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Notebook Cover

It's back to school week part 2, and we are in LOVE with this new project! Have you ever thought about up-scaling your notebook or binder?! Clarrisa made this amazing project, just for you!

Below are instructions for a cover for a standard 3 ring binder with a 1 ½” depth. I have also given you instructions on how to measure for any book or notebook.

Supplies: For a standard 3 ring binder, 1 ½” depth. Below you find instructions for calculating fabric for another book or notebook.

3/8 yard of fabric for outer cover

3/8 yard of fabric for lining

Piece of Floriani Heat n Sta Fleece 12 3/4”x23”

2 1/8 yards of premade piping or 2 1/8 yards of cord to make your own piping. You will also need 2 1/8 yards of extra wide double fold bias tape if you are going to make your own piping. It’s also really helpful to use a tool to cut the seam allowance of the piping. (Optional)

Standard Sewing thread to coordinate with the piping color and the cover fabric.

RNK Turning Tool

If you choose to embroider-

· An embroidery design of your choice. I created the design on my cover in Floriani Total Control Software

· Floriani Wet n Stick to fit your hoop

· A piece of Floriani Tear Away to float under your hoop if your design is more than 10,000 stitches

· A piece of Floriani Heat n Gone topper to cover design

· A piece of Floriani Now Show Fusible Mesh slightly larger than your design

· Floriani Embroidery thread for your design

· Quilters Select Self Erase Marker

Measure your Binder, Book or Notebook:

1. Measure the cover of the item you want to cover. Measure from the back edge of the cover, across the spine and to the edge of the front cover.

2. My binder measures 21 ½”. Add 1 ½” and cut the width 23”. This allows for seam allowances and a little give when the binder closes.

3. For the height, of course measure the height of the item you want to cover and add 1 ¼”.My binder measures 11 ½” Add 1 ¼” and cut the height 12¾”

4. The Heat n Sta Fusible fleece lines the cover so I will cut the cover fabric and the fleece 23”x12 3/4”. That means I need to purchase about 13” of fabric and fleece which is closest to 3/8 of a yard.

3. Do your own calculations and figure the measurements for the item you want to cover. Make sure to add 1 ½”to the width and 1 ¼” to the height.

4. To calculate how much piping you will need, use the total measurements of the 4 sides of the cover fabric.

5. The measurements for my binder cover fabric are 71 ½” total around all 4 sides so I need about 1.98 yards. I would round up and get 2 1/8 yards to allow for turning corners and the extra for the beginning and ending of the piping. Measure around your cover fabric and calculate how much piping you will need.

6. We’ll calculate lining measurements after we embroider and prepare the cover.

Embroidery: (optional)

1. The embroidery design on my binder cover was created in Floriani Total Control Software. There is a whole software lesson here but basically I took a photo of one of the foxes on my lining fabric with my cell phone and imported it to my computer. I used the “Load Backdrop” tool to import the design into the work space in my Total Control software. I used that as a template to digitize on top of. I opened the “digitizing tools” icon and then selected the “complex fill stitch” icon. (the center icon) Choose the area you want to digitize, left click around it and right click 3 times and area will be filled. Sounds easy enough but you will need to practice a bit. Practice by drawing shapes on your screen by using the “Input Rectangle” tool. Click the arrow next to the tool and you can see options for drawing shapes on your screen. Have fun with it! Totally doable in Floriani Total Control!

2. You need to decide where you want to place your embroidery design. I placed mine on the edge of the front. You may also of course place it in the center of the front cover.

3. If you choose to place your design on the edge of the front cover, for the vertical center of the design area it is helpful to print a template from your software and use it to determine where you would like your design. It also depends on the size of your design. Keep in mind that you have to leave a 3/8” seam allowance on the front edge. I placed my design 3” from the raw edge of the front edge. You can find the horizontal center by folding the front cover in half widthwise and mark the center.

If you choose to place the design in the center of the front cover, you will need to take some measurements to determine the vertical center.

· Find the vertical center of the cover fabric. (where the spine of the binder would be) Fold cover fabric piece in half lengthwise. Mark the center.

· Measure the width of the spine. My binder has a 1 ½” spine. Divide that by 2 and add 1/8”. That would be 7/8” for my binder. This is where the binder would fold. Mark to the right of the previously marked back center mark 7/8”. I also marked to the left of the center just to illustrate where the spine would be. You don’t need to mark that. See photo

· Mark 3/8” from the front edge of the binder cover fabric. This is the seam allowance.

· Measure from the 7/8” mark to the seam allowance mark of the front edge of the binder. Mine measured 10 3/8”. Divide that by 2 to find the vertical center. I marked the vertical center at a little less than 5 ¼”.

10 3/8 doesn’t divide evenly so that’s why I marked a little less than 5 ¼”

· You can find the horizontal center by folding the front cover in half widthwise and mark the center.

4. Fuse a piece of Floriani No Show Mesh to the back of the area you will be embroidering.

5. Hoop a piece of Floriani Wet n Stick stabilizer. With a pencil, mark on the Wet n Stick stabilizer the vertical and horizontal centers using the marks on your hoop.

