Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DIY: frankie/A5 Patchwork Diary Cover - Part 1

Tutorial time! I think this is only the second tutorial I've ever posted here, so forgive me if it's at all hard to follow. This is something I've been meaning to do for a while, as way of protecting my diary cover and using up some smaller pieces of fabric. I am very much a novice at sewing, so I shall be using very un-technical sewing terms, but hey, that just proves you don't have to be a wizard with the sewing machine to make this :)

I made this red cover about midway through last year, when I realised that the soft, fabric cover of my 2011 frankie diary was looking a little worse for wear (I'm the kind of person who likes to carry uncapped pens, water and all sorts of other things around in my handbag, so the diary cover really never stood a chance), so I thought I'd get in early this year, before my 2012 diary gets too battered!
Step 1: Choose your fabric! I picked up my fabric from the fabulous Patchwork on Central Park, where they sell little bundles of offcuts for about $12.00, or $2.00 for a single piece. I decided to make my cover a sort of patchwork, with 5 different fabric panels. 

 Step 2: Measure your diary. I used last year's cover as a bit of a template, measuring 33cm wide (it was really 32, but I allowed an extra 1cm for a bit of wiggle room), and 20cm high, however when cutting the fabric, I cut 25cm to allow room for hemming. These measurements are for the frankie diary, but I imagine they would be roughly similar for your average A5 diary and it's not hard to measure your own :)

 Step 3: Measure your fabric panels. This is the slightly complicated part for someone at mathematically challenged as me. As I'd decided to have five panels, I divided the length of the diary (33cm) by 5, which means that the visible part of each panel would be 6.6cm. I also allowed an extra 2cm for the seams, so I ended up measuring three 8.6x25cm pieces of fabric. These measurements applied to the pieces of fabric that made up the three centre panels, however the measurements were slightly different for the two end panels, as these panels also act as the 'pocket' or 'flap' that slips over the cover and holds the diary in. So, for the end panels, I began with the 6.6cm that would be visible on the outside of the dairy, added 1cm for a seam where it would be joined to the next piece of fabric, and a further 7cm to create and hem the flap. Rounding it up, I ended up measuring two 15x25cm pieces of fabric for the end panels. I hope that made sense!

 Step 4: Zigzag! After measuring and cutting the panels, I did a zigzag stitch (I'm sure there's probably a technical term for this, but it escapes me) around the the edges of each piece of fabric to prevent fraying.

 And that's where I got to in one afternoon! I will post the rest of the tutorial as Part 2, hopefully tomorrow. And hopefully the above instructions made sense, sorry if they're hopelessly vague or confusing!


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