Friday, August 7, 2009

Simple Sewing: A Child's Fabric Bookmark Tutorial

TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they'll have with twenty-six. Open your child's imagination. Open a book. ~Author Unknown

To say my daughter is an avid reader I would consider a gross understatement. One must admire her selection of books. We can never leave our library without literally bags full of books. One or two for me, perhaps half a dozen for little Eee, and about 40 for Ess.

She has an interesting way of reading her books. Some are read from cover to cover in one sitting, some are treasured and to be shared with Mum and Dad in the evening. Chapter books are often read as a collection. Ess states she reads chapter one from each book before moving on. Interestingly I recall myself making a decision in my teens that I should really complete reading one book before commencing another and another which interested me. Ess must certainly be "her mother's daughter".

Thus we have a requirement for numerous bookmarks in our house. Often fabric scraps are used. Ess has another of my unfortunate traits and likes to hoard the little pieces of prettyness which appear when I cut fabric for some of my many creations. I notice that some of the blue fabric I used for Zet the Monster has been inserted into some of Ess' books in the above collection. I managed to gather some scraps she had earmarked while I was cutting my Jane Market Bag from Alicia Paulson to sew a prettier bookmark for her. Here is a little tutorial to make it simple for you.

Fabric Bookmark

Gather the materials needed: fabric scraps, scissors, pins, ribbon cut to desired length to decorate, your iron and a sewing machine.

Most of the work in finishing the bookmark is in folding and pressing your fabric so take your time at the ironing board. If you need to join two or more scraps of fabric to make the desired length for your book mark (as in the above picture), sew fabric right sides together with a 5mm seam allowance and iron flat. Iron the bookmark in half lenthways and open out to make it easier to fold in half later. Then mitre your corners, I find it makes a much neater finish and is not too difficult.

Firstly fold in the corner to the centre, ensuring all raw edges are perpendicular, ie standing at right angles.

Fold in the edges, top and side to make a neat sharp point on the corner.

Press your corners and pin them securely. Then fold your bookmark in half and pin all the way around.

Insert a couple of pieces of ribbon at the top of your bookmark for some pretty decoration, any decoration along the length of it is likely to create too much bulk, even for a child's book.

Now sew all the way around the outside edge of your bookmark and you will have a very professional finish.

There. So easy, even your daughter could sew it.

Enjoy your reading...and hers as well!


Homestay Mama said...

Very creative, Cee! Back in my sewing days I used stitch witchery (fusible web) to make things like that. In some cases there was very little sewing involved. But it's been a long time since I've even pulled out my sewing machine, or shopped in fabric stores! Reading your blog is tempting me to get back into it--although I have no idea where I'd find the time now days!

Melissa Goodsell said...

Cee, we must be on the same wave length as I made a fabric bookmark just yesterday!! Mine is a sort of patchwork one with a ribbon tie at the top too!!
Enjoy your weekend,

Cee said...

Oh I do hope you cannot resist that temptation Homestay Mama. Once I got my machine out again recently, I just couldn't stop. Indeed sewing is something I make time for - it's my me time as well as for sharing with the girls. I need to create!

Mel we are so often on the same wavelength I have found. Either we make something at a similar time, unbeknownst to each other or I find stimulation for something I wanted to do from you. And of course I love taking your inspiration to make something new for our home.

Thanks for popping in tonight.

alecat said...

These look so pretty!
I started teaching my children to use the sewing machine a couple of weeks ago. Making fabric bookmarks is a great idea for one of their first projects.
Thank you, you clever lady. :)

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