Tag Archives: handmade present

Notebook cover – video tutorial

Patchwork notebook cover

This tutorial is for a notebook cover that measures 9″ x 15″ but you can make it for any size.

Check out how it’s made.




Lining: 1 rectangle 16″ x 10″

Pockets: 4 rectangles 10″ x 5″

Cover: 1 rectangle 16″ x 10″. Mine is made of 3 pieces patched together with the following measurements:

  • 1 rectangle 16″ x 6 1/4″
  • 1 rectangle 16″ x 3 1/2″
  • 1 strip 16″ x 1 1/4″

Fusible interfacing (iron on one side)

  • Lining and cover: 2 rectangle 15″‘ x 10″
  • Pockets: 4 rectangles 10″ x 5″
  • 1 elastic ban (optional)
  • 1 fabric covered button (optional)

Stitch all three rectangles together to make the cover.

Iron with the hems open.

Cut all your other pieces.

Stitch your pockets to make 2 squares. Iron with the hems open.

Fold the cover in two along the long side and make a marking in the middle. Stitch the elastic band where the marking is with the elastic band placed facing inside the fabric (see picture).

Iron the interface to the inside of the fabrics. Getting the interfacing to stick to the fabric when the cover is turned inside out is tricky.

Iron the pocket in half, wrong sides together and pin to the sides of the lining as per the above picture.

Place the cover on top, right sides together, as per the picture.

Pin in place and stitch all around leaving a 4 inch gap to turn the cover inside out.

The corners need to be trimmed after stitching to reduce the bulk after turning inside out.

After turning the cover inside out you end up with a neat cover. The turning is quite tricky because the fusible interface tends to come loose. Pinning it in place temporarily may work.

Try to fit the notebook in the cover now. This may give you an indication of how closely you need to stitch around the cover.

Top stitch around very close to the edge, about 1mm or 2mm depending on how tight you want the cover to fit.

The corners are almost inevitably round unless you have removed much of the fabric on the inside hem.

The book cover is finished.

Place the notebook inside.


I used a fabric covered button because I think it looks smart but you could use a plain button. Also, instead of an elastic band you could use a ribbon, in which case it would need to be stitch to both sides of the cover.

Other notebooks

See also the notebook cover PJ did based on this tutorial.

Free silk slippers pattern

These unisex slippers are light weight and not for heavy use. For more regular use silk is not recommended. Also the sole should be made sturdier by using for instance strong 1/4 in thick felt instead of batting.


  • Scrap fabric for the instep –  I used hand painted silk sateen
  • Scrap fabric for instep lining and sole
  • Batting for sole and instep
  • Imitation leather for sole
  • Matching bias tape

The slippers on the photo are size 38 European (check Wikipedia for a shoe size comparison).

I recommend you test first if the sole and instep will fit your feet. Print, cut around as per instructions on pattern page and place your foot on the sole. There should be ample room on each side of your foot. Place the instep (A) on your foot. Make sure it overflows the sole (B) by 1/2 inch at least all around.

If you have a different shoe size, just use the pattern to make a larger or smaller pattern bearing mind that you should have about 3/4 inch all around both pieces overflowing.


This is the hand painted silk for the insteps.

Instep (A): cut 2 mirror pieces of each the outside fabric, batting and lining.

Sole (B):  cut 2 mirror pieces of the imitation leather, batting and lining.

To make the sole, place the imitation leather wrong side facing up, then a piece of batting and finally the lining piece  right side up. Pin.

For the inset, place the silk fabric right side up, then place the lining right side down, and the batting on top.


Stitch the soles at 1/4 in from edge.

Stitch the instep along the top only at 1/4 in from the edge.

Then turn silk piece over and stitch around the instep.

Top and bottom are ready.

Make small cuts as close to the stitching as possible on the curved side of the instep. This will ensure a smooth curve when turned over.

Pin instep to sole really well, particularly around corners.

Stitch at 1/4 in from the edge.

Now add the bias tape.

Stitch bias tape to the sole of the slipper.

Stitch at 1/4 in from the edge from the instep side so that you can see where stitches go and avoid stitching too much into the instep part.

Trim off any bits that stick out.

Now turn over bias, pin and hand stitch using slip stitch and matching thread.


Hand painted silk slippers pattern

The pattern is by Prudent Baby.

I made a couple of changes. First of all the pattern says it’s for size 9 but when I printed it the sole was a fit for size 7. As a result I didn’t use elastic on the back.

I decided to use hand painted satin silk and needed to add some body to the slippers so I added a layer of batting between the silk and the lining.

I couldn’t find the type of fabric suggested for the sole so I used some imitation leather I had.

I also decorated them with some silk flowers. I have seen this type of flower on the internet before but never tried it. I didn’t follow a tutorial so maybe I did something wrong. I cut some smaller and larger circles and then burned the edges. Since the silk wasn’t synthetic I’m not sure if the burning will keep the silk from fraying for a long time.

I placed the circles together and put some stitches through.

Then I pulled and did a few more stitches to keep the gather in place.

Then I added some sequins and beads in matching colours.

These slippers aren’t for every day use. They look fragile and probably are due to the use of silk but they look cute don’t they?

New year embroidery notebook cover with lattice smocking accent

Back of notebook cover. The back features a strip of lattice smocking.

Do you need to make a gift for someone special? Why not making a New Year notebook cover?

Note: For this tutorial I am giving measurements for a notebook whose top cover is 8 3/4 inches high x 7 inches wide and 13 3/4 inches from cover to cover.

