Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Fabric Covered Books

 

Class 2  Stab Binding

Paper Preparation

1.      Determine the size of the paper you plan to use.  e.g.. 6 x 9” and cut all pages to that size.  (Jan has precut 5 x 8" of flexi-firm for the covers of this project so your pages should be a little smaller than those dimensions.)
2.      Determine the number of pages.
 

Punching Holes in the Pages

1.      Make a stitching template using a 2” strip of paper that is the same height as your pages.  Divide the template into three even sections.
2.      Mark a punch/stitch hole ½ “ in from the left side at each of those three points.
3.      Use a binder clip to attach the template to your pages.
4.      Use your awl or piercing tool to punch the holes indicated on the stitching template.  Hold your piercing tool perpendicular to the paper to make sure the holes go through all the pages. 
5.      Placing your pages on a foam pad or piece of corrugated cardboard will make the holes easier to pierce.

         

 

 Cover Preparation

1.      You will prepare separate front and back covers for this book. 
2.      Determine the dimensions of your cover.  Your cover can be the same dimensions as your pages or slightly wider and taller.  e.g. 1/8” wider and ¼ “ taller.  Jan has precut 5 x 8" of flexi-firm for the covers of this project.)
3.      Each cover will have two sections:  a hinge section and a body section of flexi-firm.
4.      Note that the left edge of the cover and the left edge of the pages will be aligned for this binding.
5.      One piece of decorated fabric will cover these two sections.  A small gap (about 1/8") will be left between the two pieces of flexi-firm.  This will allow the cover to fold back
6.      Decide how you will edge your cover.  e.g.  wrapped edges or decorative stitching on the edges.  This will determine the dimensions of your fabric.  If you plan to wrap your cover your exterior  fabric will need to cover the hinged area.  (Because we will be doing this in class, you will be wrapping the edges of your covers for this project.  You will need 2 pieces of at least 6 1/2" x 10 5/8" of fabric for the exterior of your cover.  You will need 2 pieces of at least 4 3/4" x 7 3/4".    Bring fabric somewhat larger than those dimensions and you can cut it to the exact dimensions required by your book.)


           fabric partly trimmed

 




7.      Decorate your cover as you wish.  Keep embellishments away from the spine and hinge area.  You will need space for stitching the cover and pages together and space for the hinge to work properly.

 

Punching Holes in Cover

1.      Align the left side of the front and back cover.  Use a binder clip to keep everything together.
2.      Align the stitching template to the left hand side of the covers.  Centre it between the top and bottom edges.
3.      Use your piercing tool to punch holes through the template and through the cover.  Make sure the holes go completely through the front and back cover.  
4.      Placing your pages on a foam pad or piece of corrugated cardboard will make the holes easier to pierce.

 

Stitching the Stab Binding

1.      Use binder clips to hold pages and covers together, with holes aligned.
2.      Use a length of thread at least 3 times the height of the book.
3.      Do not knot the thread.
4.      Leaving a 4” tail of thread, start sewing from the middle hole.  Enter from the back to the front. To hide the knot, enter the middle hole from somewhere in the interior of your book.
5.      Enter the top hole from the front of the book towards the back.
6.      Wrap the thread around the left edge of the book (from back to front) and enter the top hole again.
7.      Wrap the thread around the top edge of the book (from back to front) and enter the top hole again.
8.      Skip the middle hole and enter the bottom hole (from back to front)
9.      Wrap the thread around the left edge of the book (from back to front) and enter the bottom hole again.
10.  Wrap the thread around the bottom edge of the book (from back to front) and go back into the bottom hole.
11.  Sew into the middle hole (from back to front).
12.  Wrap the thread around the left edge of the book and go back into the middle hole.
13.  You should have two tails on the back or inside the book.
14.  Tie a square knot and clip ends.




            

 

 


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Tortoise variation:

 

Hole diagram                                     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Stitch diagram

          

             

 
Thank you to all those who attended the first class of the Day group.  It was a pleasure for me to meet you.  Most of you are well acquainted with Jan, but for me, with only a year under my belt, it was my first opportunity to speak with some of you.

You all did quite well getting your covers prepared.  I'm sorry time ran short before the actual stitching could be accomplished.  If you are uncertain of the stitching, and the stitch diagrams posted for Class 1 are not enough to answer your questions, please bring your pamphlet back to Class 2 to complete.

If you are reading this, you've found the blog and the notes posted here.  I've added some annotations in bold to the information for Class 2.  Since you will be receiving the flexi-firm for the stab binding in our next session, I've adjusted the dimensions in the notes to reflect the dimensions of the piece that you will be given.  The wrap around dimensions that we will be using are a little different from the ones given for the pamphlet book we did today.

