After completing this project, you will have a fabric cover for a standard paperback book. This particular book cover was made with prequilted fabric, a button closure, and a standard paperback book, but could easily be adapted to use nonquilted fabric (either layered with batting or not), a Velcro closure, and any size book at all. Both machine and hand stitching are employed.For this project, WS = wrong side, RS = right side, WST = wrong sides together, RST = right sides together.
Gather supplies for your pattern making. We used a standard paperback, paper, scissors, a pencil and a ruler.
Place your book, face down, on the paper and trace around the edges of the front cover with your pencil. Turn the book up on its spine, and trace the width of the spine. Turn the book so that the back is face down and trace this cover with your pencil as well.
Remove the book and you will have a large rectangle. This is the basic pattern from which you will be working.
It is a good idea to doublecheck the size of the pattern with the edge of your book before moving forward.
Duplicate the original pattern. Measure 3" in from either edge and mark off a rectangle with the three edges of the book and the now-inside edge of what will be the inside flap. The picture has darkened lines where the flap pattern is marked. You will require two of these.
On the full pattern, mark the center of the back cover for the placement of the flap closure (optional). In the picture, this area is enclosed in a circle for you to be able to see where it goes.
The flap closure pattern is made by creating a 7" x 2" rectangle. On one end of the rectangle, mark the center of the width (1" mark). Make a mark 1" down on both sides of the rectangle. Draw a line from the center of the width of the top to each of the 1" marks on the sides, thus making a pointed bookmark type closure pattern. You will require two of these plus one of batting. (This piece is totally optional.)
Pin pattern pieces to your fabric. Again, in our project, we used quilted fabric, but if you use fabric without quilting, you will need two layers of fabric and one of batting if you would like the cover to have some body. Cut one main pattern, two inside flaps, and two flap closures (they will be sewn together and turned).
Additional supplies you may need are bias tape of your choice and a button. Velcro or a hook/eye closure would work as well.
For the flap closure, using two pieces of fabric and one of batting, layer the three pieces RS up, RS down, and batting. (RS should be together in this sandwich and the batting should be on the WS of one of the fabrics.)
Pin and sew in a 1/4" seam, pivoting at corners, and leaving the non-tapered end open for turning.
Trim the seam and clip the corners. Turn and finger press.
Top stitching is optional. We chose to use it.
Mark and make a button hole about 1/2" to 1" from the end of the flap closure (or tack a bit of Velcro to the back side of the flap).
Pin flap closure RST on the back of the book cover. Set this part of the project aside for a bit.
Finish one edge of front facings with bias tape or by turning under and stitching in place.
If using bias tape, stitch RST and turn to WS, pin, and then topstitch the bias tape in place.
Pin facings RST on book cover fabric, encasing the end of the flap closure. Sew around the whole book cover in a 1/4" to 1/2" seam.
Serge the seam or trim, clipping the corners for smooth turning.
Turn and finger press. Do not top stitch. Finger press/turn down the top and bottom seams on the cover between the end flaps, pin, and hand stitch into place.
Insert your book and mark the button spot on the front cover, remove the book, and sew on the button. Leave enough leeway to allow for a bit of a smaller or a bit of a larger book.
Step back and smile. Look at what you made! Give it as a gift or keep it for youself, either way, there you have it, your completed fabric book
Originally created for and posted on Sewing.com in December 2001, when I was doing all the projects for that site.