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  • Irina

Journal Cover Tutorial

When I received the sweetest bundle of fabric from Belle and Boo I immediately knew what I wanted to use them for. Those beautiful illustrations are particularly perfect for embellishments! Each print has so many details that you can fussy cut any shape and size. In this tutorial I will use 2 prints Flowers Girls fabric and Royal Patchwork to show you the options, but the possibilities are endless and the only limit is your imagination. The Flower Girls fabric brought me to my childhood. As a child I loved drawing girls in pretty dresses and embellish simple notebooks with those drawings. This is where the inspiration for the design came from. I think a journal cover would make a lovely gift for many occasions as it is a quick and easy make.

In this tutorial I give instructions for a standard (width x height) 11 1/4" x 7 1/2" (28.6 x 19.1cm) notebook. I measured the width of the journal from the vertical edge of the back cover through the spine to the front edge (journal closed). To measure height, I aligned the end of the measurement tape with the top edge of the front cover and measured the cover from top to bottom.

I also wrote a pattern "Scrappy Journal Cover" that allows to use scraps or one piece of fabric for background and make an EPP embellishment from 1/2" hexagons. You can adapt that pattern to fit a journal cover of any size (you can purchase it HERE).

You will need:

(1) Solid colored linen/quilting cotton for exterior 16 x 8 1/4" (40.6cm x 21cm)

(1) Light weight fusible interfacing 16 x 8 1/4" (40.6cm x 21cm)

(1) Lining, quilting cotton 16 x 8 1/4"(40.6cm x 21cm)

(1 or 2) Fussy cut motifs

General sewing tools and supplies

water/heat erasable marker

DMC embroidery floss/Aurifil 12wt/Perle cotton 8

fine thread and needle for hand sewing

1. Prepare the embellishments.

a) Round embellishment

I use Perfect circles plastic templates by Karen Kay Buckley. If you don't have those templates, draw a circle of desired size, glue it to a piece of cardboard and carefully cut the circle with scissors making sure the curve is smooth .

Trace the circle template to the wrong side (WS) of the fussy cut and cut it out with ⅜” (1cm) seam allowance (SA) with scissors. Using a strong thread hand stitch two lines with a simple running stitch in the SA around the marked template and leave approx. 4” (10cm) long ends at the end.

Place the template in the middle on the WS of the fabric circle. Holding the template in place with your fingers, pull the long ends of the thread so the excess fabric gathers around the template. Tie the ends.

Spray starch the SA on the WS and press with warm iron. Let it cool down and set aside (don´t remove the template yet).

b) Square embellishments

Measure your fussy cut and make a square paper template of desired size. You can use either glue or thread for basting (the same way we prepare EPP shapes). If the sides of your template are larger than 1 1/2" (3.8cm), you have to baste through the paper if using thread basting technique.

Press the shapes with warm iron on the back side. Don´t remove the templates yet. Set aside.

2. Apply light weight fusible interfacing to the WS of Exterior fabric.

3. Place the Exterior and lining fabric RS together. Pin. Sew the short sides together with 1/4" (0.6cm) SA, leaving approx. a 3 1/2" (8.9cm) opening in the middle of one side.

4. Mark 4 vertical lines: 2 on the WS of the Exterior and 2 on the lining, each line is at 2" (5.1cm) from the seam along the short sides.

5. Press the seam open and press the folds on the 4 marked vertical lines.

6. Align the folds on the lining and exterior. The seam is inside the fold. Pin all layers together.

7. Stitch along the top and bottom with 1/4" SA. Backstitch the beginning and end of the seam. Trim the SA with pinking sheers to slightly bigger than 1/8" and trim the corners.

8. Turn the cover RS out through the opening and give it a good press with hot iron from the lining side.

9. Audition the placement of the embellishment(s). Mark the placement with a water/hear erasable marker.

10. Gently remove the template from the embellishment. Press the embellishment on the WS with warm iron.

11. Slip a piece of folded paper inside the cover through the opening. This will help you applique the embellishment without sewing the layers together.

12. Using a fine needle and thread (for example, Aurifil 50wt or 80wt), applique the embellishment to the exterior with a ladder stitch. For the final touch you can add tiny stitches around the embellishment with 2 strands of embroidery floss/ Aurifil 12wt/ Perle cotton #8 in contrasting color stitching at approx ⅛” (0.3cm) from the embellishment.

13. Remove the folded paper. Sew the opening closed using a ladder stitch. Press the cover with the warm iron from the lining side.

Your journal cover is ready!

Special thanks to Belle and Boo for the beautiful fabrics that bring sweet memories and inspire me to create! ❤

Please respect the time and effort put in the creating this free tutorial. This pattern is FOR PERSONAL USE AND GIFTS ONLY! If you make a journal cover, please share it on IG under the hashtags #nordiccrafterpatterns and tag me at @nordiccrafter so I can see and admire your beautiful work!

Happy Sewing!🖤

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