Friday, November 27, 2015

Pocket Mending Book Tutorial

Pocket Mending Book Tutorial by Heidi Staples for Fabric Mutt

What better way to celebrate the start of another Christmas season than with a new tutorial! I've spent the past week sewing up a handful of these little books which I first shared with you here, and it's been so much fun. I warn you, though, they're completely addictive. Every time I make one, I start thinking about the next...

Pocket Mending Book Tutorial by Heidi Staples for Fabric Mutt

I'll be sharing more versions of this project in a guest blog post next week for Handmade Holidays at Ellison Lane Quilts. For now, though, here's everything you need to start making one of your own. If you share these on Instagram, please tag them #pocketmendingbook and tag me @fabricmutt too.

Have fun!

Supplies and Cutting Instructions

various feature prints -- 5 squares (1 1/2 x 1 1/2" each) for X block on cover
white dot print -- 8 squares (1 1/2 x 1 1/2" each), 2 strips (1 x 3 3/8"), and 2 strips (1 x 4 3/8") for X block background
blue print -- 1 rectangle (4 3/8 x 4 3/4") for exterior back
white text print -- 1 rectangle for inside of front cover (4 3/8 x 4 3/4") and 1 rectangle for inside of back cover (4 3/8 x 4 1/2")
floral print -- 1 rectangle (4 1/2 x 5") for inside pocket
batting -- 1 rectangle (4 3/8 x 8 7/8") for exterior and 1 rectangle (2 1/2 x 4 1/2") for pocket
felt - 1 rectangle (3 1/4 x 7") for needle insert
adhesive basting spray

*Shortcut Option: Substitute 1 square (4 3/8 x 4 3/8") for the first two fabrics in the supply list to make a quicker, easier project.

Note: All seams 1/4" unless otherwise stated.

Make the Exterior

1. Arrange your feature squares to form the X in the center of the cover block, placing the white background squares around them.

Sew the squares together in rows.

Then sew the rows together.

Trim the block so that it measures 3 3/8" square.

2. Sew the 1 x 3 3/8" background strips to the top and bottom of the X block, and then sew the remaining background strips to the right and left sides of the block.

3. Sew the left side of the cover to a 4 3/8" side of the blue exterior back piece. Use adhesive basting spray to fuse the cover to the 4 3/8 x 8 7/8" piece of batting. Quilt the cover as desired and then trim the piece to a rectangle measuring 4 3/8 x 8 3/4".

Make the Lining

1. Fold the 4 1/2 x 5" floral rectangle in half, wrong sides of the fabric touching each other, so that the 4 1/2" ends meet. Slip the 2 1/2 x 4 1/2" piece of batting inside the folded piece of fabric and top stitch 1/8" from the fold.

Place the pocket on the back lining piece (4 3/8 x 4 1/2"), aligning it with the bottom and side edges of the fabric, and baste it in place 1/8" from the edge. Divide the pocket in two by stitching a line down the middle, backstitching at the top of the pocket.

2. Fold the felt in half so that the short ends meet. Place it on top of the front lining piece (the one with the pocket) so that the fold lines up with the right edge of the piece and baste it in place 1/8" from the edge.

3. Stack the front and back lining pieces on top of each other with the felt pages sandwiched between them, checking to make sure that when you open them, they'll be in the correct positions, and stitch 1/4" from the same side where you basted the felt pages in place. Press the lining open, being careful not to damage the felt.

Assemble the Book

1. Pin or clip the exterior and lining on top of each other, right sides together.

2. Sew 1/4" all the way around the outside of the 4 3/8 x 8 3/4" rectangle, backstitching at the start and finish. Leave an opening of about 3 1/2" on the short end next to the back exterior piece. Trim the corners without cutting through the stitching.

3. Carefully turn the book right side out through the opening on the short end, using a turning tool or chopstick to push the corners out, and give the book a good pressing with your iron. Tuck the edges back inside the opening, and topstitch 1/8" from the edge all the way around the outside of the book. Be sure not to catch the felt pages in your stitching. Close the book and press carefully around the binding to help your book stay closed properly.

4. Fill the book with pins, needles, buttons, thread, and embroidery scissors.



  1. Delightful little tutorial! Say, what kind of felt do you use? Have you ever tried the ordinary hobby grade felt?

    1. Hello my name is Bruna and I have a question for you. I'm now making one of this mending book and I also need to know about kind and depth of the felt piece. Had Heidy given a reply to your question? Thanks a lot Bruna

  2. Darling tutorial ~ thanks so much ~ love it!

  3. Thank you for this tutorial. I love it.

  4. Thank you for the tutorial Heidi, can't wait to make one.

  5. I love it and hope you don't mind if I share a link to it with my quilt guild. Thanks!

  6. Hi Heidi I'm making one pocket mending book from your 2015 tutorial. I would like to have a specification from you. I refer to the 2nd point of "make the lining": you wrote "Place it on top of the front lining piece (the one with the pocket)"; could it be a typing error - correct is without pocket - or I have not understood this part of the project. Thanks a lot Bruna


Aren't you the sweetest for leaving a comment! Due to all the ads that bombard this section, I have to moderate everything first, but look for your comment to post in a day or two. Thanks so much for writing!

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