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Fat Quarter Make; Notebook Cover

I’ve always loved stationery – pretty pens and pencils, rainbow coloured highlighters, fun-shaped erasers but especially notebooks and journals. I have SO many dotted around the house, as whenever I see a cute one, I tend to buy it. But you often pay over the odds just because the notebook has a nice cover – the paper inside isn’t any different. So, this month’s tutorial provides a way of making even the most boring notebooks look beautiful! 

You will need:

  • Three fabric fat quarters – iron these to get any creases/folds out
  • A spiral bound notebook with a flexible cover
  • Sewing machine with a universal needle
  • Thread
  • Rotary cutter & cutting mat / Fabric scissors
  • Pins / Clips
  • Tape measure & ruler

Remember to back stitch at the start and end each time you sew – this is essential to secure your stitches. 

I’ll be using a 3/8” seam allowance throughout, unless specified. 

  1. First, we need to take a couple of measurements from our notebook:

The height – simply measure from the top to the bottom. Mine = 11 ¾” 

The width – from the left hand edge of the back cover, all the way round to the right hand edge of the front cover. Take this measurement while the notebook is closed. Mine = 17 ⅜” 

Now add 1 ¼” on to each of these measurements, so my new measurements are:

Height: 13” 

Width: 18 ⅝” 

  1. Cut one outer piece and one lining piece using the measurements taken in step 1, so I am cutting two rectangles 13” tall by 18 ⅝” wide. 
  1. Now we need to cut the fabric for our pocket pieces. The height will be the same as in step 1. To calculate the width, first open up your notebook and measure the width of one cover (mine is 8”). I’m going to work out approximately ⅔ of this (So 5”). Then I will double it (10”) and add 1 ¼” for seam allowance. 

Cut 2 pieces of fabric this size (Mine: 13” tall by 11 ¼” wide)

  1. Press your pocket pieces in half, widthways, wrong sides together. 
  1. Place your outer piece down, right side facing up. 
  1. Place your pocket pieces on top, one at the left and one at the right, raw edges matching. 
  1. Place your lining piece on top, wrong side facing up. Now clip around the outside. 
  1. Sew around the outside, leaving a 3” gap on one side for turning through. 
  1. Clip across the corners, then turn through to the right side, easing the corners out neatly.
  1.  Give your project a good press.
  1.  Edgestitch all around the outside, approximately ⅛” from the edge, closing up the gap you left earlier. 
  1.  Insert your notebook, and you’ve finished!

You could customize your notebook cover by:

  • Adding a woven label
  • Embroidering a name on to the fabric
  • Piecing together scraps to make the cover 
  • Interfacing the outer rectangle with fusible fleece to make it more squishy!
  • Adding some ribbon or elastic to fasten the notebook closed
  • Adding a pen/pencil pocket 

If you get stuck on any aspects of the tutorial, please feel free to send me a message and I’ll help. 

I hope you enjoy making your notebook cover – it really does make a perfect gift!

Share your finished makes on instagram, using the hashtag #SewHayleyJaneFQ and tag me @sewn_on_the_tyne

See you next month,

Tamlyn xx