Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Reloved Magazine ~ SewforSoul Feature April 2015

Decoupage Napkin Eggs 

Easter seems ages ago but officially the season lasts fifty days until Pentecost, which this year is 24 May ~ I therefore don't feel too bad about this post appearing 'late'!

My decoupage eggs were featured in April's edition of Reloved Magazine.  Whilst they can be used as Easter decorations, I keep mine out all year around.  They've also proved to be pretty popular over on Pinterest having been repinned over 10,000 times and counting!

Reloved also gave me a lovely little write-up in their 'Blogs We Love' feature which was totally unexpected but very flattering!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Fabric Notebook Cover Tutorial

Linen Journal Cover

One of our dearest friends turns 50 this week, so I stitched her up a little personalised present, a linen notebook cover with matching compact mirror.   The shops are full of beautiful (and expensive!) fabric journals but once all the pages have been written on they're rendered redundant.  Making your own removable cover means that you can simply pop a refill in, saving the both planet and your unique design!

I added a pretty little printed cotton panel, which provides a lovely pop of colour and texture.  The fabric is called Cottage Flowers and it comes in a pack of beautifully coordinating colour ways.  I've used most of the colours in the pack, but I can't blog all the projects yet as some have been sent off for publication!

As journal covers always make such welcome gifts, I've written a tutorial so that you can create your own.  Once you've mastered the basic construction (which is easy!) you can then decorate it in any way that takes your fancy. Perhaps some applique? Click on the link beneath the picture to be taken to some of my appliqued journals.

SewforSoul Appliqued Journal Covers

The tutorial will guide you through the process of making a cover with a panel insert. They're a little addictive and once you've made your first, you'll be dreaming up ways to customise the next!


The first step is to measure around your closed notebook from front to back edge including the spine.  As you can see mine is 31cm. You will also need its height, this one was was 21cm.

As I am going to be using 1cm seam allowances, I added 6cm to the width measurement of 31cm to allow for the joining of my floral panel, as well as the side seams.  If I were making the cover from just one fabric, I would only need to add 2cm for the two sides. You will also need to add 2cm to the height dimensions.  This sounds complicated but just remember that when you have pieced your fabric together it need to be 2cm wider and taller than your notebook!

The picture below shows the cutting measurements of my fabric pieces and when they had been pieced together the resulting fabric measured 33 x 23cm - Perfect for my journal which measured 31 x 21cm.

I simply joined them together with a 1cm seam allowance and then pressed the seams towards the darker fabric. A quick bit of top stitching adds a nice professional touch! 

The next step is to iron a piece of lightweight interfacing onto the wrong side of your pieced cover. This is particularly important if you are using a fairly open weave or light coloured fabric.  

To make the inner flaps, which will hold the journal in place, cut two pieces of linen fabric measuring 18 x 23cm.  Fold in half vertically and press, giving the folded edge a nice crisp crease.

Place your finished front cover piece down, right side up. Put the two flaps down on top with the folded edges facing in.  If you're adding a closure to your journal (I used a hair elastic) place it halfway down, in-between the back cover and flap.

Cut a lining from your floral fabric, so that it is the same size as your front cover piece (in my case 33 x 23cm).

Place the lining, right side down, on top of your fabric sandwich.  Pin or tack securely and then machine stitch around all four sides, remembering to leave a small turning gap!

Trim your seams and clip corners to reduce bulk and turn through to the right side.  Press gently and then hand sew the turning gap closed. 

Once the cover is turned through to the right side, the flaps will be on the inside ready to hold your notebook neatly in position. I took the photo above before the final press!

If you included a closure elastic, stitch a button into place on the front and then insert your journal and that's it.....

.......A beautiful handmade journal cover!