Our first project for Summer Sewing School is to make a needlebook to keep all of your needles organized. Depending on how you design your needlebook you will learn how to sew on a button and how to sew a blanket stitch, a whip stitch, a running stitch and a back stitch.
Two 9″ X 12″ pieces of felt (different colors, you might also want some other colors for embellishing)
Embroidery Thread – only one color is needed
Rotary Cutter (optional)
Cutting Mat (optional)
Pinking Shears (optional)
If you need more details about the supplies please see Basic Supplies for Sewing.
Instructions for making a felt needlebook:
In order to keep this tutorial from being huge, the highlighted links will take you to a page devoted entirely to basic hand stitches.
- Your finished needlebook will measure approximately 4 1/2″ by 6″. When you embellish the front you need to plan to put at least one button – this will be a non functioning button (unless of course you want to slit the front of the book to make a buttonhole, like Benjamin did.) The first thing you want to do is to draw out what you want the front of your book to look like. You can put on lots of buttons, or cut out felt flowers or hearts, you can “write” words on it. Let your imagination run… but not too wild for this first time.
- Chose which color you want your book to be and cut 2 pieces of felt 6 “by 9 “. If you bought rectangle craft felt then measure the long side and cut it in half. These are not always exactly 9″ by 12” so measure first or just fold it in half and mark. You want it to be as straight as possible so be careful.
- One piece will be the outside of the book, one piece will be the liner
- From the other 9″X12″ piece of felt, cut one 4″X8″ piece- this will be your pages – put this aside for later
- From the large piece left cut one 2″X9″ piece, now cut this piece into three 2″X3″ pieces. These will be for your flaps and/or pockets. Put this aside. You can cut these with pinking shears if you want.
- The rest rest you can use to embellish the front.
- Fold the outside piece in half and embellish the front. This is the really fun part. Since these will not get washed, you don’t need real knots at the beginning or the ending. Here’s how:
- If you are sewing on a heart or flower or some other felt cut out piece you can pin it on and use a whip stitch to sew it on. For stems or other straight lines you can use a running stitch. Also, decide where you want your buttons, you can use them as flowers or the center of flowers or just randomly put cool buttons all over the front.
When you finish your last stitch, run the needle with the remaining thread through the backside of 4 or 5 stitches
When the front is finished put it aside and let’s work on the lining.
Lay the liner out and arrange the flap pieces how you want them, no closer than 1/2 inch to the edge. You will sew these on using a running stitch or a back stitch along the top of each piece. You can make a pocket by sewing the 2 sides and bottom instead of the top.
When the liner is finished lay it on top of the outside piece, wrong sides together. Pin together.
- Now, fold the page piece in half so that it is 4″X4
- Lay the page piece on the right side of the liner (I haven’t sewn on the flaps in the picture or the lining to the outside, but you should have already done so)
- Using a blanket stitch, stitch spine of book
Sit back, eat some chocolate and admire your hard work!
When you’ve finished eating your chocolate and admiring your work take a picture and show it off in the flickr group.
If you have any questions, ask them in the comments and I’ll answer them there.