Composition books are a staple in back to school supplies, but disguise them in pretty fabric and they can infiltrate other areas in your life and serve a purpose at the same time.
Although I do appreciate them and their black and white marble existence, I do not think they fit my sense of style and individuality. I remember coloring in the little white bits but once that is done what's next? Recently, I was in need of a sewing journal. Internet research led me to a few tutorials for composition book covers that looked great but didn't fit my needs perfectly so I made a few changes that made sense for me.
You to can enjoy these simple notebooks in a new and different way! Just think all the scrap fabric used to make covers for different people and events: school, sewing journal, journals, bridal planner, travel journal,bridal shower, vacation activity book, and countless others since you can use it for anything you need.
It is simple enough, lots of rectangles, and sewing straight lines. I have a sewing class that tackled this project and all of them did very well, it'll be a great accomplishment carrying around your new sewing journal to write down all your awesome projects or seeing your kids doodle pictures or stories in theirs.
Step 1: Materials
You will need:
cotton fabric by the yard in color coordinating prints or solids
(I found fat quarters on sale and used those, they came in a covenant bundle and the 18"x22" pieces were plenty large)
by the yard
3/8 yard main fabric (cover)
3/8 yard lining
1/4 yard sleeves and pockets
3/8 yard light weight fusible interfacing
decorative elastic or fold over elastic) that matches your color scheme
cutting tool/ scissors(I have a fabric strip rotary cutter)
composition book ($1@the dollar store)
****If you have scraps you spend nothing on the fabric if on sale you can sometimes get all you need for less than $10 cheap easy and looks great****
patches,buttons, rhinestones to decorate with
Step 2: Cut Your Fabric :-)
3 pieces @ 16 1/2" x 10 3/4" :
1 of main cover fabric
1 of your lining
1 of fusible interfacing
2 pieces of 8" x 10 3/4" of the sleeve fabric
6"x10 3/4" of the long pocket
(this pocket was for receipts for all my sewing projects and orders)
8"x4" for the two short pockets in the front
***optional*** page marker***
two strips @ 1" x 24+"
this is highly customizable if you want a different pocket just cut it, hem it, and follow the directions for the final assembly to make it all come together.
Step 3: Hem Your Edges
If you set up your layers you will see that the raw edges are ugly and will potentially fray apart if not hemmed.
Go to your iron and carefully turn the edges under 1/4 inch, then turn under again making sure your raw edge is snug in the crease this will give your book cover a finished look and make it durable.
You will do this to both sleeves, the long pocket, and your two smaller pockets as shown in the pictures.
You will hem:
one side (10 3/4) of each of the sleeves
one side(10 3/4) of the long pocket
the top edge of each of the small pockets
top stitch a 1/4 all of these ironed edges
Step 4: Interfacing
Cut the interfacing just trim so it is 1/2 inch smaller than the main cover fabric. Turn the main fabric RIGHT SIDE DOWN on the ironing board put the interfacing glue side (bumpy side) down on the wrong side of your cover fabric. Follow the directions for interfacing. Use a damp press cloth and iron in small sections being careful not to cause wrinkles.
Step 5: Front Pockets
Now set up your pockets on the front sleeve and determine how deep you want the top pocket to be, see the first picture. Idecided about an inch from the bottom was plenty deep enough. The blue arrow is pointing to the seam. Sew a straight line across to anchor your pocket.
Now, pin the lower pocket in place. Iron the sides turning under once 1/4 and again turning them to wrap around the sleeve's hemmed edge. Pin. Now just sew 1/4 seem down the outer edge to attach pockets to sleeve.
Step 6: ***Optional Page Marker***
Take the two long strips and place them RIGHT SIDES together, sew a 1/4 seem down both sides. Use a safety pin to turn it right side out.
Press flat, use a zig zag to close the ends and trim excess fabric OR knot it a few inches up thread a bead on and tie a knot to secure. Put this to the side.
Step 7: Assembly
Place your lining fabric RIGHT SIDE UP, place your sleeves RIGHT SIDE UP with the hemmed edges facing into the middle. This means that the little pockets should be on the left side the sleeve with the long pocket on the right. Place the long pocket onto the right side sleeve.
Take your elastic and measure around a pen it's not much, put in place and leave extra hanging out the sides... then pin it with the loop facing into the middle at 6" up and the opposite at 5 1/2" ish the two should line up (see the picture, these act as a lock to keep your book closed when a pen is threaded through both loops.)
If your elastic is more narrow or bigger you will need to change this, just close the sides check your placement.
NOW place your cover fabric WRONG SIDE UP (you should see your interfacing) onto your layers making a sandwich and pin all around.
Step 8: Sewing the First Round
Start at the top, marking with your pen/pencil/chalk a 5" section that you will NOT sew shut (sew the corners you want to machine sew these shut in the first round.)
Set up at your machine and sew 3/8 seem all around, leaving the marked section open.
TRIM !! Your edges!!! I use pinking shears to even all the layers and take care of random threads. CUT your corners so they look pretty when you turn this inside out.
Step 9: Inside Out
Using the section left open turn your project right side out. You can use a chopstick to press your corners out, just be careful not to press too hard or you'll have to redo your stitches.
Once your project is right side out, press with your iron pinning the open section so that the edges are turned under to match the rest of your project.
Step 10: Sew the Second Round
Top stitch a 1/4 seem all around your cover. This is nearly the end.
Step 11: COVER!!!!
Feed the cardboard of your composition book into the sleeves and YOU ARE DONE IF you don't wish a place marker BUT CONTINUE IF YOU WANT IT..... close the book, mark with your chalk where your page maker should be placed. Remove your book. Take your long tube and mark the middle, pin the middle at the chalk mark and sew a straight stitch across the tube to connect it to the cover. Use the top stitching as a guide and sew across once and back once. Now you have a completed cover with pen holder, pockets, and page makers. Sorry, these pics are back at the ***** optional**** step..
Step 12: Decorations
Rhinestones, patches, buttons add whatever makes you smile. If you are adding sewn bits and pieces you may want to attach them to just your cover fabric before assembly... but be careful you are well away from the edges or where your machine will be sewing. Also feel free to sew scraps together to make pieces that are big enough to use, this project is a stash buster! Composition books are cheap and these covers are reusable.
Have fun be creative and add whatever you need to make this work for you. Happy sewing!!
KathiC3 made it!