The Bookclutch Cover | Tutorial {Quilting}

Monday, 28 October 2013

Here it is – the book clutch tutorial (well a written version of how I made it)! I decided to ‘write’ it in two parts – the making of the book clutch cover and then the covering of the box. I am not one to write a lot in tutorials – so there will be a lot of pictures and a few words and tips along the way.

You will need:
  • -          Kona solids fabric in orange and cream
  • -          Black Felt
  • -          Iron-on adhesive like Heat’n’Bond
  • -          Backing fabric (it will not be seen so whatever you have)
  • -          Batting
  • -          Embroidery thread in black and orange
  • -          Quilting thread in cream
  • -          All the materials for printing on fabric (tutorial here)

-      I would strongly recommend that you get a vintage penguin book (I scan bits of it, unless you can find an online picture you are happy with).

The dimensions of the whole cover are dependent on the size of your box. The finished dimensions should be width of the box, and the length of the box + 1cm (to take into account the covering of the spine with the batting.

For my box, I needed a cover of 16cm wide and 28cm long.

The cover follows the proportions of a penguin book – top orange section is 5.4 cm , middle cream section 6.9 cm, bottom orange section is 5.7 cm. I ended up with: my finished top orange section is 4.8 cm, my finished middle cream section 6.1 cm and my finished bottom orange section is 5.2 cm. 

You are all still with me?

Let’s talk about seam allowances. I like to have quite a bit, so usually 1cm – you decide. However for the top and bottom edges and side edges you will need to be able to ‘cover’ the batting to make it like a book cover, I left 2.5cm (but I would leave more next time). So the unfinished cover should be 21cm wide and 33cm long.

So we know what we are aiming at… Now about the details…

You will have to start to print on fabric using my tutorial here. The cream part includes the title and the author at the front, and the title on the spine (based on a penguin book).

To position the title, I printed the cutting line of the cream section including the seam allowances. Also you have to measure the front and the width of the box to section the length of the cream fabric. I have done all of this in a word document.  

You don’t have to follow this step – I just find it much easier to do the embroidery with a template especially to place it, and you can tinker a lot with the word document before it is set.

On the bottom orange section, I added ‘Complete Unabridged’ and on the top orange section: the author on the spine. Again you need to place the writing so that the penguin will fit and that it is still central.

Et Voilà!

You may have noticed that the dimensions (length wise) of the sections you need to print are bigger than a A4 sheet. However only half of the section needs to be printed on, I pulled through the rest of the fabric, just be careful not to tear your fabric.

Have you made it to here? Great, let’s add more details then.

The ‘Penguin Book’ top logo and the penguins are based on scans of the penguin book I have. I printed the specific parts on fabric and ironed on black felt using Heat 'n Bond.

The logo is ironed on the heat’n’bond, then cut out and then ironed on black felt.

You cut out outside so that you can see the felt framing the logo.

And you get to do the same with the penguins. The little one for the spine is really hard to make – just warning you, you could just skip it…

You sew the three sections together and add the logos onto the cover (more heat’n’bond and some stitching).

It is starting to look very much like a Penguin book right?! It is time to add the handmade look!

You need to add the batting and the backing fabric to add some texture to your embroidery.

I did some machine embroidery (around the ‘penguin books’ logo and the penguins) and hand embroidery (everything else). I used different stitches to make sure that the writing could still be read but that it covered the printing. I also added the bar between the title and the author on the front cover.

And fold the seam allowance around the batting to make it a cover.

Nearly there….

I added my label… Whoohoo!

 And you are finished!

Easy right?! Tomorrow I will show you how to cover the sides of the boxes and put together the book clutch! I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and will have a go at making your own. 

If you don’t feel like making one for yourself, don't hesitate to contact me, I would love to make your own unique version!
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  1. It's stunning! And I could make that, following your instructions!
    Really beautiful.
    I'd love to make one to use as a cover for my diary 2014!
    Great present too! (would be for someone really special)

  2. Amazing tutorial Nat, thanks for writing it all up and making it look so easy!

  3. This is incredible, Nat, and your tute is perfect. Really clear and easy to follow. One day I'll try this but maybe after Christmas :)

  4. Your label's real cute. What a neat concept to cover a precious book while immersed in another world.

  5. fabulous, great tutorial!

  6. Yay! I can't wait to try making one! Luckily I have a few that books that I can follow.

  7. What a wonderful and useful project... I'll check back for the rest of it! Thanks for the tutorial

  8. I just love this. So brilliant. I may be asking you to make me one in the future!