book into a sewing case,

Turn a book into a sewing case

Crafting on-the-go doesn’t get more beautiful than this. Using an old book that’s probably already lingering on the shelf, small panels of fabric and a few oddments from your stash, a fancy book-clutch sewing case can be yours! Fixed with custom elastic straps (or even a pocket, if you’re feeling adventurous), creative essentials can be tucked away safely and popped into your bag, ready for an impromptu stitch sesh at a moment’s notice. If you love the design as much as we do, why not create a set and use a few as evening clutch bags? Infinitely customisable and endlessly chic, they’ll be the finishing touch to any summer ensemble, and a real talking point.

You’ll need:
    • Fabric, Liberty: Rennie, Wells and Garnett

    • Hardback books

    • White paper

    • Zip, long enough to cover three sides of the book and at least 10cm longer

    • Elastic

    • Hole punch

    • Spray adhesive

    • Hot glue gun

    • Ruler, craft knife and scissors

    1. First remove the pages from the cover of the book: carefully bend back the cover and, using a craft knife or a pair of scissors, cut through and remove the pages. As the spine of the book is not attached to the pages, the blade of the scissors can be inserted easily.

    2. Next, cut two pieces of paper the same height as the cover but 3cm narrower. Trim two panels of fabric 3cm larger on all sides than the paper.

    3. Spray the fabric on the wrong side with adhesive, then place the paper in the centre. Fold in and stick one of the fabric’s long edges to the paper. Re-spray this edge with adhesive, then position onto the front cover. Wrap the fabric around onto the back.

    4. Sharp corners are achieved by imagining you are wrapping a parcel: fold the corners towards the centre on both sides, fold the whole fabric flap over onto the wrong side of the cover, then use the hot glue gun to stick these areas. Repeat the process on the remaining cover. The spine and a narrow strip of the cover should be exposed.

    5. To make the zip gusset, measure from the top of the spine, along the top edge, down the front and across the base, back to the spine, then add an extra 5cm. Cut two strips of fabric to this measurement and 5cm wide, then fold and press them in half lengthways.

    6. Position a strip at the top of the zip, with the folded edge lying approximately 5mm away from the teeth of the zip. Edge-stitch in place and repeat on the remaining side. It doesn’t matter if the zip is longer than these strips, it can be trimmed away later.

    7. Pull the zip open, right to the end. Open the cover, position the top of the zip at the top of the spine, with the wrong side of the zip facing up (it should be running in line with the spine). Fix using a hot glue gun, 2cm up from the top of the spine.

    8. Stick one side of the gusset in place at a time; pivot on the top corner and continue glueing and sticking the fabric to the cover, 5mm away from the edge. The raw edges of the gusset should be facing inwards. Stick the outer two corners in a curve rather than trying to create a corner. As you approach the spine again, pivot on the corner and angle the zip to follow the direction of the spine. Repeat the process on the remaining side of the zip gusset.

    9. Line the inside of the book by first making a template out of paper. Check that the template will still fit inside when the book is closed – if the spine makes the paper buckle, make the template slightly shorter in length.

    10. Use your template to cut a fresh piece of paper. Cut fabric 3cm larger on all sides than the paper. Spray the fabric on the wrong side with adhesive, then place the paper in the centre. Fold and stick the raw edges of the fabric onto it. The corners of the paper should be curved; clip the edges before sticking over onto the paper to create a smooth line.

    11. Before the liner is stuck in, add the elastic restrainers. Stick a few lengths to the top and base of the liner on the right-hand side, or to create horizontal retainers, punch holes in line with the spine, thread elastic through, fixing the ends in place on the wrong side with a glue gun. When you are happy, the liner can be stuck in place.