Tricks Up My Sleeve

Tonight I am on a date night with Matt.  He has told me nothing about this night except to be ready to go at 5pm and wear a dress I made (the winner!).  I'm super excited, especially since I'll be leaving him next week to go on vacation, but am really bad about surprises.  I want to know!  Right now!  (And yes, I still snoop for my Christmas presents.)  SO!  To even the playing field I have a secret all my own....

You my recall that we recently had a basement flood.  Matt lost some precious items, mostly books, and one that I could afford to replace was the "Annotated Alice in Wonderland".  I'll be giving it to him tonight at some point as a date night surprise all my own.  The newfound crafter in me, though, refuses to give an unadorned gift so I made a book cover to hide this gift until the right time.  A little morning project of my own design.  
It's a beautiful book, so I really hope it won't stayed covered for too long--it's just some gift wrapping--but I'm pretty pleased with how the cover turned out...

To Make Your Own Fabric Book Cover

I made a double sided cover, same materials on both sides.  I thought it would be a cleaner look to have it lined.  I also attached the flap/pockets that actually hold the cover on separately, as well.  Again, it's a cleaner seam.  You can probably shorten this project by making a cover out of an unlined continuous strip of fabric, but I broke mine up a little.  Potatyto potahto.

To make the type of cover I made, you'll start by measuring the width of the book in its entirety.  So either open the book and lay it flat, pages to the surface (a librarian no-no!), or measure the cover, double that number to account for both sides, and add that number to the measurement for the width of the spine.  Now measure the height of the book.  Don't forget to add an inch to both measurements for your seam allowance!* You'll cut two pieces this size, one for the outside and one for the lining.  Mine was 20" by 11.25", with the seam allowances.  Your number will be different, as all books have different measurements.  Remember to make the lining as fun as you want!

*A note about seam allowance: An inch seam allowance will actually allow a quarter inch allowance all around when you sew these two large panels together.  The remaining allowance will be used when sew the flap/pockets on, again allowing a quarter inch allowance all around. If this doesn't make sense yet, it will soon.

Next, you'll want to make the flap/pockets.  These are what hold the cover onto the book.  You know this.  Make these by measuring a cover of the book just shy by about three inches.  The height should be the same.  Again...seam allowances!  Cut two.  My piece were 6" by 11.25", with allowances.

Larger panels and smaller flap/pocket panels.

Now that all your pieces are cut, let the assembly begin!!!!  With right sides together, sew the two larger panels together, leaving a two inch gap so you can turn the piece right side out.  Press, and hand or machine stitch that gap shut.  

Next, press and sew one long edge of the flap/pockets under just a little to make a clean edge.  Then, with raw edges and right sides together, sew each of the flap/pockets to the large panel like so:

Sew the three raw edges of the flap/pockets to the large panel, then turn flap/pockets right side out.  Cover the book with your new homemade hotness, write some sweet nothings on the inside cover, and voila!

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