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Project

Felt Sewing Book

Introduction

When clothes need mending, reach for this book -- its felt pages are designed to keep sewing supplies organized. Devote one page to extra buttons that come with garments, one to pins, and another to needles (pre-threaded with your most-used colors).

Materials

  • Heavy felt
  • Fabric shears
  • Needle and thread
  • Button
  • Lightweight felt
  • Iron
  • Upholstery needle and embroidery floss

Steps

  1. Step 1

    To make the cover, cut a piece of heavy felt into a 5-by-7 1/2-inch rectangle. Sew a button halfway up one short end, 1/4 inch in from edge. Make the tab closure by cutting a 1 1/2-by-2-inch strip of heavy felt, rounding it at one end. Sew the straight end of the tab to the end of the cover opposite the button, halfway up the cover and 1/8 inch in from the edge; make a slit in the rounded end of tab to serve as a buttonhole.

  2. Step 2

    gt062_feltbk02.jpg

    For the pages, cut three 4 3/4-by-7 1/4-inch pieces of lightweight felt. Fold each page in half, and iron along the crease. Open the cover, and center the opened pages on top. Close book, and use a blanket stitch to bind cover with pages, 1/2 inch in from folded edge.

  3. Step 3

    gt062_feltbk03.jpg

    To make the blanket-stitch binding, you'll need an upholstery needle and embroidery floss. Hold the book in your lap with the fold at your waist, and start in the left-hand corner: Draw floss out through the fold from inside the book. Insert needle down into fabric, 1/2 inch up from fold, 3/8 inch in from edge; bring it out at the edge, as shown, keeping the floss loop under the needle. Continue stitching, working from left to right, until book is bound.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, September 1998

Reviews (38)

  • SPV 30 Jan, 2012

    I love this handy small emergency sewing kit. I have not seen one with most all of what I would need to keep in my purse or in the glove compartment of my automobile. I would only add 1 item, that being 4 colors of thread wound on cardstock strip to pin to the page. Many thanks!

  • dawnannk 30 Jan, 2012

    Really like ojolie's idea. I'm starting to quilt again and think I'll try this idea as a quilting project .
    Thanks for all the comments, it makes doing projects so much easier.

  • ojolie 30 Jan, 2012

    I have made these, but with some pockets.. I cut the felt longer for the bottom of a couple of pages. Measure the pages and add a few inches more to fold up to make a pocket. I either sew the sides of the pocket or use fabric glue which works just as well. I cut very thin circles of bottle corks to stick pins into and place them into one of the pockets. One pocket holds the buttons in a very small zip type bag like found at bead stores. The blanket stitch is harder, but it works for me.

  • dune503 25 Jan, 2012

    When it comes to the buttons you could try to secure them with safety pins. If the pins are big enough you could even sort them.

  • heatherdinkin 13 Jul, 2011

    I have made dozens of these as teacher gifts and small presents. And people tell me years later that they still love and use them. I usually embroider their initial on them to personalize them. I just had one of my 14 year old daughters former preschool teacher ask me to make one for her daughter to take to camp.

  • Huntgoddess218 23 Apr, 2010

    I have the same question as terrigirl. How do you get the buttons on there? If you have to sew them on, that's kind of a hassle, and you have to cut when you want to use them, possibly making a [filtered word] in the felt.

    But, my main dislike for this project is that I'm deathly afraid of needles. These could slip out very easily, or they could stab someone through the felt. This is not a project for households with kids, especially babies. Even pets.

  • rock63roll64 22 Apr, 2010

    Another AWESOME CRAFT!!! ILOVE IT AND AM GOING TO MAKE A BUNCH. THESE WOULD ALSO MAKE GREAT STOCKING STUFFERS AT CHRISTMAS OR WHENEVER YOU WANT TO GIVE SOMEONE SOME THING YOU MADE TO REMIND THEM OF YOU WHEN THEY USE OR OR JUST SEE IT.HA! HA! THANKS!!

  • GinnyDesignStudio 6 Jan, 2010

    ALL that is old is new again....These sewing books have been around for a century or more. Brings me back to my GIRL Scout days...

  • SalliC 21 Apr, 2009

    these would be great to sell at fund raisers...I'm going to make a batch to sell at my daughter's kindy sale.

  • joyfullysurfing 20 Apr, 2009

    Look for recycled polyester felt from your local fabric store -- it's made from recycled pop bottles!

  • xelaju 20 Apr, 2009

    Looks beautiful!! will try making it and will share the experience. Gracias!

  • megb 22 Jan, 2009

    The binding ChelseaRoseCook describes, and the one pictured above is called a Japanese stab binding. There are YouTube videos demonstrating it.

  • anstine8104 22 Jan, 2009

    THANKS EVERYBODY!! THIS IS HELPING!!

