How to Make a Textile Fabric Book Cover

Since I started preparing tutorials with pictures of how to make different textile items, I received many requests for preparing this tutorial. And here it is finally showing how do I make fabric book covers :-). I hope you like it!

There could be hundreds of thousands of different styles for these book covers – you can make them with textile appliques, you can draw something on them, make them from many different pieces or just from one. You can add a pocket for a pencil on the outside or make the cover with a button closure… and so on, and so on. But sewing them basically should more or less the same.

I will add here photos of different projects we worked in the past. This picture below is of the book covers that we made for a local cooking book. All the books from this edition had book covers 🙂

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There are more examples of book covers that I made in the past and here below is the step-by-step guide of how I made them:

1. What do you need:

– Fabric: I usually choose two different fabrics that go well with each other for the outer part of the book cover. You can use a sold color (I usually do use a solid color of the inside f the book cover) fabric or one of he outer fabrics for the inner part of the book cover. I chose two different combinations for this tutorial and I will make two book covers with different fabric combinations :-).
– Wadding: I usually search for thicker and thinner wadding which is easier to sew with a sewing machine.
– Scissors or patchwork cutting mat and patchwork rotary cutter.
– Pencil
– Ribbons: I use ribbons for making the book cover closure, but you can use other straps or a button and some type of elastic band
– Tape measure
– Lace: you can skip this if you do not like the romantic retro look. I use lace that is 1.5 cm wide (aroung 0.6″)

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2. The following pattern is suitable for most of the book editions on the market, but you can always change the pieces and make the book cover smaller or bigger:

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The final pieces include seam allowance of around 0.8 cm (around 0.3″) and their measurements are:
36 см х 26 см (14.2″ x 10.2″) for the inner piece, the same piece cut in half for the inner pockets. And I usually make the outer part out of three pieces: the bigger is 13 см х 36 см (around 5.1″ x 14.2″) and the two smaller are 8 см х 36 см (around 3.1″ x 14.2″).

After sewing the compound piece comes out usually 1 cm (0.4″ higher than the inner piece) and I trim it. But this is a precaution to make sure that the outer piece won’t come out smaller 🙂

3. Firs step is to cut the inner pieces: the bigger one that is 36 см х 26 см (14.2″ x 10.2″) – in this case I use a sold white color. We need two pieces pf this size and the second is cut in half for the inner side pockets of the book cover:

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Here are all the pieces for the inside pf the book cover.

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4. Next step is to cut the pieces for the outer front side of the book cover. The two pieces 8 см х 36 см (around 3.1″ x 14.2″) and the single middle piece that is 13 см х 36 см (around 5.1″ x 14.2″). Depending on the pattern of the fabric (for example if it is a dotted pattern), we need to cut it carefully to make sure it will look good.If you cut with scissors you can use a pencil to draw the pattern pieces on the wrong side of the fabric.

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5. Cut the wadding. The wadding piece should be the same size as the inner piece: 13 см х 36 см (around 5.1″ x 14.2″).

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6. After cutting all the pieces, next step is assembling.
If you will decorate the front piece with lace, you can sew it together with the front pieces (or on them after the front side is ready).
Cut two lace straps of 36 cm (around 14.2″) and the ribbon straps as well (mine are around 9.5″).

Put the lace straps on both sides of the bigger outer middle piece (13 см х 36 см (around 5.1″ x 14.2″)) like so. Fix them with pins. Then pit on them the two smaller outer pieces, like so:

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7. Sew the middle to the upper and bottom piece together with the lace, using around 0.8 cm (or 0.3″) seam allowance. Then oron carefully. It is important to iron the pieces at this step after attaching them to one another. Before and after the ironong the front side looks like this:

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And hte other front side for the second book cover 🙂

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8. Then we need to make the hem on the inside pockets, the ones that will hold the book. The hem that I make is usually 1,5 – 2 см (0.6″ – 0.8″) wide.

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9. Final assembly: put the outside front piece on the wadding, like so.

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10. Put the ribbon straps onto it and fix the places with pins. You need to be careful when sewing them not to sew the free part of the ribbon. I usually use a pin to fix the free part of the ribbon on the middle of the front piece :-). But this needs extra attention.

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11. On top of the already placed pieces put the two inner pieces: with their right side facing the right side of the front piece! First the inner pockets and then the whole inner piece. Fix the place of all of them with pins:

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12. Sew along the longer side (top and bottom), using the same seam allowance. The stitch should attach all pieces together: the both inner pieces together with the outer piece and the wadding. You can use overlog stitch at this step if you have and use one. Sometimes I just make two parallel seams at both top and bottom ends to make sure it will be durable in time.

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13. Bring out the right side through one of the remaining holes (both sides), like so:

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14. Last of all, we have to sew the right and the left side. These seams should be the most durable,so I use two seams or an additional overlog seam for the left and the right side of the book cover. Make sure that the ribbon is fixed well. Then bring out the outer piece and make sure the edges look well (you can cut the inner edge if it too thick like so):

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15. Then iron the book cover 🙂

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16. We can cut the ends of the ribbons to look more beautiful and fix the edges with a lighter.

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And the books covers are ready :-).

Here are some of my favorite fabric combinations that I made int he past. Now it is your turn. If you have any questions, will be extremely happy to help:-) 🙂 🙂

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Have fun creating!

This post is also available in: Bulgarian

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