The stab binding has a hinge and for additional stability, we want to wrap around to the inside of the cover and over the hinge gap and onto the main part of the cover.  It is the main part of the cover that will have the approximately 3/4" turned border.  Do your precise cutting at class.  Use the given measurements as the minimum fabric needed.

The pages for your book will be single sheets  -- no folding needed.

Fabric Covered Books

 

Class 1:  Pamphlet Books:  single signature book 


Paper Preparation

1.      Determine the size of the paper you plan to use.  i.e. 8 ½ x 11” or 8 ½ x 5 ½ “ (standard sheet cut in half). 
2.      Determine the number of pages in the signature.
3.      Fold the papers in half.  Ideally, the grain should run parallel to the spine of the book.
4.      Nest the papers inside each other and align the folds.


Punching Holes in Signature

1.      Open your phone book to the middle to use as your punching cradle.
2.      Place your aligned pages into the fold of the phone book.
3.      Make a stitching template using a 2” strip of paper that is the same height as your pages.  Fold the strip in half lengthwise and mark the stitching holes on the inside of the fold line.  For the smaller book, 3 holes will be sufficient; for the larger book, 5 holes would be more appropriate.  Place one hole in the middle of the template fold and the remaining holes evenly spaced on either side of the middle hole.  The top and bottom holes should be at least ½ “ from the edge of the paper.
4.      Place the template into the centre fold of your pages in the cradle.  Align edges carefully.
5.      Use your awl or piercing tool to punch the holes indicated on the stitching template.  Hold your piercing tool perpendicular to the paper to make sure the holes go through the folds of the signature.


 
note that paper strip is folded in half lengthwise and the holes are in the fold

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cover Preparation

1.      Determine the dimensions of your cover.  Remember the rule of thumb:  Your cover should be at least ¼” wider and taller than your pages -- be sure to add in the width of the spine for your final measurement if you are using a lot of pages in your signature.
2.      Decide how you will edge your cover.  i.e.  wrapped edges or decorative stitching on the edges.  This will determine the dimensions of your fabric.  Refer back the General Rules of Thumb in the overview section to determine the measurements of your fabric.
3.      Decorate your cover as you wish.  Keep embellishments away from the spine area.  You will need space for stitching the signature to the spine.


Punching Holes in Cover

1.      Fold your decorated cover in half.
2.      Place cover in punching cradle if it will fit.  If not, simply fold the cover in half on a flat surface.
3.      Place stitching template into the centre fold.  Make sure the template is centred in the fold. i.e. 1/8 “ from top and bottom of cover.
4.      Use your piercing tool to punch holes through the template and through the spine of the cover.  Make sure the holes go completely through the cover’s spine.

 
Stitching the Pamphlet

1.      Use binder clips to hold pages of signature together for sewing.

Three hole pamphlet

1.      Use a length of thread at least 3 times the height of the book.
2.      Start with the middle hole.  If you start on the outside of the cover, the finishing knot will be on the outside and you can use beads to decorate the tails of the thread.  If you start inside the signature, the finishing knot will be inside the book, leaving a clean stitching line on the outside.  The choice is yours.
3.      Go out one end hole.
4.      Skip the middle hole and go to the other end hole.
5.      Come back through the middle, pull the thread tight and tie a square knot around the long stitch in the middle.  Be careful not to stitch through the thread when re-entering the middle hole.



 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Five hole pamphlet (or any uneven number of holes)

1.      Use a length of thread at least 3 times the height of the book.
2.      Start with the middle hole.
3.      Sew a running stitch down to the bottom hole.
4.      Continue sewing a running stitch back up to the top, but skip the middle hole.
5.      Sew back down to the middle and use the thread tail to tie a square knot around the long middle stitch.
6.      Be careful not to stitch through the thread when re-entering a stitch hole.  That will prevent you from being able to pull the threads tight.

 







Thursday, September 12, 2013


Jan Van Fleet and I are teaching a six lesson course for the Canadian Embroiderer's Guild, London, Ontario during the fall session.  I will be using this blog as a venue to post the class information.  Each participant will be responsible for their own decoration of the fabric covers.  The lessons, themselves, focus on the actual preparation and binding of the fabric covered books.  Below, you will find the overview for the course.

 

 

 

 

Fabric Covered Books


 Overview:

 
This course will show you how to create five distinct book structures that you can use for journals, sketch books, purse sized to-do lists, and finally, a bound set of class notes.
 
