Introduction: NHS Red Book Cover

About: History geek; sewing nerd.

The NHS red book is given to all babies when they are born, and records their health, growth, and milestones until they turn 5. A personalised cover for these is a great present for any parents of new babies.

Step 1: Materials


  • 1 piece of exterior fabric: 67cm wide by 18cm high
  • 1 piece of interior fabric: 67cm wide by 18cm high
  • thread


  • A piece of fabric as large as you wish with the baby's name on it. I used hand embroidery, but you could use an embroidery machine if you have one, or fabric markers. If you want you could add the child's date of birth and/or birth weight
  • 1 piece of batting: 67cm wide by 18cm high

Step 2: Optional: Attach the Name Patch

If using a name plate, line it up in its desired position on the right side of the exterior fabric and secure in place with pins.

Remember: The plate should be at least 11cm in from the rightmost edge of the fabric. If the fabric is in one long strip in front of you it should be on the right hand side (or the name plate will end up on the back!).

Once happy with the location of the name plate, sew in place using an appliqué or zigzag stitch.

Step 3: Sew Short Edges Together

Place interior and exterior fabrics on top of each other, with right sides together. Pin in place.

Optional: If using batting, place it on top of one of the pieces of fabric on the wrong side so you have a fabric sandwich which is either "batting, interior fabric, exterior fabric" or "batting, exterior fabric, interior fabric".

Sew both short edges together using a 1cm seam.

Once seam is sewn open it out and press the seam open.

Step 4: Mark Out Folds

From one of the short edge seams measure 10 centimetres on either side and draw a line. Fold your fabric along each of these lines and pin in place.

What you should have now is a piece of fabric where you have a folded edge in both the interior fabric and the exterior fabric 10cm from the short edge seam.

Repeat step for the other short edge seam.

Step 5: Pin Folded Edges Together

Take the pinned folded edges either side of each seam, and pin together. If you hold up the pinned fabric so you can see through the long edge, the short edge seam should be hanging loose about 10 cm down from the pinned edges.

Repeat for other side seam.

Step 6: Pin Long Edges

Once you're happy with the way your folded edges line up, pin along the long edges to hold them in place when sewing. Your pinned piece of fabric at this point should be 45cm wide and 18cm tall.

Step 7: Sew Long Edges

Mark yourself a gap of about 3.5cm along one long edge. This will be left unsewn for turning out later. Sew along both long edges with a 1cm seam.

Important: Do not sew along the short edges. These need to be left open.

When you're done, you should have a seam with a 3.5cm gap on one long edge, and a seam with no gap along the other long edge.

Clip the corners.

Step 8: Turn Out

Turn your fabric right side out through the hole that you left in the long seam. You know you've done it correctly when the end result looks a little bit like an oven mitt. Press the seams so it looks neat.

Step 9: Sew Up Hole

Sew up the hole in the long edge. I used a slip stitch, but you could simply top stitch it closed using your machine.

Step 10: Use & Enjoy

Press over once more and slide the red book in to the cover. Or press once more and gift to the parents of the new baby :)