of the piece 2.5" down, overlapping the shell layer by half an inch inwards, then the liners with their pockets (face up), aligned with the outer edges of the shell layer.
3.) Pin everything carefully in place. Make sure to pin the button strap especially, to prevent it slipping during the sewing process.
4.) Sew a running straight stitch around the perimeter of each liner, pockets and all. This will tack down the sides of the pockets and secure the button strap in place.
Step 6: THE END
Questions? Concerns? Indiscriminate abuse? That's what the comments are for! I hope you enjoy this project, and if you really do make a X-Men tea book, SEND ME PICTURES! I will love you forever.