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Simple Sewing with Lola Nova
“Deer Diary, let me tell you a secret…” I love a brand-new diary or journal, with all the promise and possibility of a fresh start. This sweet covered notebook is made from cosy felt, appliquéd with a little woodland deer; perfect for writing down all your thoughts, stories, dreams and big ideas! Felt is such a wonderful craft material, easy to work with and it comes in a rainbow of colours to choose from. Use the templates to sew up your very own Deer Diary and you will find it comes together so quickly
that you will want to make up a few more for gifts. Instead of a deer, you might prefer a chicken or a few felt flowers for your cover.
Let your imagination run wild!

Posted by Octopus Publishing Published See Octopus Publishing's 53 projects » © 2022 Alexandra Smith / Mitchell Beazley · Reproduced with permission.
  • How to make a book cover. Deer Diary - Step 1
    Step 1

    Measuring and cutting the felt
    The basic cover consists of 3 rectangle pieces of felt to
    create the outer cover and the 2 inner flaps that your
    notebook slips into. First, take some measurements to
    determine the size of the rectangles you need.
    Once you have chosen the notebook you want to cover,
    use your tape measure to measure around the entire width
    of your notebook (from the back to the front, including the
    spine, if any). Add 1cm (3/8 in) to this measurement – this
    will be the whole width of your cover.

  • How to make a book cover. Deer Diary - Step 2
    Step 2

    Now measure the height of your notebook, top to bottom.
    Add 5mm (¼in) to this measurement – this will be the
    height of your cover.
    You now have the rectangular dimensions (width x height)
    for the outer cover of your journal that you will cut out
    from the sheet of felt.
    For the inner flaps, subtract 8cm (3in) from the width of
    the outer cover dimensions and cut out a corresponding
    rectangle from the second sheet of felt. Cut this piece in
    half along its height. You now have your two inner flaps
    that will be sewn on the inside of the outer cover.
    Using a template, trace or copy the
    Deer scene. You can re-size them if you like using a
    photocopier. Cut out the templates and either pin the
    paper directly to the felt scraps, or trace onto the felt
    with a fabric marker.

  • Step 3

    When cutting out the felt pieces to be appliquéd onto your
    cover, I find that using small, sharp embroidery scissors with
    a fine point at the ends is most beneficial. Cut slowly and
    carefully around your templates to achieve the best results.
    Once you have all of your pieces cut out, it is time to
    arrange them on your cover.

  • How to make a book cover. Deer Diary - Step 4
    Step 4

    Appliqué the cover
    To find the best placement of your appliqué pieces, take
    your large rectangle cover piece and wrap it loosely
    around your notebook, situating the overhang evenly. Now
    arrange that sweet little deer and your scene pieces on
    the cover until you feel they are just right.

  • Step 5

    You can pin them or use a tiny dab of glue stick to keep
    them in place, wait a few minutes for the glue to dry
    before you move on to the stitching. It’s now time to
    appliqué our little buddy to the cover. Using a straight
    stitch close to the edge of your appliqué piece, begin
    stitching around your shape, back-stitching at the
    beginning and end of your stitching to secure the thread.
    Stitch slowly. With your needle in the down position, lift
    your presser foot to pivot the cover when you come to
    a corner or sharp turn in the appliqué piece, and lower
    the presser foot before continuing to stitch. Repeat this
    process for all your appliqué pieces.

  • Step 6

    Once you have finished the appliqué on the cover, you
    can add a label or further embellishment to the inner flap
    pieces, if you wish.

  • How to make a book cover. Deer Diary - Step 7
    Step 7

    Sew the cover together
    Gather up your 3 finished cover pieces. Place each of
    the inner-flap pieces on opposite ends of the large cover
    rectangle, wrong sides together and matching raw edges.
    Pin in place.

  • Step 8

    Firstly, stitch the cover and flaps together all along the
    top long edge of your cover using a 3mm (1/8 in) seam
    allowance and back-stitching neatly at the beginning and
    end of your line of stitches. Repeat this process for the
    long bottom edge.

  • How to make a book cover. Deer Diary - Step 9
    Step 9

    Now stitch the remaining two side seams with a scant
    5mm (¼in) seam allowance, again back-stitching at the
    start and end of your seam.

  • How to make a book cover. Deer Diary - Step 10
    Step 10

    Cover the notebook
    To get your notebook all snuggled inside its brand new
    cover, you will need to open up your notebook and fold
    back the existing cover on itself. Fold your new felt cover
    in the same fashion. Gently slide the notebook cover into
    the inner flaps as shown.

  • Step 11

    If the cover is a little snug, don’t fret, as felt will stretch a
    little after a short time and ease into the perfect fit.
    There you have it, all ready to fill with your thoughts and
    dreams. Happy writing!

    For a nice clean finish at the edges of your notebook
    cover, use a clear ruler and a rotary cutter to trim a
    straight line from your seam allowance around the outside
    edges of your notebook, making sure you don’t cut into
    your stitched seams.

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