My little Mouse has been absolutely fascinated by the stack of Pocket Mending Books that's been growing on my sewing table. She begs to look through them every day as soon as she finishes her kindergarten classes, wanting to pore over them by herself -- and then again on the pretext of showing them to her stuffed dog Snuffy. Since it's been tricky to empty the needles and scissors out of the books each time she wants to see them, my husband suggested that I make a special kid-friendly version that the girls can enjoy without any worries of pricked fingers.
These books are actually pretty nifty gifts for the little people in your life. Not only are they small and soft, but they can teach colors, letters, animals, etc. My girls are already planning to use these books when they're playing school or restaurant with their dolls.
I've included two sizes -- one the same as my Pocket Mending Book and the other a little smaller. This is such a fun project for scraps, and it's also perfect for making with your kids. Mouse helped me with some of the sewing on the smaller version. It's also a great last minute present, easily sewn up in an hour. Keep in mind that the more pages you include, the trickier it is to sew (especially on the smaller version). I wouldn't try to fit more than 4 pages in here, but if you're brave enough to add more, go for it!
So here's a tutorial for you, my friends. If you make one, please share it on Instagram with me @fabricmutt, and be sure to tag it #pocketpicturebook.
Supplies & Cutting Instructions
Large Version (finished size: 3 7/8" square)
grey pig print -- 1 square (4 3/8 x 4 3/8") for front cover
orange patchwork print -- 1 rectangle (4 3/8 x 4 3/4") for back cover
batting -- 1 rectangle (4 3/8 x 8 7/8") for exterior
various prints -- 6-12 squares (3 3/4 x 3 3/4" each) depending on how many pages you want (2 per page)
purple calico print -- 1 rectangle (4 3/8 x 4 3/4") for inside of front cover and 1 rectangle (4 3/8 x 4 1/2") for inside of back cover
Small Version (finished size: 3 1/4" square)
border print -- 1 square (3 3/4 x 3 3/4") for front cover
yellow text print -- 1 rectangle (3 3/4 x 4 1/4") for back cover
batting -- 1 rectangle (3 3/4 x 7 1/2") for exterior
various prints -- 6-8 squares (3 x 3" each) depending on how many pages you want (2 per page)
floral print -- 1 rectangle (3 3/4 x 4 1/8 ") for inside of front cover and 1 rectangle (3 3/4 x 3 7/8 ") for inside of back cover
For Both Versions
adhesive basting spray
chopstick or turning tool
pins or binding clips
*All seams 1/4" unless otherwise noted.
Make the Book Cover
1. Sew the left side of the front cover to the right short side of the back cover.
2. Attach the wrong side of the fabric to the batting with adhesive basting spray and quilt as desired.
Make the Pages & Lining
1. Decide what order you want your pages to be in, and then pair up your pages with the right sides of the fabric together. Sew around the top, side, and bottom of the page, leaving one side open.
2. Turn the page right side out, poking out the corners with a turning tool, and press. Stitch 1/8" all the way around the sewn sides, still leaving that last side open.
3. Stack the pages together in the order you want them and baste them together along the open sides, 1/8" from the edge. Sew from the center to the top and then from the center to the bottom of the stack to keep the pages from moving around too much.
4. Place your stack of pages (front down) on top of the front lining piece, so that the basted edge lines up with the right edge of the piece and baste it in place 1/8" from the edge, again sewing from the middle to the top and then bottom.
5. Stack the front and back lining pieces on top of each other with the 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 pages in place. Press the lining open.
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 rectangle, backstitching at the start and finish. Leave an opening of about 2 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 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 pages in your stitching. Close the book and press carefully around the binding to help your book stay closed properly.