Wednesday, June 1, 2011

moleskine cover tutorial

It's here, the "little tutorial that could". As I mentioned before this one started out so much more complicated than it ended up. It had multiple pieces to cut out and at least twice as much sewing. I knew it could be simpler but had to mull it over for awhile before the light bulb finally went off.
Moleskines are gaining more and more popularity and can be found more places than ever (even Target carries them now). The plain kraft/chipboard cover that some of them have make them perfect for all kinds of embellishing and adornment. I liked the idea of a fabric cover that could be washed if needed and re-used once the notebook runs out. I also like any little project that lends itself to a touch of embroidery such as this. I made two versions - one for the cahier size journal and the wee little volant notebook (so cute!).

Here's what you'll need : fabric, your moleskine notebook of choice, sewing machine, elastic (optional), embroidery floss, needle, desire to embroider (optional)

There are no pattern pieces to cut - just a rectangle shape. Here are the dimensions:
Cahier size: 14.125w x 12.5h
Volant size: 9.25w x 9.75h
*the photos here show the volant size
Trim the right and left sides with pinking sheers and fold over 1/4 inch. Press (and pin if you like)
Sew along the edge to finish

*If you are doing any embroidery or other embellishing it's best to do it now before the next step.*
Next fold in half with right sides together. Pin in place and stitch together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance
Re-position your fabric so that the seam runs long the center rather than the top/bottom edge and press seam open
Turn right side out and you will see you have basically a simple tube of fabric
Next fold the sides over so you have a flap that is approximately 1 5/8 inch on both the front and the back covers (about 2 3/4 on the cahier size).
I double checked it with the actual notebook in place just to make sure it was okay - try it with the notebook open and closed and make sure you have wiggle room on the fold as you will be top stitching that edge.
Top stitch right by the edge/fold on both sides.
So this is what you should have so far
At this point you can simply top stitch along the top and bottom edges to complete your notebook cover. Or, you can add a length of elastic to the back cover to hold your notebook closed when it's not in use. Many of the other varieties of moleskines have this feature and it does come in handy if there is a chance your notebook might get jostled around. I used a piece of elastic that was 5 1/2 inches long. Tuck one end under the fold of the back cover and pin in place
Tuck the other end under the fold at the bottom and pin in place.
The last step is topstitching along the top and the bottom right up at the edges. When you reach the elastic just hold it up so that the end gets stitched between the layers but the rest of it does not go under your needle. It's a little awkward but not too bad. Repeat on the other side and you are done!
And that's it! All that's left to do is to tuck the front and back covers of your notebook into the pockets of your fabric cover and you are done.
These would make cute gifts for teachers, fun stocking stuffers and a nice little project for yourself. They are also a good way to use up smaller pieces of fabric. Am I the first one on the internet to share a tutorial like this one? I wish! So, if you are looking to step it up a notch and make Moleskine covers with a bit more detail (like with pen holders and button closures and fun stuff like that) check out all of these tutorials - they are wonderful!


Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [01 Jun 10:15am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

Carolyn said...
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Momma said...

Totally brilliant!I have moleskine cahier with me at all times for all my lists and notes. I can't wait to spiff it up with a fabric cover!

consejo comprar yate said...
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Candice said...

Just thought I'd let you know that I blogged this post today on - thanks for such useful information!