 Materials you will want to gather from your stash:
 
  • A selection of fabrics for book covers and for your design work and embellishments
    • Stiff denim can be used in fused layers for your cover
    • Cotton duck or canvas can be used as a cover material or as “fabric pages”
    • Cottons can be used for covers and as applique embellishments
    • Laces, doilies, and scraps for decorative purposes
    • Your personal favourites for decorative work
    • Book 5 will need fabric tapes to attach the cover
      • Examples: heavyweight fabric, upholstery fabric, leather scraps, layers of then fabric fused together or sewn together to provide firm support, grosgrain ribbon, velvet ribbon
 
  • A selection of threads or fibres to:
    • Embroider or embellish your cover fabric
    • Use as a binding thread when sewing your book together
      • Examples: perle cotton, fine crochet thread, heavy top stitching thread, embroidery floss, waxed linen thread (some will be available in your kit for Book 4)
 
  • Embellishments:
    • Beads, button, fibres, appliques, charms, embroidery, ribbon and trim
 
  •  Parchment paper for ironing your fabric and Wonder-Under fusible web.

  •  Paper:
    • Copy paper can be used folded into 5 ½ “ x 8 ½ “ booklets or cut down into two 4 ¼ “ x 5 ½ “ booklets (these smaller booklets will have the grain of the paper running in the correct direction – parallel to the spine of the book)
    • Decorative papers: scrapbook paper, mulberry paper, handmade paper
    • Card stock
    • Watercolour paper
    • Drawing weight paper
    • Mixed media paper
    • Combinations of the above
 
  • Cover boards can be made from a variety of materials:
    • Flexi-firm (some will be provided)
    • Peltex (some will be provided)
    • Layers of stiff fabric fused together
    • Stiff cardboard or pages from a children’s board book
    • Artist canvas boards (from the Dollar store)
 
  • Adhesives to adhere fabric to cover boards
    • Wonder-Under fusible web can be ironed to the wrong side of fabric and then ironed to cover board material.
    • Misty fuse
    • Aileen’s Fabric Glue
    • Aileen’s Tacky Glue
    • Welbond adhesive
    • Elmer’s glue stick (large size)
 
 
  • Closures for books:
    • Clasps, buckles, ribbons, inexpensive elastic hair bands (think Dollar store)
 
 
  • Tools:
    • Something to make folds - a bone folder, side of a pair of scissors, bowl of a spoon
    • Cutting tools: scissors, exacto knife or utility knife for cutting cover board or pages, rotary cutter for fabric
    • Cutting mat for fabric and paper cutting
    • Hole punching tools: awl (or tapestry needle in a cork, paper piercer, large push pin) to make holes in page signatures; Japanese screw punch (or Crop-a-dile, eyelet setter) to make larger holes in cover for Coptic book
    • Binder clips to hold pages of signature together for punching holes and sewing
    • Punching cradle - a phone book makes an excellent cradle
    • Weights - wrapped brick, fabric bag of rice, heavy books – to press signatures and reduce swell of spine
    • Iron - should be available on site
    • Needles - bookbinder’s needle or tapestry needle for sewing signatures, embroidery needles for embellishments, circular needle for sewing Coptic book
    • Sewing machine - if desired for home use in preparing cover fabric or sewing satin stitch or decorative edging for fabric cover

 

General Rules of Thumb

 
1. Your cover should be at least ¼“ wider and taller than your pages. Be sure to add in the width of the spine for your final measurement. For example: a booklet with 5 ½ x 8 ½” pages with a 1” spine would require flexi-firm or peltex that is 8 ¾ “ tall and 12 ¼ “ wide (5 ½ + 5 ½ + ¼ + 1)
 
2. The fabric for the exterior of the cover should be ¾ “ wider and taller than the cover dimensions so that it may comfortably wrap around to the interior side.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
3. The fabric or paper for the interior of the cover should be ¼ “ smaller than the cover dimensions. This will leave a small margin around the interior cover so that the edges of the endpapers or fabrics will not receive wear and tear through use.
 
 
 
 
 
 
4. If you are using satin stitch or a decorative edging for your cover, both the flexi-firm and the interior and exterior fabrics will be the same size – ¼ “ wider and taller than the measurement of your pages and the spine width.
 
 
 

Book Structures: 

 
Sept. 26   Class 1:    Pamphlet binding – 3 or 5 hole, one signature
 
Oct. 10    Class 2:    Stab binding – standard stitch, single pages
  
Oct. 24    Class 3:     Long Stitch binding – fold over cover with closure, long stitch on  spine
 
Nov. 14    Class 4:    Coptic Stitch binding – kettle stitch, multi-signature book of  printed class notes
 
Nov. 28    Class 5:    Sewing Over Tapes exposed binding – French stitch,  multi-signature book
 
Dec. 12     Class 6:    Show and Tell – time to finish up projects and show final results
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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