Saturday, August 3, 2013

TUTORIAL - a household binder cover!

I meant to do this tutorial last week but the e-zine took a few more days to format than usual. However, last night I set to the task!
Excuse the photo quality as the light in the sewing room is ghastly for evening pics, but they still show you clearly how to make this binder cover. 
I began with a browse through my box of orphan stitcheries. Some of them are over four years old, so I've decided to choose one each month to use in a project for my own home...
I chose this free 'Live Simply' stitchery design from Rhonda Hetzel that I had sewn in 2011, just before we left Charters Towers and moved to Townsville. Originally I was going to feature it on a cover for my bread machine, but as I have very small counter space in the kitchen it never got done.
I am making a household binder with calendar pages, shopping lists, menu plans, cleaning plans, recipes for basics like yoghurt and soap, and everything else 'homely' that comes to mind, and this stitchery really brought home to me what this binder is all about. I'm so glad I waited to use it!

To make my Household Planner cover, you will need a binder. Mine is an Arch Lever, and opened out it measures 12.5" x 25".
For the outer cover I will need to sew a rectangle of 13.5" x 26", so I begin by trimming back the block (adding 1" to the actual binder measurements)...
...and sewing it patchwork style into the size I needed for my outer cover.

Next I fused Pellon to the back, then spray basted some backing fabric behind as though making a quilt...
...before machine quilting the entire patchwork area and leaving the stitchery block free.

Next step was to make the two inner sleves of the binder cover.
I cut two pieces of fabric, fused Pellon behind, spray basted backing fabric, and quilted them as I had done the outer cover...
I took a long piece of contrast fabric, the same width as the front inside section, folded it in half across the middle and placed it across the bottom as a pocket, securing it around the three outer edges with a scant 1/8th inch seam...
I made a strip of binding and attached it down the right side of the pocketed piece, and the left side of the un-pocketed piece. Fold the binding to the back and slip stitch in place (yep, just like on a quilt!)...
 Now I lay both inside cover sections onto the inside of the outer cover, level with the outer edges. Sew the outer cover and the inner sleeves together around the three outside raw edges with a scant 1/8th inch seam....
At this stage I inserted my binder to check that the sizing was right before I went any further.
Glad I did as OOPS! the back piece needed to be cut narrower....
I unpicked the back sleeve, cut 2" off, and machined it back in place. Perfect this time!
Finally I made a long strip of binding, and just like you would for a quilt, I attached it around the front perimeter of the cover...
Turning the binding inside, I slip stitched it in place and my Household Planning Binder was done!

I'm using some decorative and sturdy manilla folders from Typo as my binder dividers. I cut them in half, hole punched them and voila - pretty!

Today I will be printing out some planner pages to use.
If you'd like to do the same, here are some good places to start for free planner pages of all description...

The stitchery I used on the cover of my binder was a free design from Rhonda over at the Down To Earth blog. You'll find it HERE, and while you're there stop for a read...she truly inspires the homemaker in me. In fact I am re-reading her book at the moment...

The August issue of Elefantz HOME was published yesterday to all magazine subscribers.
It is also available as a single purchase HERE in my Craftsy Shop as an instant PDF download...

Block 4 of Shabby Roses 'Beauty' is also available HERE in the shop as a single PDF pattern purchase with instant download.

Time for me to sign off for the weekend!
I pray yours is relaxing, fun, and full of blessed memories to keep always,



  1. The binder is beautiful! And the tutorial easy to understand. Have fun on the weekend. Have you seen Despicable Me 2? Hubby and I went together - it was a slow day only two other groups in the theatre - with kids! Mark slunk down lower in his seat so nobody would recognise him - poor chap - the movies I make him come see!!! was fun!

  2. Orphan stitcheries? Yes, I definitely like that term much better than UFO!
    But your orphan Live Simply looks so much better than mine. That's what it is to the Queen of Backstitch I guess.
    So now with your tut in hand.....I am going to use my piece "just like Jenny did".
    Thanks Jenny. All kidding aside, your handwork is really great!

  3. Oh Jenny this is a beautiful cover....also a beautiful idea with all the images this evokes in me. Thank you so much. I was wondering if I could please use this as a tutorial on my blog? Have a Blessed weekend xo

  4. a great tutorial thanks Jenny and a lovely binder cover. You are so organised and this binder will keep all your things together, where do you find the time to do all you do?

  5. It's SUPER! Thank you for tutorial and links!!!

  6. Thank you for the tutorial Jenny. You are very generous in sharing it.
    It is very pretty and will be a lovely addition to keep all those hints and receipes we gather but never know where to put them. Hugs...

  7. What a gorgeous cover. When it gets dirty, take it off and wash. Pretty, economical and functional. All the things we all need more of. Thank you again for sharing your genius.

  8. Your cover is simply beautiful.I`ve never done one so I add it to my to do list!!

  9. Great tutorial and lovely design, Jenny-girl!!!!

  10. This project is absolutely adorable. I can't wait to make it. Thank you.

  11. I love the idea of taking orphaned embroidery and making it into something. I have a few in a bin in my closet. I am anxious to go dig them out and see what I can do with them. I know one of them I made when I was a teenager for my grandfather. My brother found it when my grandfather passed away and he gave it back to me. It was a pillow that was falling apart. I cut off the front with the embroidery and saved it. I just couldn't bear to throw away all that work!

  12. Das ist ja ein wunderschöner Einband und so schön gestickt, klasse. Ich bin wieder mal begeistert.
    Liebe Grüße Annerose

  13. What a wonderful idea and tutorial. Thanks Jenny

  14. This is wonderful... wish I lived next to you... I love the idea I can sew but I don't think I can do all this.......I love the idea with the folders..I will have to see the tutorial. ty.. with love Janice

  15. This binder cover is just lovely Jenny! I have pinned this tutorial and will hopefully make my own cover soon! Thank you so much for sharing and showing us how!
    X Shirley
    PS - I was delighted to see that you have lots of 'orphan stitchery's' So often I will only stitch something if I know what I want to use it for - even if I love it! But I love the idea of stitching just because you love a design and then stashing it for a later time!


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