Friday, December 5, 2014

A Fabric Covered Notebook

My Patchwork club did a notebook cover project day. It has been a long time since I made one of these and they are very easy to make.

A couple weeks prior, a friend had emailed me, call her an "enabler". "You need this fabric" she wrote, sending me a link to Au Fil d'Emma. She was sew correct, I did need that fabric!

Now an interesting thing about living in France is that the rest of the world looks at France with rose colored glasses. There is something romantic about France that attracts people. Those attracted are called Francophiles. There are a lot of them in the world. So much so, that as a hobby I collect badly worded French fabric. Normally this fabric is out of Japan, but the US makes some interesting mistakes as well in the fabric and projects found there. I am not an expert in any language including English, I dangle my participles with the best of them, but I do enjoy finding the lack of spell check on fabric.

The French however, are by definition Francophiles as they are French after all. 

Now what does that have to do with fabric? 

If I see French style fabric anywhere but France, by the time I get to it, it is either sold out or slim pickings. I hate that! In France however, it is there and not as popular. Things in any other language, English for example, have the same appeal here and French does everywhere else.

The fabric on the website I was pointed to by my very nice enabling friend was called "I Dream of Paris" and it is from Windham.  I bought the 1/4 meter cut selection and two rows of postcards.
At about the same time, one of the ladies in my club brought me a small bag of lace bits that have been stored at her house of years.
Here it is after it has been washed and pressed. 
When the fabric arrived, something wonderful happened! There was a color match!

Yippy! It is not often that I don't have dye lace to match the fabric I am going to use. How nice for a change.

For the club meeting we were asked to have our top ready to go. One of the frustrating things that happened as I worked my design was that the postcards were not the same size. Here is a picture of my top and clearly one of them is taller than the other. 
It is probably not wise to stretch the shorter one or gather to shrink the longer one so I just designed around it. As they will be on different sides of the book, it should not be an issue. I was able to incorporate 2 of the 3 matching vintage laces into my book cover.

You might notice some wrinkles at the top my the word musee. 
This piece was ironed onto a firm Sulky stabilizer called Fuse 'n Stitch. Any wobbly stitches that may not be noticeable when it is just fabric shows itself in detail when ironed onto the stabilizer. I had to go back and fix that part as well as several other places. I knew if I did not my eye would be drawn to the problem area for the  rest of the notebook covers life.

The Fuse 'n Stitch, although not required for this project was cut to the exact dimensions of the notebook (when it is closed). Stabilizer in this project is objective. I wanted firm and crisp not soft and possibly saggy.

Construction of the notebook was pretty straight forward. For my lining fabric I used a plain muslin scrap I had laying around.

Here is my finished product.

I added a silk ribbon to mark the page to the cover and at the bottom I sewed on a little Eiffel Tower.
I am pleased with the results. No question, I am going to use this notebook in the future.


  1. What type of book did you use? I would love to have the steps to make this cover! I LOVE it!!!

  2. How clever you are ... it is definitely very pretty. What a wonderful way to have some keepsake memories of your years in France. Great job!!!