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One of my main mottos this year has been to “Get Organized.” I’ve been working tirelessly doing boring things (aka… anything that’s not sewing, haha), like organizing my kid’s papers, creating a chore system, and figuring out how to keep up with all my pictures. With every completed task, I’ve tried to incorporate a sewing aesthetic. Creating a planner has been one of my ultimate goals, and so I decided that it needed a cute stitched cover to go along with it.

I think this would be a really fun gift to give. You could create any type of notebook– a planner, a recipe book, a scrapbook– and give it your own touch of handmade with a personalized cover.
 My favorite part of a project like this is coming up with a theme and color scheme. I went for a nautical feel for mine. You can create all sorts of fabric shapes and words on this project, and really personalize it for the person you’re making it for. You can use a free motion applique method like I did, or you could use patchwork, needle turned applique… the possibilities are endless. Here’s how I made mine:

-small 1/2″ notebook
-outside fabric: 16 1/2 x10 1/4 inches
-lining fabric: 16 1/2 x10 1/4 inches
-inside flaps: two pieces each 10 1/4 x 10 1/4
-applique pieces: your preference
-interfacing: same size as outside fabric, and scraps for applique pieces
 -other: free motion (darning) foot for the applique, sewing machine, thread, cutting mat, ruler, rotary cutter, iron, etc.
*You can use whatever weight of fabric you like. I used a home dec weight for my outside fabric and appliques, and regular quilting cotton for the rest.

1. Cut all your pieces according to measurements above.

2. Create your applique pieces… I fussy cut around a few pieces.

3. I already did the measuring for you if you’re using small sized notebook, but if you’re using anything else, trace around it to create your outside template, leaving about 1/2″ for a seam allowance.

 4. Optional: I added fusible interfacing to the back of my outside piece so that my darker lining wouldn’t show through, and to add stability for the appliques.

5. Now the fun part! I don’t have a full tutorial on how to use the free motion foot, but basically you just put it on and get creative! I set my stitch length to 0 and made a few stitches to lock the thread in place, then put the stitch length back to normal, but maybe do a little research for the ideal stitch length on whatever it is you’re making. I practiced on a scrap before actually sewing on my project. I penciled my name and traced over it 3 times for a somewhat sketchy look. Then I went around my anchor 3 times, leaving the edge raw.

Last, I made a little whale which is on the back of my notebook. I interfaced both the anchor and the whale for stability.

6. The next step is to take the inner flap pieces. Since they are square, it doesn’t really matter which way you fold them, just in half with wrong sides together. Give them a quick press. Then edge stitch on the folded edge, backstitching at beginning and end. (I hope you can see where I sewed)!

7. Now its time to lay the flap pieces over the outside piece. Place the raw edges together. The edgestitched sides will face inward.

8. Now place the lining piece on top of the flap pieces. This will lay with the right side facing down. Pin everything in place. Mark a place along the bottom edge where you will leave a 3 inch opening.

9. Now you are ready to sew all the layers together! I used a 1/4″ seam allowance. Remember to leave a 3 inch opening so that you can turn everything right side out.

10. Carefully clip your corners.

11. Now turn the cover right sides out. Don’t fret if it turns out looking like this! You will just rearrange so the flaps fold toward the lining piece.

12. Now that everything is facing the right way, press it into place. The last step is to edge stitch all the way around. This will close the 3 inch hole, and give the whole cover a nice, finished shape.

13. And just like that, you are done! An easy, quick handmade gift or something cute for yourself!
 It should slip right on to your notebook.

I couldn’t help photographing my notebook cover with this cute little needle book that my good friend Ashley gave to me for Christmas. I just love and adore it, and it made the perfect gift! (I’m so lucky)!

This post was part of Sew Caroline’s 12 Days of Handmade Gifts. Thank you so much to Caroline for inviting me to be a guest on her blog!
Once upon a time…

I started a blog. This is a tale of my projects, goals, and dreams. Thank you for taking a moment to stop by. I hope you have a beautiful day.

xoxo, Rach H.