Japan-inspired book cover n°2

At last I have a completed project to share with you. And it’s one I’m quite happy with. It’s another book cover, once again for a gift. This one was for my father, who wanted his own after seeing the ones I made for other family members. It was his birthday during the Easter week-end so I decided to gift him one.

He got quite passionate about Japan when we got to live there, reading lots of books about the country, so it was one possible starting point for the cover. Especially since I still had some of this fabric, and was on a short schedule so embroidery was quite out of the question. As I didn’t want it to be an exact copy of the one I made for my husband, I decided to use the square fabric motifs as appliqués on a solid background.

At first I thought I’d just use the motifs, but it looked a little bit empty and sad. I played for a bit with the design to see what I could add, and then I realized I could use the small stripes I got left after cutting as ribbons. It was perfect: since they’re thin you can’t distinguish the motifs so it wouldn’t get too busy, and at the same time the colors match exactly! After some fiddling around I found a layout that I liked and sewed everything in place with a zig-zag stitch. In the end it adds a sort of modern graphical feel to the cover that I quite like, with the colored motifs contrasting against the black background.

Mr Robots helped me pick the inside fabric. It’s the red serge from my two-tone skirt. I feared it would be two thick but it wasn’t, and the colors look great together. I also tested minor adjustment to my pattern, to allow for thicker books while still maintaining the folded side in place: putting two elastic bands instead of the only one that’s in the pattern. They’re placed on each side of the initial elastic. If use prove that it’s better I’ll post the details here.

My father seemed happy with his cover. And Mr Robots is almost jealous, he’s starting to think he should have asked for a fancier design for his cover. ;) If you want to make one yourself, you can find the tutorial here !

New book covers

I know I still have to share my findings from the flea market, but as you may have noticed, I have little free time lately. So I thought for now I’d show you two new book covers I made (tutorial can be found here).

The first one was made for my mother’s birthday. It’s not a recent project, as her birthday happened before Giveaway day. This cover and the one from the giveaway share a common base fabric. I chose this fabric for my mother’s because it’s actually a remnant she gave me a few years ago, so I thought the reference would be nice. And since I really liked it I decided to use it again as my basis for the giveaway.

This time I embellished the cover with appliqués in a parchment-like print. I love this other fabric, because of the old style lettering and the way it imitates pieces of old pages in random order. It’s a really nice text style print.

I also added lace to embellish the sewn-on fold, with a tiny leftover piece added in the opposite corner.

The second one I made for my husband.

As I already told you I have a friend coming over for sewing evenings once a week. She’s the one who bought this fabric at first, while I was trying to be reasonable and resisted the nice Japan inspired print. Of course she made a book cover with it. And when she showed it to my husband, he said he really liked that fabric and would very much enjoy a cover like that. What was I supposed to do? It’s not often he asks for something handmade. So I went back and bought some of this fabric. So much for being reasonable… His birthday was not long after so I made it for the occasion.

I used a fabric from the home dec section at Reine for the lining, and let me tell you, it’s perfect! It’s not too heavy or rigid, but it adds a nice body to the cover. It’s the best lining fabric I used so far! It’s cotton but I don’t remember the exact type, I’ll have to check again. If you make the cover from the tutorial, definitely try some heavier weight fabric to hold it better.

I didn’t have much to in terms of embellishments as the fabric is really nice as it is. I just was really careful with my pattern positioning to get the best of it, and enlarged the sewn-on fold to be sure that the whole motifs would show. To make it more personal I also added some tiny embroidery to the lining. It won’t show most of the time, but he will see it when he takes a new book, and he will know it’s there the rest of the time. It’s like a secret smile just for him. ^_^

I have a good length of fabric left, i hope to make good use of it (already have some ideas).

Surprise: fabric book cover tutorial!


I’ve been working on this for a while, and now it’s ready: a tutorial to create a fabric book cover similar to the one I made for Giveaway Day! At first I was planning to have a “book cover” themed event for the blog’s three years anniversary with a book cover giveaway and this tutorial. In the end the giveaway was done a week before my blog turned three and the tutorial is up almost a week after. There is a kind of symetry to it…

This cover is quite simple as far as sewing goes, which makes it perfect for beginners and perfect for playing with cute fabrics and embellishments. Experienced people can have fun using more complex techniques for creating lots of different “tops”. It also makes a good gift for friends and family members. The one you see pictured here is the first one I made, to test the concept. I used it almost every day since.

I did my best to write a tutorial that would be nice to read and detailed enough so that beginners would be able to follow it. I also included variations and embellishments suggestions at the end. Because of that it’s a little on the long side, so I prefered making a downloadable pdf file rather than writing it directly on the blog. I tend to like pdf files over blog post tutorials anyway, they’re easier to access to when you need them at home.

download Book-cover-tutorial.pdf

If you use this tutorial I’d be more than happy to know what you think about it and to see your finished products! Please leave a comment here with a link to a post or a picture, or send me an email. :)

Giveaway Day!

Edit from 27/05/2012: the winner is Snoodles! Go check the full post here.

Edit from 26/05/2012: the giveaway is now closed! I’ll draw a winner and announce it here during the week-end. Thank you!

Here it is! Today is May 21st, also known as Giveaway Day! It’s also a big day for this blog as it moved and just got its own hosting and domain name. :) It had been in my mind for some time. At first I was thinking about doing it for it’s third birthday next week, but when I discovered the date of the new Giveaway Day I decided to rush things a little. It will be much easier to read, as the French and English versions are now separated (but it’s easy to switch between the two with the language buttons!). There might be a few things to tweek still, but I think I solved most minor problems that appeared after the move and this blog is ready for you. ^^ So, in honor of my blog getting back to life before its anniversary and getting its own domain, and also just because it’s fun, here is my giveaway for Giveaway Day. My first giveaway!

I’m offering a book cover that I made especially for this occasion. The pattern was inspired by similar book covers I saw in Japan. I’ve been using one myself since last summer (when I first drafted the pattern), and I have to say it’s very useful. I go to work by train each day, so I always carry a book in my bag, and they are now nice and protected thanks to this.

It is meant for small books (paperback books I think in English, right?). It’s based on French books but since the british/amercian books I own are smaller than my French ones, it should be okay for most books. The size is adjustable: there is a flap that you fold around the front of the book and then maintain with an elastic. That way you can still use the same cover even if you have books of different thicknesses. There is a bookmark that match the front fabrics so that you can find where you stopped easily. The cover can be washed: it’s made of different cotton fabrics (even the inside lining) and all have been prewashed to prevent shrinking.

So how can you win it? It’s very easy: just leave a comment on this post. Any comment will do, but if you want to leave something nicer, I’d love to read anything book-related: a book or author that you recommend and why, a book-related memory, when you enjoy reading the most, what style of litterature you prefer, a book-related accessory you like… If you do I will also find something book-related to share when I announce the winner. ^_^ Comments are open until early morning on the 26th (since it’s UTC+2 here) and the winner (randomly chosen) will be announced by the 27th. The giveaway is open to anyone anywhere in the world.

And make sure to go check all the other giveaways on Sew Mama Sew’s blog!