January 24, 2014

Mini Journal Cover in 30 Minutes Tutorial

I made an owl mini cover here for a Christmas gift, and I mentioned that I would post a tutorial. I am so happy to get this done and put this one in my purse for a quick note here or there.  It's not often that I make things for me. How could I resist when it only takes 30 minutes. Yes, I said 30 minutes. It was the 3rd one. During that time I pieced the top, lost some scissors,  did a clean up to find said scissors. Plus, taking a few photos. So, it may take a bit longer, or you may be super fast and whippity do dah, you're done.

The pictures are a little on the dark side, I apologize, it was a bit rainy out. Maybe, I can get the hubby to get me a new camera soon. That would be awesome...we'll see. Then, I will have to learn how to use it.
 Just a side note, we had snow flurries in the panhandle of Florida today. It isn't normal for that to happen. That's what was going on in my backyard.

Materials:  Rotary cutter, ruler, scissors, elastic (to match if you like) Mid weight interfacing and fabric.

First, I cut all pieces:
Exterior fabric  Interior fabric Interfacing  Cut 1 of each: 5 1/2 x 7 3/4 inches
* If you want to piece it together like I did, I started with the interfacing and used the quilt as you go method building it out until it covers the interfacing and trim any extras off.
Two flaps Cut: 5 1/2 x 5 inches.
Elastic Cut: 6 inches
One mini composition book. 4.5x 3.25 inch book

I already did my piecing to the interfacing above and all my items are ready to go. You have done most of the work at this point. :)
I have taken the two flaps here and folded the 5 inch side in half. I top stitched each one 1/8 inch to the right of the fold. Then I laid them on each side of the interior fabric matching the outer edges. I sewed each flap around the top, outer edge and bottom at 1/8 inch (close to the edge) just to stabilize the flaps to the interior fabric.

So, it's like a little pocket.

Now, I took pictures of the first one, and in this photo the elastic is too close to the edge and a little tight. I didn't take photos of the 2nd mini until the finish, but you can see in the photo that I placed this on the right side of the exterior fabric. I placed the elastic 1 inch from the right edge on the amended version. I also amended the second mini, so that there was room to put a finger underneath it comfortably. I tacked it down on top and bottom 1/8 inch from the edge by sewing back and forth over the elastic a  couple times to make sure that the elastic is secure.
Now, I have placed the right sides of the fabric together.  I am going to sew all the way around with a generous 1/4 inch  seam leaving about 3 to 4 inches opening for turning. This is  shown in picture above between where my fingers are at the bottom.

I have clipped the corners for less bulk. When you are turning it out. You can use something pointy like a chopstick or something like that to poke into the corners.
Now, I topstitched 1/8 around the edge just to give it a finished look. I didn't topstitch on the elastic. I moved the elastic out to the right to avoid sewing. It wasn't that hard to maneuver. Now, I topstitched with the inside up. Really, I should have topstitched on the outside. Seriously, rookie mistake, but I didn't want to make a 3rd one, today. I love them, but 2 is good for one day.

Here's the outside. I tried some craft fuse. It's what I had on hand. I had some interfacing, but it was on top in the drawer. So, that's what I used. I didn't like it because it didn't hold up well on the corners when I wrapped the elastic around it. So, in this photo, it's mid weight will be fine. It is a little fussy to turn, but not bad. I think if you use heavy weight, it would make it more difficult to turn.
I hope that this tutorial is easy to follow and you enjoy making some of your own. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
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  1. Awesome! Thanks for the tut, i've been dragging around a graph book that has seen better days, it could use a spruce up!

    1. Your welcome, I'm glad you like it. I usually don't have anything when I need to write something down, I go digging for a receipt. I thought it was time for an upgrade. :)

  2. Darling journal cover. Just finished a quilt with this line and love it dearly!

  3. What a super cute journal cover! Love the fussy cut bit with the girl and a book - clever.

    1. Thanks Amanda, I think that fabric is super cute too. It's going to be great for fussy cutting.

  4. I like little journals as well. Yours look cute.

    1. Thank you. I have already used it in my bag. I don't have a spot for a pen though, but it's a quick and easy project.


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Maira Gall