Wednesday, November 10

Ruffle Bible Cover Tutorial

Ahem, here's my FIRST sewing tutorial.  Please be kind. :)

I realized a few weeks ago that my Bible was starting to look a little ratty around the edges.  But the last thing I wanted was an ugly Bible cover.  I could buy those all day long if I wanted to.  I hope that's not mean to say, but  I adhere to the idea of having nothing that isn't beautiful and useful.  So, I thought I'd finally whip me up a little cover and figured I could put ruffles on the front.  Why not?!  I live in the South so I can DO ruffles on my Bible and it's not over the top.    Honestly, the things I love the most are cute; my husband's cute, my kids are cute, my shoes are cute, why not make a Bible cover cute?

That being said, no matter how pretty your cover is, it's still won't be as beautiful as the words written inside.  That's your Bible lesson of the day.  Okay, let's get started.

First, you need to get your measurements and cut your fabric.  Just like women, Bible's come in many different sizes.  Find the length of your Bible from cover to cover including the spine by wrapping your measuring tape from the front edge of the cover around the spine to the back edge.  Add 1 inch to this number.  Find the height of your Bible (top to bottom of the front cover) and add 1 inch.  This is your dimensions for the exterior and interior cover pieces. You will need one interior and one exterior fabric panel, interfaced with your favorite method.  I used a lightweight iron on interfacing.

For the flaps that your Bible will slip into, you will cut a total of 4 (2 of interior and 2 of exterior) rectangles that measure the width and length of the front cover plus 1 inch all around. Interface all of those pieces, as well.  (I feel like that doesn't make sense...)

If you want a pen pocket cut a piece of material that is 8 inches x the width of your front Bible flap.  I didn't interface this since it will be double thickness.  (You'll see.)

Cut one 3" x twice the height of your Bible cover strip of fabric for the ruffle.  And one 2" x the height of your Bible cover strip of fabric for the center trim of your ruffle.  Clear as mud?

Now, let's embellish!  Take your large rectangle of exterior fabric and locate where you will want your ruffle to go.  I placed the center of my ruffle 3.5 inches from the right edge of the fabric.  That gives me room for a button and it's purposefully not placed in the middle of the front cover.   I like a little off centered-ness.  Take your ruffle strip and finish your edges with a zigzag or serge stitch.  Sew down the middle with a long, basting stitch.  Take a tail thread and pull up on the thread until the fabric ruffles down to the height of your cover.  Stitch in place to your exterior fabric cover.

Take your small strip of center trim and bring the long sides in to meet in the middle, wrong sides together.  Press down nice and smooth.  Place on top of the center of your ruffle, with raw edges underneath and edge stitch down both sides.   Sew a button on for closure about 1 inch or so from the right hand side, centered. Admire the cuteness for a moment.

For the handles, cut 2  4x22 inch strips of fabric and interface.  Fold each in half and press.  Open the strips and fold sides to meet along pressed seam and press again.  Edge stitch to one or both sides, your preference.

Next comes the pocket.  Fold the fabric in half so that it's 4 x width of Bible and press.  Top stitch at the folded edge.  Line up the pocket onto the right side of your exterior flap.  Pin and place and stitch down about 1.5 inches in from what will be the inside edge.  That way your pin will be closest to the spine.  The other part of your pocket is perfect for a notepad or gum or whatnot.  Pin your interior and exterior flaps, right sides together, and sew one side.  Make sure when your sewing the flap that has the pockets that you sew the edge that is closet to the pen part of the pocket.  Flip so the wrong sides are together and press and top stitch along the edge.

Now, let's build it.  Place your layers in this order:
1.  Interior, right side up
2.  Flaps, right side up
3.  Pin on the left side (opposite of where your button is) a strip of elastic cording about 3 inches long or so.  Make sure it's appropriate for the thickness of your Bible.
4.  Pin handles about 5 inches apart.
5.  Top with your exterior fabric, wrong side up

Sew all around with a 1/2 inch seam leaving a pocket about 4 inches or so for turning.  Reinforce the stitching at along the handles and the elastic cording.  Don't skip that part!  Trim corners and turn right side out.  Press, press, and then press again before top stitching all around.  I like top stitching with a slightly longer stitch (3 or 3.5) since your having to go through so many layers.  It makes it look nicer.

I'm so pleased with how it turned out!  What I didn't think about, though, was the fact on Sunday mornings my hubby and I share a Bible.  On many of those Sundays I help in the nursery while he goes on to Life Group (a more mature way of saying Sunday School) taking my Bible with him....  Um, yeah, he says he won't carry my ruffly Bible. :)  I don't see why not, he did take a Barbie thermos to work one day without any issues!

I really, REALLY, hope that this makes sense.  If it doesn't, let me know rather nicely and I'll clarify.  Okay?

I'm linking up here:

*UPDATE*  i made one for my daughter, which you can see here.  she loved it!


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