Monday, December 8, 2014

Tutorial: Gratitude Journal Cover

I love objects that multi-task, and this one is no exception.  Is it a personalized journal cover for a budding elementary school student?  A fancy cover for a wedding guest book? A gratitude journal for a holiday gathering?

How about all of the above?

I was searching for a simple pattern for my daughter's composition book cover this year.  I didn't need anything ornate or complicated; in fact, I was specifically looking for something without bells and whistles, something we could remove from one notebook when it got full and put onto another inexpensive composition book.  I was surprised when I couldn't find what I needed anywhere in the realm of the entire Internet. I found passport covers, covers for recipe books, ornate covers for Bibles, covers to fit trade paperbacks so no one could see what you were reading in the airport...but nothing for a simple composition book.  Being that I'm proud and lucky mother to an aspiring writer, I knew I'd have to come up with a pattern for one on my own.  So I did.

As is the case with many things, the project took on a life of its own, and shortly, besides having the journal cover I envisioned, I also had a cover for the Christmas Gratitude Book we use for our family each year.  Sometime during the holiday season, we take the time to write a list of things for which we are grateful. That deserves a special book.  A special book that's simple to make.  This one fits the bill.


1. Two pieces of fabric (for front and inside), each measuring 16" by 10 3/4"
2. Two pieces of fabric (for pockets to hold cover flaps), each measuring 10 3/4" by 9", folded and ironed to measure 10 3/4" by 4 1/2"
3. Standard composition notebook

Simple Steps:

1. Optional: sew an edge stitch down the folded edge of each 10 3/4" by 4 1/2" piece, just because it looks nice :)

2. Stack your fabric as follows: inside piece (right side up), two pockets (right side up, pressed and finished edges toward the inside so all of the raw edges line up on the outside), outside fabric (right side DOWN).  Pin all of your edges, making sure to catch all of the layers of fabric, and making sure to leave a 2"-3" opening at the very bottom (indicated by the vertical pins in the picture below) to turn your piece.

3.  Sew all the way around, making sure to leave that 2"-3" gap at the bottom and being sure you catch all three layers in your stitching.
4. Turn right side out through the opening, making sure your outer fabric ends up on one side and your inner fabric and pockets are on the other side.
5. Press the whole piece.
6. Slip stitch your small opening closed.
7. Put in your notebook, securing the front and the back cover in between the inside fabric and the pockets.
8. Write. Reflect. Be grateful

The options for personalization are endless.  Sew a small pocket on the front to hold a pen.  Sandwich lace between the edges before you sew to make a fancy wedding guest book.  Use machine embroidery to personalize or write an inspirational message.

But always write.

This tutorial can be found with several other holiday-themed tutorials over at Sew McCool. Happy holiday sewing!

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge with large
Don't forget to visit all of the bloggers who are creating tutorials for the Sew McCool 12 Days of Christmas challenge! Voting will begin on on December 13 and go through 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on December 20. The blogger with the most votes will win $100 - just in time for Christmas!
December 1
Ren @ The Inspired Wren  * Stephanie @ Swoodson Says  * Alicia @ Felt With Love Designs
December 2
Natalie @ Sew Outnumbered  *Deby @ So-Sew-Easy  * Ajaire @ Call Ajaire
December 3
Amy @ Friends Stitched Together  * Maris @ Sew Maris  * Gemia @ Phat Quarters
December 4
Amy @ How I Make Stuff  * Michelle @ Falafel and the Bee
December 5
Beth @ Beth Jarrett  * Jen @ Just Joshin
December 6
Lauren @ Molly and Mama  * Krista @ Bee Quilted Beauties
December 7
December 8
Addie @ Addie K  * Michelle @ Not My Tree
December 9
Ula @ Lulu & Celeste  * Sara @ Made By Sara * Chelsea @ GYCT Designs
December 10
Nichole @ Bluebird & the Boy  * Darcy @ Ginger House Designs  * Shelly @ Coral & Co.
December 11
December 12
Maegen @ Mae and K  * Jess @ Gracious Threads  * Jone @ Knot Sew Normal


Phat Quarters said...

Looks great! Such a cool idea to use the composition books.

Michelle Meehan said...

Thank you! They are so plentiful and relatively inexpensive (even more so in September when back-to-school sales are over). And they have a thousand uses ;) .

Sara said...

Love this! So inspirational...

Michelle Meehan said...

Thank you!