Journal cover #1
I have made my journal cover to fit an A5 art diary which is 6.25 inches wide, and 8.25 inches long. If your journal differs from these measurements, the method of construction will remain the same, but you will need to alter the measurements to fit.
lightweight fusible Pellon
From your favourite fabrics scraps, cut seven 1.75" squares and stitch them together using a scant 0.25" to form a strip. This strip should measure 9" x 1.75".
Open up your journal to lay flat and measure the total width. Mine was 12". Multiply this measurement by 1.75 to determine the width of pellon rectangle to cut. The height of the pellon rectangle should be the height of your journal + 0.25".
So for my journal, I cut a pellon rectangle 21" x 8.5".
With the fusible side of the pellon facing upwards, mark the centre of the longest sides. Place your patchwork strip 4" to the right hand side of centre and with 0.25" overhang, top and bottom. Press carefully with the point of your iron, just enough to fuse the strip into position.
From your linen, cut one small rectangle 5.5" x 9" and one larger rectangle 15.25" x 9". Pin the smaller of these rectangles, right sides facing, to the right side of the patchwork strip.
Stitch this seam using 0.25" seam allowance. Flip the linen back across the pellon and press. (From the back, your fabric should overhang the pellon by 0.25". This avoids bulk in the seam later).
Repeat this step with the larger rectangle of linen, stitching it to the left side of the patchwork strip. Press.
Using a matching thread, topstitch three rows of straight stitching, 0.25" apart to the left hand side of the patchwork strip. You can also add a marker ribbon at this point. Cut a piece of ribbon 1.5 times the length of your journal (mine was 12" long). Stitch the ribbon to the top edge of the cover, 1.5" from the centre, towards what will be the back of the cover.
Turn the raw, short ends of the rectangle under by 0.25" and topstitch. With the right side of your journal cover facing upwards, turn each of the short ends in by 3.75" and pin.
Cut a coordinating piece of fabric to form the lining of the cover. Mine was cut 9" x 9". You can overlock or zigzag two edges of this lining fabric, but it isn't necessary. Pin in place, right sides together, over the journal cover, matching centres. If you have added ribbon, make sure it is tucked in out of the way. Stitch the top and bottom seam using a 0.25" seam allowance. I also overlocked these seams, just for strength and neatness.
You should now be able to turn the entire journal cover in the right way & press. Hopefully, the outside should look something like this:
And the inside should look something like this:
Insert journal and enjoy! Please let me know if these instructions don't make sense! Have fun & be sure to send me a photo if you make one! Best wishes, Bloom.
I have made a variation of this journal cover incorporating a stitchery design here.
October 2014: I have updated this journal cover tutorial here, to provide instructions to custom fit the dimensions of any journal. I've also come up with a couple of nifty options for elastic closures.