Baby Boom | Red Book Cover Tutorial

Friday, 12 September 2014

*For a chance to win one yard of organic cotton fabric dyed naturally
please make sure you enter the giveaway here*

You may remember that I had made a red book cover for Baby MiH (for my non-UK readers the 'red book' is a health book). This has a very specific size which, of course, does not fit in any small handbags, and is not that attractive (think pastic-y cover). The cover I made for Baby MiH, is the one item I use all the time, his actual red book cover has not seen the light of day - but also the one that has received the most (positive) comments from randoms (well his doctor and nurses).

So you all know I am pregnant, what you might not be aware of is that a lot of my friends are also pregnant, and it is all happening right now - literally. And as I am destashing, this is the perfect opportunity to make the most of all the fabrics I have - and finally write down the tutorial - and be able to have handmade presents ready for my friends. 

I already made 3 and I have another 2 to make (for the time being)...

Like the first time, I adapted Bloom's journal cover tutorial to the size of the red book. The difference this time is that I actually took some notes (because I may be making many of those in the future).

You will need: 
  • Three different fabrics (I usually use a solid colour and a pattern fabric for the outside, and a third matching one for the interlining - but this is totally a personal choice). 
  • Lightweight fusible Pellon
  • Enough fusible web for the cross 
  • Matching thread

To make this red book cover you will need to cut:

- From fabric A, two pieces at the following dimensions: 20.5' x 6.75' and 6' x 6.75', and the cross (made from a 2'x2' square)
- From fabric B, one piece measuring 6' x 6.75'
- From the interlining fabric (fabric C), one piece measuring 10' x 6.75' 
- From the Pellon, one long piece measuring 31' x 6.25' 

With the fusible side of the Pellon facing upwards, press the smallest piece cut from fabric A on the right hand-side. Beware of not going over the fabric and onto the pellon. 

Pin the piece from fabric B, right sides facing and stitch using a 1/4' seam allowance.

Flip the piece back across the Pellon and press. (From the back, your fabric should overhang the Pellon by 0.25". This avoids bulk in the seam later).

Repeat this step with the larger rectangle of fabric A, stitching it to the left side of fabric B. 

Cut your cross out of your fusible web and press it onto fabric A. Cut the cross out. I press the cross 0.5' from the top and left-hand side of fabric B (after being stitched or 0.75' before being stitched on the Pellon).

Using a matching thread, I put my sewing machine on its blanket stitch setting, and stitched around the cross. It is a bit funny to go round the cross, so try first on scrap fabric. 

You can topstitch rows of straight stitching - depending the look you are going for. 

You have now finished the exterior of the cover, time, to look after the inside.

Turn the raw, short ends of the rectangle under by 0.25" and topstitch. 

With the right side of your journal cover facing upwards, turn each of the short ends in by 6.5'' and pin.

Pin in place the piece of fabric C over the journal cover, matching centres. If fabric C is patterned, right sides should be facing. Stitch the top and bottom seam using a 0.25" seam allowance. 

You should now be able to turn the entire journal cover in the right way & press. 

And the inside could look something like this:

So yes this tutorial is very specific to the red book cover, but it gives you an alternative to Bloom's A5 book cover tutorial, and may inspire you to adapt this tutorial to another book (or health book) you use all the time. 

Let me know if you have any questions. I will probably be at my machine making a few more anyway. 

On the other note, le Challenge is resuming on Sunday after the summer break - this month's theme is ERA (and yes I could have entered that cover using teddy bears vintage fabric). Here is a sneak peek of mine. 

Don't forget to link in your project for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop as well as a lovely bundle of 10 FQs from Mary Emmens's shop!


  1. Yea for a fab tutorial - I love covered notebooks. They make fab presents and are pretty quick and easy. Hope things are good with you Nat.

  2. Wonderful! A great gift for your friends - so thoughtful and useful.