My SIL asked me to make one of these for her little boy Oliver. She had seen them on Trade Me (NZ eBay) and wanted one to cover Olly’s Well Child Book. These books are often called Plunket books and are used to record all your baby’s check-ups, weight and measurents from birth to 5. This tutorial will show you how to make a basic book cover which can be adapted to fit any size book.
Note: I have written this tutorial using metric measurements as Well Child Books are a New Zealand thing and we tend to use metric over imperial. You can easily use this tutorial to make any size book cover you like using your preferred method of measuring!
Since making these and photo graphing the tutorial a friend has said that they are no longer going to be using Well Child books and it will all be done online now…luckily you can make a cover for any kind of book you like using this pattern!
Good things take time…two trial covers and I am finally happy with my third design! Nice and easy to sew and functional too. Enjoy!
What you will need
- Fabric – I’m using lightweight cotton (or blend) print. Quilting fabric would be ideal too!
- For a ‘Well Child’ book you will need one piece measuring 45cm x 21cm
- Elastic – any kind you like but it helps if it lays flat. You will need it to be 2cm longer than the height of your book.
- Bias tape double fold – A piece for each long side 2cm longer than your fabric. A piece for each short side 4cm longer than your fabric (2 x 25cm and 2 x 47cm for well child book)
- Ribbon for page marker 30cm (optional)
- Sewing machine, pins, scissors and thread
- Please read the whole tutorial before starting! It helps to see all the steps before starting.
Step 1 – Measure you book
Measure the height of your book, a well child book is 21cm.
For the length I like to lay my tape measure around the book as shown in the photo above. The well child book is 31cm but you will need to add on extra to create the pocket for the cover to slide into. I wanted my pocket to be 7cm deep (if your book is larger I would go bigger, roughly half of the cover should slide inside) so I added this too my original measurement, 31 + 7 + 7 = 45cm (one pocket for each side). If your cover is thick add a little extra to allow for the fabric used up folding.
Step 2 – Cut your fabric
For this simple cover you will only need to cut one piece of fabric. Using the measurements you worked out in step one. Plus a piece of elastic and four pieces of bias tape.
Step 3 – Bias
Pin the bias tape onto the long sides of the cut fabric. You can use any method you like to attach the bias tape, I have a tutorial on that too if you need more pointers on sewing with bias.
Sew in place and trim off any excess bias tape so that the edges line up with the fabric.
Pin the bias onto the short sides, making sure you have equal overhang on both sides. You will need this to fold under later so don’t trim it off!
Sew in place, starting from the edge as shown above. Cut the excess thread off but remember not to trim the bias tape!
Step 4 – Create Pockets
Fold over the short sides to make the pockets for the book cover to slide into. I allowed 7cm for mine taking folding into account I pinned it to be slightly under that. Make sure to pin as above so that the pins don’t get in the way of the book!
And don’t do what I did and realise you must have miss measured the height of my book, so I had to unpick the bias, trim the fabric and reattach the bias! It happens to us all!
Once you are happy that you book fits, pin the pockets in place with a few more pins. Fold the excess of the bias under…
and pin that in place too.
Now is the time to add the elastic, measure in 2.5cm (1”) from the edge.
Pin the elastic into the folded pocket. Your elastic should be 2cm longer than your fabric, so tuck it in by 1cm.
Sew very close to the edge of the fabric all the way along to the other end. Now your pocket should have a top (or bottom) and the elastic will be attached on that side.
Pin the elastic on the other side in the same way, and sew.
Step 5 – Attach ribbon book mark (optional)
Use your book as a guide to place your ribbon book mark. I think just to one side works best so it can sit flat. Pin in place.
Little trick you can use glue stick to help hold it in place!
Sew over the existing stitching on the right side of the book cover. You can pin this in place when sewing in the pockets if you like, but this works too and you make sure it is in the right place.
And there you have a beautiful cover to protect you book!