Fabric Book Cover Tutorial
My hexies fantasy is still going strong even after I have completed the Modern Hexagon Flower Quilt Duvet cover for my daughter (click the link for the pattern and tutorial), this time I sew up some fabric book covers with the 1″ hexagon size. Simply love how they turn out, be it a full hexagon quilt version or a hexagon flower applique patchwork. Since I have covered the method on how to sew hexagon block with a sewing machine, this time I will concentrate on showing you how to sew the fabric book cover instead.
If you have been following Craft Passion long enough, you might have seen another similar pattern & tutorial 9 years ago. Yes, a good 9 years ago when I just started sharing my design and pattern in Craft Passion. Today, I am sharing another fabric book cover pattern & tutorial which is easier and quicker to sew. This fabric book cover tutorial also comprises the method on how to measure your book and calculate your own dimension according to your book size.
Not only that you can use this pattern and tutorial for literally any book size, now you are able to sew in 2 options with a slight adaptation, fitted width cover or flexi-width cover. Fitted-width fits only in one-size book, it might not suitable for other books that are thicker or wider (same height). So, if you have books of the same size, i.e always buy the same notebook to use, then it is a good option to go for. However, if you have a few books with different thickness and would like to interchange the covers from time to time, flexi-width is the perfect option to use because the flap at the back of the cover is adjustable to account a slightly different width.
- Fabrics, 2 pcs., 20" x 10" each piece (size varies for different book size)
- Ribbon, 12"
- Elastic cord, 12"
- Bead (optional)
- Wide lace, 1.5" wide, 10" (for flexi-width book cover)
- Sewing Machine
- Pins and needles
- Matching threads
- Water Soluble Fabric Marker
Fabric Book Cover (Fitted-Width)
- Prewash all fabrics and iron them to remove wrinkles.
- Measure the book total width and height. PIC 1
- Gather all the materials needed. You may pre-quilt or add patchwork to the fabric. PIC 2
- Mark sewing lines of the fabrics after adding allowances. Mark the positions for the bookmark and elastic cord fastener. PIC 3
- Sew the cover by following the photos and instructions from PIC 4 onwards.
- PIC 6 & 7 shows how to make the end flap or pocket for the book to tuck in.
- PIC 8 is the detail on securing the elastic cord with zig-zag stitches.
- PIC 9 to 12 show the processes of turning the fabric book cover right-side-out with a nice and neat corner.
- Iron the fabric book cover to press the edges flat and to remove wrinkles. Fit the book into the book cover. PIC 13 to 15.
- PIC 16 to 18 show the details of the book with the fabric book cover.
Fabric Book Cover (Flexi-Width)
- Adapt the method of Fitted-Width and make necessary changes according to PIC19 to 21
- PIC 22 to 25 show the details of the book with a flexi-width fabric book cover.
Depending on the speed and hours you are spending on the project, the total time needed is only an approximation.
Purchase the exact same material used in this pattern from Craft Passion Shop.
More Details on how to sew the Fabric Book Cover
Fitted-Width Fabric Book Cover
Measure the total width around your book in the “close-book” condition, from front cover edge to back cover edge (as shown in the picture), this will include the cover and the thickness of the book. Name it lower case a.
Measure the height of the book from top to bottom of the cover and name it lower case h.
Add a little allowance to the measurements so that the book fits nicely into the fabric cover, not overly tight or loose. As a rule of thumb, add 1/4″ (0.25″) to the width and height respectively, i.e A=a+0.25″, H=h+0.25″, the capital letter A and H is the fabric book cover after sewn up.
Remark: If you have a very thick hardcover book, or, if you are adding thick padding to the fabric book cover just like the quilted hexagon book cover as shown in the main picture, add 1/2″ (0.5″) to the width and height respectively instead.
Gather all the materials and tools needed for sewing the fabric book cover.
Let’s do a little maths to calculate the actual fabric size that needed for sewing up the fabric book cover.
The fabric book cover needs 2 flaps or pockets at both left and right sides to fit in the plastic covers of the book, thus, add 3″ for each left and right flaps respectively.
