Lovely linen part 1

May 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm 1 comment

Before going to meet Dorling Kindersly book people, I noticed that the spine of my portfolio/book had a small tear in it. I didn’t have time to go get a new portfolio and thought it could be rather tasty to make my own cover. My only worry was that it would need to be beautifully finished, tasteful, simple and look professional or I’d be better off with my torn spine.

I decided on linen as being simple, beautiful and utilitarian and the method I decided to use would work on any size of book. I often cover books with fabric or paper for friends and decorate the covers for each individual suited to their personal taste.

Linen covered book

1. I first opened out my portfolio and measured roughly around it and cut out a big chunk of linen making sure to leave a large margin all around the edge with extra long bits on the left and right – a bit like covering text books at school.

2. Then I ironed on some iron-on interfacing which you can get from any haberdashery department. You don’t have to do this stage but it stabilizes the linen and makes it much easier to work with to get a neat finished look and makes it a bit more robust as a cover.

3. Next I got a ruler and drew nice straight lines and made sure I had nice right angles using my book still laid out on top (I could have measured my book and added on equal amounts to top and bottom and equal bigger amounts to left and right but where would the fun be in that? I just did it by eye with the book on top but I did make sure the front and back flap would be the same size.

4. I did a zig zag stitch all around the edge even though the linen isn’t likely to fray with the interfacing on, I just thought that as this hem would be visible on the inside of the top and the bottom of the book it would look neater.

5. I did think it looked a little plain all bare and brown so I found a piece of very simple cotton ribbon which I machine sewed onto the front cover. I then played with typing my name onto some ribbon and wondered about various ways of putting my name on the front cover but none of them looked quite right and I did feel this shouldn’t look too ‘hand made’ or ‘cutesy’. If this is for a personal project this is the bit where you can go bonkers with your covers decorating them, embroidering, sewing, sticking things on, typing onto, drawing or printing on or whatever takes your fancy.

Here you can see the back page and how the back flap folds over.

Here you can see the back page and how the back flap folds over.

6. Next I folded over the top edge and the bottom and pressed flat with lots of steam making sure that the finished height it is just slightly longer than the height of my book.

7. Then I turned in both ends about a centimetre, pressed them down with an iron for a nice crisp finish and machine sewed them down

8. I then folded in the front and back flaps making sure the book was shut when I measured for this bit as the fabric has to reach around a bit further with the book shut. And again pressed flat and then hand sewed them. This means this cover is not removable as it’s on a rigid cover book. On a soft cover, you’d be able to slot your book in and out.

9. Ta da! All finished.

Ends were hand sewn closed.

Ends of book close up. Look at all those tiny stitches


Entry filed under: Makes, Sewing.

Cute alert! Lovely linen part 2

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Kathy Baker  |  January 15, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I have an interior design site and I am interested in purchasing a link on your website. Your site looks great and I would love to be part of your blogroll. Or, if you prefer we could exchange links.

    If this is possible, could you let me know how much you would charge for a basic text link. My site is located at

    Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing back from you.


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