6. Slightly dampen the Wet n Stick and spread the water around until the stabilizer becomes sticky.

7. Using the marks on your cover fabric piece and the marks you made on the Wet n Stick, line up and stick the cover fabric piece to the Wet n Stick.

8. Slide a piece of tearaway below the hoop and place a piece of Floriani Heat n Gone on top of the hoop area.

9. Stitch out your embroidery design.

10. Tear away the Heat n Gone topper, the tearaway and the Wet n Stick. If the Wet n Stick is really stuck, just dampen the area again and it will tear off easily. Cut away excess the No Show Mesh.

11. Press the embroidered area from the back. Turnover and using the tip of your iron, remove the Heat n Gone Topper.

12. Press the Floriani Fusible Fleece to the back of the cover fabric.


1. Attach a piping or zipper foot to your machine. Place the foot in the right position and the needle in a little less than left position. I moved my needle to somewhere between center and left position. This way the piping construction thread won’t show when you stitch the piping to the cover. Set your machine for a straight stitch and lengthen the stitch to a 4.

2. Thread your machine with sewing thread to coordinate with your piping.

· To make your own piping:

a. Bias Tape comes in a lot more colors than pre-made piping. I usually can find a color that coordinates with my project. This saves me from having to cut my own bias. Of course you can cut your own bias as well.

b. Open and press the Extra Wide Bias Tape flat. To get the creases out use a water bottle, dampen the bias tape and press out the water.

c. Place cording down the center of the bias tape and fold the bias tape over the cording matching raw edges of bias tape.

d. Place cording under pressure foot with cording on the left and raw edge of bias on the right.

e. Stitch along bias tape. The stitching will be a little to the right of the cording.

a. Using a piping cutter tool, (optional) cut the bias tape to a 3/8” seam allowance. If you like to make piping this tool is a must. The tool has a groove that the piping goes in to keep it in place while you’re cutting. The tool I have is no longer made but the link above in the supplies list will take you to where you can buy a tool that works as well. If you don’t have the tool cut the seam allowance with your scissors.

1. Leaving a 1” tail, begin stitching the piping at the center of the wide side of one of the long edges of the cover. At the corners, stop stitching the width of the flange on your piping from the corner and tie off your stitching. The flange on my piping is 3/8” and so I stop stitching 3/8” from the corner. See photo

Clip the flange of the piping at a 45 degree angle into the piping at the corner.Turn the piping around the corner and continue stitching.

5. To finish the end, turn the beginning tail away from the cover at a 45 degree angle. Turn the end of the piping away from the cover at a 45 degree angle as well and lay next to the beginning of the piping. Continue stitching about a ½” over the beginning of the piping through the cording. Trim tails to about a ½”.


1. The cover fabric for this project was cut at 23”x12 ¾”.

2. Using the width measurement of the cover, divide it by 3. My binder cover fabric measures 23” divided by 3 which is 7.66. That’s a little tough to measure so we are going to round up to 8”. The lining is 3 separate sections. The end sections are the pockets for the front and back cover of the binder and the center section goes around the middle of the binder.

3. The height of the binder cover fabric is 12 ¾” for my binder. That will be the height we will cut for the lining.

4. On both pockets ends of the lining you will need to hem one long edge. Using a ¼” double fold hem for one edge, and adding a 3/8” seam allowance for the front edge, you will need to add 7/8” to the width of each of these pieces. For my binder we calculated a width of 8” above (step 2), add 7/8” and we will cut our pocket lining sections 8 7/8””x12 ¾”. Cut one for each pocket end.

5. The center section needs to be hemmed on both sides. With our 8” width calculation above and a ¼” double fold hem on each side we will add 1” once again to our width calculation. Cut the center lining piece 9”x12 ¾”.

6. Turn one long edge of each pocket end piece under about ¼” twice and stitch. Do the same for both sides of the center section.

7. Place the right sides of the lining sections on the right side of the cover. Center the center section of the lining on the previously marked center line of the cover and pin. Place the hemmed side of both pocket lining pieces next to the hemmed edges of the lining center section and pin. The pocket ends of the lining may be a little wide as we rounded up in our measurement in step 2 above.

8. Turn to the cover fabric side and trim excess pocket end lining.

9. Thread your machine with Standard Sewing thread that coordinates with the cover fabric.

10. Attach piping or zipper foot to your machine, in the right position and the needle in the far left position. Stitch from the lining fabric side. Stitch around the entire outside edge of the lining side. Stitch as close as you can to the piping.

11. Zig-zag around outside edge to finish the seam allowance. You will need to use the widest zig zag stitch you have as the pressure foot will want to push the seam allowance away from the stitching area because of the piping.

12. Clip all 4 corners at a 45 degree angle.

13. Turn the lining pieces and cover right sides out and push the corners out with the RNK Turning Tool.

14. Press around all edges.

Slip front and back covers of your binder into the end pocket pieces.

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