Seam allowance is 3/8″ (0.375″) for each side.
As an example, for this A5 notebook with a measurement of 12.5″ (a) and 8.5″ (h), the fabric size is
Width = [W] + (Seam Allowance x 2) = [A+3+3] + (0.375×2) = [12.5+0.25+3+3] + (0.375×2) = [18.75] + (0.75) = 19.5″
Height = [H] + (Seam Allowance x 2) = [12.5+0.25] + (0.375×2) = [8.5+0.25] + (0.375×2) = [8.75] + (0.75) = 9.5″
Cut out 2 pcs. fabrics in the size, one piece for exterior layer and one piece for interior layer.
Ribbon bookmark length is about H+3″.
Elastic cord fastener is about H+1″.
Draw and mark the dimensions you have calculated above onto the fabric, W and H, where W is A+3″+3″, A is a+0.25″ and H is h+0.25″. Seam allowance is 0.375″.
The elastic cord is 4″ from the right sewing line, the bookmark is about 0.5″ from the center.
Create any patchwork design within the rectangle of A and H if you wish to. Note that the front cover is on the righthand side of the fabric, hence, the patchwork should be on the right after the 3″ flap allowance, as shown in the picture.
Stack both the exterior fabric and interior fabric together with right-side facing each other.
Sew a straight line at the side of both layers together on the front cover (the one with the hexagon flower patchwork or applique). Leave a 4″ opening at the other side as shown in the picture (red dashed lines).
Turn piece right-side out, press seam flat. Topstitch near the edge as shown in red dashed lines.
Fold the edge and tuck 3″ deep in between the exterior fabric and interior fabric to create the flap. Refer PIC 7 for more detail.
Position the elastic cord and bookmark in between the layers, pin.
Sew the top and bottom sides as shown in red dashed lines.
This is how the flap “in-making” looks like as per instruction in PIC 6 above.
Make zig-zag stitches across the elastic cord to secure it in place and prevent it from snapping away from the seam; make sure the stitches go through the elastic cord.
Turn the book cover right-side out from the 4″ opening that you have provisioned earlier. Note that the opening is now at the edge of the flap inside the layers (before turning out).
How to make a nice sharp corner when turning the piece right-side out?
First, insert your thumb from the opening to reach the corner from inside.
Next, fold the seam allowance down as shown in the picture.
Push the corner out from the opening while still holding the folded seam allowance.
Repeat the same to all 4 corners.
After turning out, the fabric book cover will get wrinkled. Press with an iron to smooth it out.
Topstitch to close the opening at the edge of the flap.
Add a wooden bead at the end of the ribbon bookmark and tie a knot to secure it.
The exterior of the fabric book cover.
For the matter of fact, this fabric book cover is reversible between exterior and interior. You can turn the cover inside out for a different look, but the elastic cord will be hidden inside the flap.
However, you can make it 100% reversible by simply add another elastic cord at the interior of the flap and sew the bookmark at the center of the cover.
Insert the plastic book covers into the flaps to wear the fabric cover.
The front look.
The back look.
Fasten the elastic cord across the back cover to close the book when not in use.
Flexi-Width Fabric Book Cover
With the same notebook I used to sew the denim fabric book cover above, redraw the pattern by adding a detachable flap at the back cover.
The measurement is the same as before, however, instead of a straight flap at the back cover, chamfer the corner as shown in the picture.
I am using the same measurement so that you are able to differentiate what has changed in this adaptation. You may make a slightly wider width to cater a thicker book.
Add a thick lace as a fastener of the flap.
Follow the same sewing instruction as the Fitted-Width tutorial, instead of sewing both side seams and tuck it in between the layers, you just have to do it the one side.
Add elastic cord, bookmark and lace fastener in between the layer.
Sew around and leave an opening at the chamfered flap.
Turn the book cover right-side out from the opening.
Iron and press it flat.
Topstitch to close the opening to complete the sewing.
Insert the original plastic cover to the front flap.
Fold the back flap and tuck into the lace faster to secure it.
The lace fastener provides some friction to the flap so that it won’t easily come off.