I have been having fun working on these journal covers now, and have found easier ways of doing things along the way. As I took photos and wrote everything down for my own benefit, I realized I had the makings of a tutorial here, so here goes - hope you find it useful!
Three different fabrics (A B and C)
Journal is 7 ½ x 8 ½ ”
Cut two pieces 9 ½” x 21” outside (A) and inside (B)
Batting 9 ½ x 16 ½”
1 zipper 8 ½ - 10”
2 pieces (A) 2 ½ x 2 ½ ”
Pocket for book (C/A) 18 ½ x 6"
Side pocket (A )9 ½ x 9 ½"
Flap (C) 9 x 6"
Lining for pencil case 2 pieces (B) 9 ½ “ x 4 “
Tie 2” x 44” (full width of fabric) (C)
Interfacing 3 pieces, 9 ½” x 6, 4 ½” and 3” respectively.
This is a great method for lengthening a zipper that is too short for your cover. Just remember that your zipper has to be long enough to get the pencils in and out. Fold the two lengthening pieces in half, right side facing, and stitch a seam ¼” from one edge, forming two small tubes. Press seams open. Slip one piece over the end of your zipper with the opened seam on the underside of the zipper and so that it alignes with the metallic part of the zipper, this is to make sure that you don't stitch through the metal. Stitch a seam across ¼ ” from edge of tube and turn tube inside out. Repeat on other end of zipper. Press. You should now have a zipper piece long enough for the edge of your cover.
Place the short end of your cover fabric right side along the right hand edge of the zipper, place a lining piece on the other side, so the edge of the zipper is sandwiched between the fabrics and stitch a seam about ¼” from the edge, using the zipper foot on your machine. Do the same with the inside fabric and the other lining piece on the other side of the zipper. Fold right side out and press. Cut of the excess on the lengthening pieces of the zipper.
You should now have a long narrow piece of fabric with a zipper in the middle and the two flaps that will become the lining for your pocket underneath.
Open the zipper and fold inside out along the zipper and align your front and back pieces along the opposite short end and the long sides, while aligning the two lining pieces in the same way on the other side of the zipper.
Fold the piece at the end of the zipper in half, edges toward the lining (the picture above was taken when I made the first one, without lining, but it shows the folding better). Place your batting on top starting from the opposite side of where the zipper is and pin in place. This should leave about 4 ½ “ on the zipper side without batting. This will be the pencil case.
Stitch all the way around leaving a 2-3” opening at the bottom of the lining. To get nice sharp corners, take one or two stitches on the diagonal at each corner.
Snip off corners outside seam allowance, taking care not to cut into the seam, and cut at a slanted edge from the corner and along the sides to remove some bulk before turning. Turn the piece inside out through the bottom of the lining and the open zipper, push the corners out with a knitting needle, chopstick or similar and press. Pull the lining outside the zipper so you don’t catch it in the next seam.
Stitch a seam across the piece just where the batting ends, and quilt the rest as desired, taking care not to stitch past the seam (like I did on my first one...).
Fold the raw edges of the pocket lining inside and stitch a narrow seam to close it before tucking the lining into the pencil
Make the ribbon tie: Fold strip in half right sides out and press. Open, and fold one long edge towards middle fold and press. Do the same for the other side.
Turn the short edges in and topstitch around the ribbon to close. Place to one side for now.
Iron interfacing on one half of each pocket and on one half of the flap. Fold the two pocket pieces in half, right sides together and stitch around, leaving an opening on one long edge for turning. Snip corners and turn inside out. Press flat and topstitch along one long edge, closing the opening at the same time.
Place your quilted cover on the table, lining side up and zipper to the right. Place the small pocket on the left matching it to the edges of the cover, topstitched edge on the right. Pin in place.
Place the large pocket about 8 ½ ” from the left edge (there should be about 1" between the opposite edge and the seam marking the bottom of the pencil case) and pin in place, topstitched side on the left. Put a pin approximately half way down, just outside and in the same direction as the right hand edge and flip the piece over. Place your ribbon tie across the middle and pin on both sides of the marking pin. The left end should be about 4 “ longer than the right. Flip piece over again and remove the marking pin. Stitch a seam along the right hand side of this pocket, catching the ribbon in the seam, but take care to keep it out of the way so you don’t stitch into it in more places than one!
Now topstitch along the edge of your cover from the bottom of the pencil case on one side to the bottom on the other side, stitching the pockets down at the same time. Remember to keep the ribbon out of the way!
Now for the flap: Fold in half like you did with the pockets, but place a mark about ¾ ” in from each side on the fold and ¼ “ in from the sides on the opposite end and mark lines between these points. Stitch on these lines, and trim excess material, leaving about a ¼”. Snip corners as before and turn inside out. Press, turning the raw edges of the opening in at the same time. Topstitch along short sides and on the narrowest of the long edges.
Place flap with long edge towards the side pocket, about ½” away and stitch a seam through all layers along the long edge of the flap. Fold flap over the pocket and press. I found that the flap was sturdy enough to keep in place, but you could add a snap or a button and buttonhole if you like.
Place your journal inside, sliding back cover into the big pocket.
Fold left side over journal.
Fold right side, with pencil case over (the zipper pull will be at the top - as I mentioned, I made a mistake on my first one...)
Fill your pencil case with pencils or crayons, wrap ribbon around, tie and you are done! I have chosen to make mine with just one fabric on the cover, but there are of course endless ways of decorating your cover: patchwork, applique, collage, it's all up to you!
So there you are - ready to write your Christmas list! I hope somebody wants to give this a go - please let me know if you have any problems with it, and I'd love to see what you make!