Free PDF notebook cover pattern + sewing tutorial

Hi sewing friends, do you ever look for an easy and fun project to sew beyond making your own clothes? I certainly do !!! I like to expand my crafty skills and knowledge whenever possible. Lately it is by making my own PDF patterns, so it is no surprise that I am bringing to you my newest design!

Since beginning of this year I keep a sewing diary, where I write all my sewing makes so I have a quick reference in case I am unsure about something or I just want to see what I made so far. Using this journal everyday I started to notice some wear and tear on its outside cover and decided that I need to protect it somehow. This gave me an idea to design and try fun and colorful casing….and why not include some pockets….they are great not only on clothes! The pattern size is drafted so it loosely fits A5 notebook, but you can always scale it up or down if you need a different size.

     To complete this project you will need:

  • Notebook cover PDF pattern
  • 100 / 55 cm fabric of your choice
  • zipper – 23 cm
  • bias binding – 100 cm
  • fusible interfacing (optional)

Sewing tutorial

Cut out all the pattern pieces from your fabric, you can be creative here and use different fabric for outside panel or make your pockets in different colors…the choice is yours! I used the same fabric for all pieces except for one front notebook cover piece, because it is an internal/ lining panel, so it is the least visible.

Depending on the fabric of your choice and/or desired stability of the finished cover you may want to interface all or some of the pattern pieces. I recommend fusing at least both sleeves and 1 x front piece.

 

First, bind the top edges of short and tall pocket pieces, next place the short pocket on top of the tall pocket and stitch two straight lines as indicated on the pattern for a pen slots.

Place zip tabs at each end with right side facing the zipper and stitch it together.

Flip zip tabs and top stitch it in place. Trim the tabs to the width of the zipper.

Place the zipper at the straight edge of zip pocket (A) right sides together and sew it along the length about 4 mm away from zipper teeth. You may need to open and close the zipper as you sew to ensure a straight line. Flip the zipper and top stitch close to the stitch line. Repeat the same process for zip pocket (B).

Take the zipper pocket and place it on top of the sleeve piece with wrong sides together. repeat for the other side. Take tall-short pockets and place it on top of the sleeve with wrong sides together. Sew around the four edges within 1 cm seam allowance to hold it together.

 

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Using bias binding finish off the straight edges on both sleeve pieces.

Take one of the front cover pieces ( internal/ lining piece) and place both sleeve pockets on top ( right sides facing upward for all pattern pieces). Sew around the edges to hold it together within 1 cm seam allowance.

Next, with right sides together place the remaining front notebook cover piece and sew it together  with 1cm seam allowance leaving about 10 cm opening.

Finally, turn the notebook cover inside out and hand stitch to close the opening.

Final step. Enjoy your new notebook cover!

I hope this little project brings you joy and remember you can always customize it if you want. I plan to omit sewing pockets and make simple cover for my cooking book and scaling it down for my passport. There are so many other ways you can use this pattern….let me know what you think and if you ever made or are planning to make a similar project.

See you next time,

Monika xxx

Being a pattern tester for Glasshouse Patterns-Dahlia Dress

Hi everyone! I am excited to finally share with you a pattern that I had a pleasure to try and test. It is called Dahlia Dress and was designed by a lovely Tanja from Glasshouse Patterns. It is her very first pattern, so I took this job very seriously and made sure to be as thorough as possible.

Dahlia Dress pattern and instruction

Dahlia is a cute wrap style dress with interesting features. A front bodice includes 3 pleats to skim over your body for a better fit and there are also long back darts. The dress comes with 3 different sleeve lenght (long, 3/4 and cap sleeve) and you can have the skirt with flounce if you wish.

The pattern comes in a range of 8 sizes, but if you fall in between two sizes just check the table with finished measurements as the bodice has a bit more ease so it is possible to go with smaller size.

What I found interesting is how the fabric requirement is presented in the instruction booklet. Tanja divided the pattern into different variations and then recommends the lenght of the fabric required for that option. Due to the skirt pattern size it is recommended that the fabric width should be no smaller than 140cm.

Instruction booklet includes a step by step photo tutorial to guide you throughout the whole process. The steps are written in an easy to understand way and the pictures are high quality.

Dahlia Dress pattern adjustment and construction

The job of pattern tester is to find any mistakes either in the pattern itself or the instruction included in the booklet and I can honestly say that I take this very seriously. But apart from some grading errors for bodice pleats and notches that Tanja resolved right away there rest of the pattern was drafted very well. Other then that there was a missing step in the instruction and couple minor spelling mistakes which were rectified during the testing process.

I chose to make a version with cap sleeves and plain skirt without the flounce.

I had sewn the pattern as it is, without doing any of my adjustments as I wanted to see the original fit. It was pretty good apart from a waist line being too low on me. It would be fine if I did not want to attach the belt, but this is such a critical detail to the design I did not want to skip it. In turn I had shorten the bodice by 4 cm. Doing this raised a small problem at the side seams. They no longer matched by 5 mm. As this was only a test version I do not mind and because there is a waist belt it is barely visible, but lesson to all….do not shorten the bodice at the hem when there are any pleats or darts involved.

The process of sewing the Dahlia Dress was very straightforward up to a point of attaching a waist tie to the bodice. The instruction was missing a step and because the way that Tanja constructed the patter was new to me I got little confused. Tanja was extremely helpful during the testing phase and answered emails within couple of hours, so when she attached extra diagrams and updated booklet it was so simple in the end. I really like it how she finishes the tie from inside by attaching short ribbon to a waist band in two places.

It took me about 5 hours and 30 mins to make this dress, which in whole honesty is not that long. Being extra thorough slowed me down a little, but it was worth it as I have a beautiful dress in my wardrobe now.

One thing I need to confess….I had not checked the fabric reccomadation beforehand and purchase 5m of cotton fabric of 115 cm width. When I realised my mistake I was mortified, but luckily I was able to squeeze it by folding a material perpendicular to the salvage end. I was glad that my print was not a directional print and you can see I can get away with it this time….another lesson learnt…phhhhfff

Final thoughts

I like that the bodice part is lined, but was worried that it might be too bulky. The skirt is a perfect lenght for me, so I would advise lengthen it if you are much taller or add a flounce if you like that style.

Although this was a test pattern I would highly recommend this pattern if you are looking for a wrap dress that is well drafted and can be sewn from many different fabrics to give it a unique look.

~that is a wrap for today….what do you think?~

Monika xxx