  • ChelseaRoseCook 22 Jan, 2009

    i learned the stitch in the photograph when i was in art school in a book binding class. you start in the middle of the book and sew out to the edge, then turn around and sew back to the middle filling in the stitches you missed on the other side, then go to the other end, then badck to the middle. i'm not doing this project right now so i can't picture it in my head well enoguh to explain it any better, but that's the general idea.

  • karene 22 Jan, 2009

    The stitch in the diagram and the stitch in the photograph are not the same.
    Diagram shows a classic blanket stitch. The photograph is something else.

  • anstine8104 15 Jan, 2009

    thanks tkitty!! i'm starting to look at this little book and ask myself if i really like it that much!!! lol

  • Tkitty 15 Jan, 2009

    anstine8104 Hi! I think I see what you mean. The diagram appears to be what you are describing as happening to yours'. The photo is a reverse of it. I think what you would do is just flip it over. But, I am not totally sure. Sorry

  • anstine8104 15 Jan, 2009

    do you see in the pic of the book it looks like the stitch goes all the way around the binding and the line of the stitch is not on the edge but on the book itself? when i'm doing it following the directions, the line is on the edge of the fold. i've been trying for 3 days and i can't get it to look like the pic : )

  • erinluvstocraft 15 Jan, 2009

    I had to remind myself how to do blanket stitch and found a video on Youtube! Try that - once you see it, you'll figure it out very quickly!

  • anstine8104 14 Jan, 2009

    i'm having trouble w/ the directions of the blanket stitch on this project, 4 some reason. when i follow the directions, it's almost as if i'm doing it upside down. it's not looking like the pic of the book, my line is forming at the edge of the book, rather than making a binding, does anyone know what i mean? thanks in advance for the help!!

  • lemarie615 12 Jan, 2009

    I've been using this idea for years...particularyly for organizaing my threads and needles for individual needlepoint and cross-stitch projects. I use a yarn needle to thread each supply of thread with a "in and out" stitch at the top of the "pages" and curl the ends of the thread up, the felt will hold the threads neatly. With many shades of the same color, use a fine tip marker to note the thread number above each shade of thread. You can re-use the book as projects are finished.

  • naveisa 12 Jan, 2009

    This would be awesome to keep all those extra buttons and thread you get from the clothes you buy cause now I just have them all stashed in an old jewelery box.

  • belleoyes 12 Jan, 2009

    I just love this idea! Perfect to embellish and give as gifts. I am going to make a few of these. :)

  • 19Brenda55 12 Jan, 2009

    one could attach small plastic zip-lock bags for the buttons---just sew in the back flap thus allowing it to be opened--or likewise with small envelope...

  • SusanBramlett 12 Jan, 2009

    But, do you have to sew the buttons on? I have so many. I was hoping to see some sort of see-through envelope to stash them.

  • Anna_Marie 12 Jan, 2009

    I love, love, love this project...perfect for so many people...a young girl beginning to learn how to sew...college student...new bride...batchelor....friends...mothers...grandmothers! Thanks for such a thoughtful gift. I might add a tiny, lightweight pair of scissors tied to one of the pages with 1/8" ribbon.

  • greatgrammatery 12 Jan, 2009

    great idea forguests, just put it in the room for them or cute idea to start granddughter learning about sweing on buttons, etc. Thanks Martha,

  • flybabymom 12 Jan, 2009

    That is a great idea! One thing I like to do with the buttons that come with clothes is to sew them onto the garment itself, in an inconspicuous place like an inside seam. Then it's there when I need it!

  • conga 12 Jan, 2009

    Thank you for this very nice, easy and simple idea.

  • teacher312 12 Jan, 2009

    love it. I never know what to do with those buttons I get from garments. Nor can I find them when I need them.

  • minirette 12 Jan, 2009

    Wow it is very nice and simple. We can make also like a cover book with childern in kindergarden, or for our notebooks ets. Thanks!

  • marwaomar 12 Jan, 2009

    easy and smpile

  • speckle 10 Oct, 2008

    This little gift really brings back memories of my childhood. (I am 60) I want to make some for my family this year. Our gifts are all going to be homemade. Pam from California

  • miciolamiao 24 Apr, 2008

    Wonderful idea! I made a few and embellished with small ribbon flowers! Everybody loved it and I am still making them For all my friends! Alessandra from Italy!!!

  • kaeci 12 Apr, 2008

    You could make a pocket for the buttons, either out of the felt or a scrap of clear plastic. This looks like a fun project, I want to try this.

  • terrigirl 6 Apr, 2008

    do you have to sew each button into this book

  • kuii 27 Jan, 2008

    waau it's easily make and easily bring.thanks to martha**

  • FCSTeacher 17 Jan, 2008

    I'm making the Felt Sewing Books to hand out to my Fashion Design one class. I think this will make a nice useful gift they can use while they are away at college.