Slip covers for notebooks

Notebooks covered in various cottons and linens

Notebooks covered in various cottons and linens

 

A5 notebboks with cotton slip covers

A5 notebboks with cotton slip covers

For years I’ve bought the same black covered spiral bound A5 notepad from various stationers. I soon realised that I needed to differentiate the different subject matters in some way and so, every once in a while I sit down with a new notebook and a likely looking piece of fabric – vaguely colour coded. (blue for recipes,  green for garden matters, black for newspaper and magazine cuttings of clothes/embroidery/painted furniture and red for current projects. (I have yet to get around to covering the notebooks of book reviews). Bigger notebooks with bigger cuttings are also covered in black fabric – this one was a very cheap but rather lovely cotton scarf from Oxford Market which for some reason I seem to have bought 2 of.

Fabric covered A4 notebooks for cuttings

Fabric covered A4 notebooks for cuttings

These are very simple to make. Just take a piece of fabric 2-3 cm taller than your notebook and nearly twice as wide. Zig zag all round. Fold about  1cm along the short edges to the wrong side  and stick using the appropriate width of iron-on vilene for hems (I fold it in half if it’s about 2cm wide and am careful to make sure that none is sticking out or it makes a mess of the iron ). Now, with the wrong side uppermost, try it around your notebook and pin for a cosy fit and so that the fabric goes right around the book and covers most of the inside cover as well (see below). When happy with the fit tack and machine – or if feeling brave machine without the tacking along the line of your pins.

Wrong side of notebooks cover showing where to stitch

Wrong side of notebooks cover showing where to stitch

Turn the cover right side out. Sometimes,  before I turn the cover, I snip a triangle off the corner if the fabric is a bit too thick and may look lumpy – I haven’t done so above.  Before putting the cover on the book I add a little bit of iron-on vilene under the bit in the middle that folds over and goes around the spiral wire at the back. It’s not necessary but I think it wears better.

Finished A 5 cotton notebook cover

Finished A 5 cotton notebook cover

 

Slip cover for A5 notebook: insides showing flap that makes a useful pocket for loose papers

Slip cover for A5 notebook: insides showing flap that makes a useful pocket for loose papers

These covers live up to their name and can easily be slipped off for washing after small domestic mishaps. Sometimes I think I’ll make a batch as little presents for friends but as yet I’ve never got round to this. Daughter No 2 did something similar one Christmas by covering exercise books with Japanese paper and so pretty were they (and so unwashable) that I’ve never found a good enough reason to merit their use. (see below).

Exercise books covered with Japanese paper and fabric

Exercise books covered with Japanese paper and fabric

(Now I think about it the white on magenta is fabric not paper.)

Exercise books covered and lined with Japanese paper

Exercise books covered and lined with Japanese paper

 

A5 spiral bound notebooks for recipes in linen slip covers

A5 spiral bound notebooks for recipes in linen slip covers

Recently I  have been looking for a plain pair of oven gloves and was taken aback to discover that these utilitarian items have become subject to the tweaking of designers. Nothing could be simpler than running a pen around the outline of a hand and then stitching up what is basically a rather big mitten. But all the oven gloves in the sort of  plain fabric I wanted had not a thumb but a flipper and indeed bore more resemblance to an open mouthed shark once your hand was in it than I cared for. I’m also not sure that the grip would be any better than the old model. So, I sandwiched some Vanessa Arbuthnott linen with cotton batting and cotton lining and made my own, making sure that I had a good long loop to hang the glove by. It may seem that I have an unhealthy desire to co-ordinate my recipe book with my oven gloves but I prefer to see it as being economical with the fabric that was lying around in a drawer. I do often make oven gloves as presents – I try not to make them for Christmas presents as that’s a bit like your husband giving you a washing machine (or flower pots, she says darkly – even if they were very big and terracotta) but I think I have done this more than once, though I have often embroidered an initial on them. I often make Aga gauntlets in blue denim which are great for stopping those burns that you get inside the arm just down from the elbow (and my scars from 20 years of aga use (pre-gauntlets) are still visible.

Oven gloves: outer layer linen, inner cotton batting, cotton lining

Oven gloves: outer layer linen, inner cotton batting, cotton lining

And I was grateful for these gloves at the week end when I had to cook a very large salmon for a church event. I’d never cooked anything so big in anything other an Aga before so I had to cut the salmon in half and steam it in 2 foil covered halves. I had dressed it with cucumber and assembled it on two plates before realising that I had the tail end the wrong  side up  but as disaster would have certainly struck if I tried to turn it over, I left it looking slightly peculiar.

Poached salmon

Poached salmon

 

 

 

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One Comment

  1. Rumple Chinwag
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Bravo, bravo! What a fun little project to spruce up my boring looking notepads.

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