Friday, June 7

Pimpin' Up Your Cover

And now for something completely different...

One thing you might not know about me is that I love Textiles.  
Not like, but love.
When faced with choosing my A Levels, the careers department at my school tried to tell me that in order to study History at the highest universities, I had to pick only the strongest academic subjects.
Apparently art can be frowned upon at some universities and would have inhibited my chances of acceptance on such a competitive course.
Whilst they were pretty insistent, I ignored this advice. 

I ignored this because I knew that I would rather learn about the subjects which I loved and put more effort into, than be loathing a humanities that I felt complied to do.
This is one of the best decisions that I've ever made.
My love for Textiles meant that I was actually happy to spend countless hours slaving over a sewing machine or doing intricate water colours.
Even though I had essays to do for my other subjects, textiles did not feel like a chore or work, it felt like free time.

I miss textiles.
It is very different doing it yourself at home than in the studio, plus I could not take my sewing machine to university.
Today I dusted off my prized Bernina, the Rolls Royce equivalent in the sewing machine world, and rekindled my creativity.
Over the Summer I'm going to fire this baby up to the max, so here is my first textiles post of (hopefully) many to follow.

Especially at a time when everyone is surrounded by books for revising, why not pimp them up a bit?
Make those dull, dreary covers a smidge more exciting and personal?
I decided to make a simple, easy cover for my planner but it could be made to suit anything you desire.
Cook book, sketch book, favourite novel... There is a cover to be made for everything!

Say hello to one of my prized possessions! (To some, this is just a sewing machine, to me, it is sooo much more!)

To make your own snazzy cover, you will need: 
- A piece of fabric in your chosen pattern. I used some floral, cotton print. It needs to be at least 4cm taller than your book and over 1/3 longer in length (so the flaps can reach securely inside).
- 1 book of choosing
- Tape Measure
- Scissors
- Sewing Machine/Needles 
- Pins to hold
- Thread to contrast/match your fabric.

Place your book onto the fabric and cut to allow 4cm at the top/bottom in height.
Width wise, the size of each inner sleeve needs to be at least half of the cover.
Firstly, fold over each side of the rectangle of fabric by about 2cm to create a neat edge and hold with a line of pins.

Use a line of pins to mark the centre of the fabric (where the book spine will lie) in order to keep the exact middle.

Place your book in the correct position on the fabric and fold the ends in, one at a time, to create the sleeves.

In the picture above you can see the middle line (the crease) which is held in place with pins, and the right sleeve which was folded over.
Using pins, secure this in its place at the top and bottom.

Complete for the other side too.

Now time to whack out the beast of a machine!
I used a black thread to blend in to the fabric, but if your pattern is a little bit less intense you could try a bright, contrasting colour.

If you have a sewing machine, use the standard, straight feet and sew each edge.
For a neater edge in each of the top corners, fold down to create a mini triangle, and sew into place.
(All of this can be done with a needle and thread, but will just take a little bit longer!)

With all the edges fastened in place, slide the sleeve back onto your book and admire the pimped out decor!
Black may be endless chic, but the elegant, floral pattern does not half help to brighten up your boring old organiser.

Add a personal touch or two.
A name tag, patch work detailing, or a mixture of different fabrics.
The beauty of textiles and art is that it is all your own work.
You decide. You create!

So, do not fret my dears about those boring old revision books! The contents may be dull, but at least their exterior will brighten your day, (and help you to procrastinate!)



  1. Love this idea, even though I haven't done much textiles-wise, I have exactly the same thing with art, I love it!xx

    1. Its infectious isn't it?! I just love the uniqueness and freedom of it :) xx

  2. My school never did textiles, but I love this blog even more now I know you're a fellow arty farty! Xxx

    1. Yep, die hard arty farty! Hoping to add more textiles posts soon. Its such a big part of my life, and this is a lifestyle blog- so it is definitely sticking around! xx

  3. Great tutorial Emily, I like this idea a lot more than the standard "cover your book with paper/wall paper". Fabric seems a lot nicer idea as it's pretty AND nice to touch.
    I know this is silly but would you consider doing a quick post about how to set up a sewing machine? I think we have one knocking around our house and I've always wanted to learn how to sew, but I wouldn't know the first thing about starting!


    1. Thanks Flora, I tried to make it as simple as I could for those who aren't used to sewing. Plus shops usually do really cheap off cuts in little bundles= Budget decor!
      Yeah sure! I was considering it but didn't know how much detail to do in my first post. I'm used to a Bernina, do you know what brand yours is?
      We can get the sewing bug booming! xx

  4. This is such a great way to personalize anything! I love applying a little artfulness to everything and something as simple as a book, keeps a bit of creative beauty in the day-to-day and in the small things. Great post!

    Hugs from LA,

    1. Hello from across the pond! Thanks! Well I just think it is the little things in life which make a home a home, so why not do it yourself instead of buying it!?

  5. This looks gorgeous, such a cute Idea! I was only in John Lewis the other day with my mum who was telling me to invest in a sewing machine as apparently once you know how to use them you can't live without them lol xx

    1. I totally agree with your mum! You will be surprised how useful they turn out to be, especially if your clothes tear/need fixing! Go for it! xx

  6. Such a good idea, I have to try this DIY because I love keeping a journal with a pretty cover (:
    Love your blog! I'm now following you can't and wait to read future post <3
    -B ♡

    1. Thanks Sierra!! Sometimes it is nice just to have those little things made by yourself and find your creative side. Let me know how it goes if you try it :) xx

  7. Such a lovely idea, and looks really profess too :D
    x x x

  8. I am so horrible at sewing! Looks really good =)

    Teffy || Teffys Perks Blog


    1. Nahhh I don't believe that! Everyone can sew once you know the basics! xx

  9. I was nosing through this blog looking at your recipes when I spotted this.

    Amazing. I've just started learning how to sew and one of the things I wanted to learn how to make was a notebook cover. Serendipitous or what?!

    Thanks so much! Pinned, and I'll link you when I make it x

    1. Awww thanks Amy, thats so sweet! I think it is fate, it was obviously in the stars that you were to find this. Let me know how it goes if you try it, and please do link me in! xx


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