i mentioned recently that i have purchased a new notebook to keep track of my to-do lists. i am still absolutely in love with this thing. i decided to show my love by making a cover for it.
it’s basically just a sleeve that fits over the front cover. i didn’t use a pattern. i just winged it. i measured the cover & added 1/4″ all around for the seam allowance, plus 1/8″ to accommodate the thickness of the cover (which is very sturdy cardboard–much heavier than your average mead notebook). i folded in the outside edges (by the spirals) & topstitched to hem. i added the decoration on the cover & the pocket on the inside before i stitched the sleeve together.
all the materials for the cover were pulled from stash. i didn’t buy anything new to make it. the pennants on the cover are made from felt. i happened to have a bunch of different colors laying around because i’ve been meaning to make an activity book for ramona. i just keep getting sidetracked by other projects. i matched thread to each pennant & used gluestick to place them before i sewed, to make sure they would fit & that the colors were harmonious.
i used my free motion foot to do the lettering. full disclosure: this was the first time i have ever used the free motion foot. you can kind of tell. the letters look a little messy. some messiness was intentional. i’m not sure i am 100% in love with the way the letters came out, but for a first try with that particular tool, i am satisfied. “secret agenda” is a reference to a “cat & girl” comic from a few years ago. jared said it reminded him of me.
the pocket inside is fully lined in self-fabric & i added a little slot for my pen, since i am extremely picky about my pens (i only used stylist fine tips). i have to mail order them because no one in lawrence sells them, & you know. they’re not the most expensive pens on the market, but they cost a lot more than a 20-pack of bic ballpoints from office depot. i really don’t want anyone else touching them because they are ruined if they get skin oils on them (& ramona loves to draw on herself), & they need to be held at a particular angle to flow properly, & jared doesn’t use that angle & ends up pressing too hard & splitting the tips. so this way, i can stash my pen in my notebook & keep it safe!
pro-tip about adding a pen slot to a pocket: the slot has to be wider than you think. mine is 1.5″.
one of my favorite things about this cover is that i added rivets! the cover was snug enough to stay on the notebook without any fixtures, but once i had the idea of securing it with some kind of metal, i couldn’t get it out of my head. i had a stash of jeans rivets purchased for a pair of jeans that i have cut out (in may) & not yet sewn, so i used them, putting the flat part of the rivet on the outside. they secure the cover & add style!
i also added a couple of closure options, because i am obsessed with notebooks that can be latched shut. it’s probably a throw-back to being a child in the 80s, the last big gasp of locking diaries for little girls. i added a length of 1/4″ elastic that stretches around the back cover, & i also sewed a fabric-covered button to the front & a simple white hair tie to the back, to create a button & loop closure.
oh, & i added a pink ribbon to serve as a bookmark, to hold my page.
all in all, it was a pretty quick project–just a couple of hours, including all the cutting & threading different colors of thread in the machine & hand-sewing the elastic (because it didn’t occur to me to add it until the rivets were already in place–i would have preferred to sew the elastic into the seam allowances). it was a nice hit of instant gratification after all the hand-quilting i did last month (my skin is still peeling off where my hands blistered from not using a thimble) & it makes me smile every time i look at it.
of course, i couldn’t stay away from big, involved projects for too long. i went to hancock yesterday to check out their big veterans day sale & found this really gorgeous dark gray plaid.
it’s hard to tell in this photo, but the black lines in the plaid are glittery! it’s a heavy wool blend, & pretty expensive, but it was 50% off thanks to the sale. i found some pink satin that exactly matched the pink in the plaid, also 50% off, to use for the lining. i’m planning to make view D, with the longer, even-all-around hem, funnel collar, & hood. this is basically my platonic ideal of a winter coat. i’m nervous about fitting, because my big problem with coats is always finding something that fits my bust, allows me to move my arms, & hits my short waist in the right place, but you know. that’s the magic of sewing for yourself. hopefully i will manage to achieve a better fit than i’ve ever found off the rack, & then maybe i won’t be so resentful of cold weather.