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Embroidered Book Cover - How to Cover a Book

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21 December 2007

Embroidered Book Cover - How to Cover a Book

Lady Martel's
Embroidered Bookcover


  • Ground fabric
  • Lining Fabric
  • Embroidery supplies and pattern
  • Craft paper to make a pattern for the cover
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing Needles
  • Thread to match the cover fabric

Take the book you are going to cover and measure it, from a point halfway INSIDE the cover, around the front edge, across the front, around the spine, across the back, around to a point half on the INSIDE of the back cover. Then measure from the top edge of the book cover to the bottom edge of the book cover.

Make this measurement with the book CLOSED. If you just lay the book out flat the spine will bunch up and your cover will be short.

Transfer both of these measurements to brown craft paper to make a rectangular paper pattern for your cover. You should increase your measurements by 5/8" on EACH side for the seam allowance.

Cut out your pattern and check again to be sure it fits around your chosen book.

Mark on the pattern where the spine is.

Mark on the pattern where the fold will be on the edge of the book cover.

Think of this being just like covering a school book when you were a kid.

Measure and mark on the paper pattern where your embroidery will be CENTERED on the front cover. Remember -- DO NOT mark your embroidery area at the far right edge. You need to leave fold area for the pocket that the book cover will fit in.

Take your ground cloth and mark it with the pattern. DO NOT cut out your book cover just yet. If your ground is quite excessive, you can trim it down leaving enough extra edge to allow for stretching. Stretch your ground fabric in the way that best suits you or your fabric.

Do the embroidery. La la la. Stitching, stitching, stitching. Okay, done with that.

Next cut out your cover following the lines you marked from your paper pattern.

Cut out a second piece from your lining fabric using the paper pattern.

Lining your book cover takes a little bit more effort but it protects the underside of your needlework and gives your cover a better, finished look.

Sew the cover and the lining, right sides together, along one long side, down a short end and down the other long end. Clip the corners. Turn your cover right side out and finger press the seams open to be sure your cover is opened and totally flat. Test the cover against your book to be sure it fits properly.

To close the open end, clip the corners and fold the raw edges in. Whipstitch the edge closed using thread that MATCHES the cover fabric in color.

Wrap the cover around your book centering the embroidery on the front cover and folding the flaps to the inside, with the cover on and the book closed on it. Using thread that matches the cover, whipstitch the flap to the front cover fabric at the edges of the book. Pull the stitches snug so that the lining does not show through these seams.

Your cover should be snug, but not tight. If your book does not stay closed when laying flat, you've sewn the cover too tight around. Snip the stitches on the fold and let it out a bit.

If you are making a cover for a spiral-bound notebook, you can catch the top and bottom wires to the cover with a few whipstitches to hold the cover securely.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi - These instructions are great - I wish I'd had them a few months ago when I was trying to cover a book - I'll have another go now! I found your blog via Mary Corbet - your embroidered book cover is lovely.

Friday, December 21, 2007  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

Oh don't thank me! Thank Lady Martel! I just wish I could find the page again so I could give her linkage and better credit.

Thankyou for your comment :-)

Friday, December 21, 2007  
Anonymous Leonor said...

Thank you for posting this--I am just about to start a teeny embroidered book project, and I was totally visualizing this wrong.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007  

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