BUT this tutorial can be adapted to any notebook size. Just add 1 inch to the initial measurements.

This is how you measure your notebook:

Measure your book all the way around, from top cover edge to bottom cover edge. Do this with the notebook closed.

My notebook is 13 3/4 inches all around.

Now measure the height.

My notebook is 8 3/4 inches high.

Now, add 1 inch to both measurements.

When I add 1 inch I get a rectangle that is  14 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in. This is the final size of cover, lining and fusible interface.

The pockets are the notebook height  x whatever the depth you want to use multiplied by 2 (you multiply by 2 because the pockets are folded in half).

In this case each pocket requires a piece of fabric that is 9 3/4 inches x 6 inches. Using a 3 inches deep pocket is ok in most cases though you could use a deeper pocket if you’re covering a large A4 notebook for instance. Just make sure you double the depth. For a 3 inch pocket you need 6 inches fabric for instance.



  • Linen for cover
  • Stranded cotton in different colours suitable to make a gradient
  • Matching cotton fabric for the lattice smocking inside and pockets


Lining: 1 rectangle 14 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in

Pockets: 2 rectangles 6 in x 9 3/4 in

Cover:  1 rectangle 14 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in. This rectangle is made of 3 pieces:

    • 8 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in linen
    • 2 1/2 in x 9 3/4 in (lattice smocking)
    • 3 3/4 in  x9 3/4 in linen

Fusible interfacing (iron on one side)

1 elastic band

1 fabric covered button

Stitch used: seeding stitch

Download pattern: Year characters (pdf)


Trace the pattern on a piece of linen and embroider it using seeding stitch doing a gradient.

The photos below show the embroidery progression.

I used several shades of browns and yellows.

The embroidery is quite tight around the numbers and quite sparse just at the end.

When the embroidery is finished, stretch on a padded surface and lightly press using steam.

Cut the piece to 8 3/4 in x 9 1/2 in.

Lattice smocking

The lattice smocking piece is 2 1/2 in x 9 1/2 in when finished.

This is how to make lattice smocking:

To start cut a piece that is 15 in x 7 in. Then follow my lattice smocking tutorial to sew the lattice.

Trim the lattice to the required measure after it has been sewn and stretched, not ironed.

Stitch the embroidery piece, the lattice and the other rectangle into one single piece.

Press making sure the lattice remains intact.

Now cut the rest of the fabric:

Lining: 1 rectangle 14 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in

Pockets: 2 rectangles 6 in x 9 3/4 in

Iron both pocket pieces in half.

Now place the lining fabric right side up.

Place the pockets on top of the lining with the raw edges facing the sides.

Place the piece of rubber band, not longer than 3 inches, over a pocket, as per picture.

Important: The rubber band should be placed just directly under what will be the back of the book cover, i.e. the lattice side. I’m stressing this point because I didn’t pay attention and I had to unpick the band and sew it on the other side.

Cut 1 rectangle 14 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in of middle weight of fusible interfacing and iron to the embroidered panel on the wrong side of the panel.

Then place the panel on top of the pockets and lining.

You can see here the elastic band is on the wrong side. It should be on the opposite side, unless you want to stitch the button on the back of the notebook.

Stitch all around the book leaving 1/4 seam allowance and leave a 3 inch opening to turn cover inside out.

Trim corners after stitching.

Turn inside out. Pay special attention to the pockets and don’t get a fright because they look like they’re stitched to the wrong side. Just turn them towards the lining of the notebook.

Top stitch all around the cover as close to the edge as you can.

The cover is done. Insert the notebook.

The finished notebook cover measures about 9  in x 14  in open. The notebook is 7 inches wide when closed.

No sew Christmas ornament tutorial

No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon

No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon

No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon

This project is made with fabric folding techniques.

  • 2 squares of 2 1/2 inch wide ribbon for each side in sparkly red
  • 1 1/2 yards of ribbon 1 1/2 inch wide in gold. Use ribbon that has malleable edging
  • 1/2 inch red ribbon
  • a 2 1/2 inch polystyrene ball
  • headpins

Take one 2 1/2 inch square and pin to the ball as per picture.

From the gold ribbon cut 18 1 1/2 inch squares.

Fold in a triangle once.

And then again

Place the triangle against the edge of the red square and in the centre and pin on each side.

Do the same on each side.

Now fill in the gaps.

Continue to do another row placing the triangle points in between each triangle bellow.

When you’ve pinned all triangles do the other side in the same way.

There will be a gap in between both sides.

Now take the rest of the ribbon and mark it at 1/2 inch intervals.

The markings will be your guide to make the box pleats.

Check out my tutorial on peekaboo pleating for a guide on how to make the pleats.

This is what the edges of the pleating looks like.

If using malleable ribbon you don’t need to stitch the pleats so that they stay into shape.

When you have done enough pleats to cover the ball, about 9 1/2 inches, wrap the pleated ribbon around the ball to cover the gap and pin on each pleat. Then place a narrow red ribbon on the middle and pin to the pleated ribbon all around the ball.

No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon

Now, look at the picture and fold each opposite corners of each pleat as per photo. To achieve this effect, your gold ribbon has to have malleable edges so that the corners stay in place after folding.

No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon


No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon

View from the top.

No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon

Using the red narrow ribbon, make a couple of loops with it as per picture and then a larger loop to hang and pin to the ball.

No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon

The ornament is done.

No sew Christmas ornament - polystyrene ball and ribbon

If you are interested in fabric folding, check my other fabric folding tutorials.