Saturday, 7 May 2011

Keep track of your fabric stash and help you shop :make your own fabric sample book

I made this little book a while ago and meant to share with you but other stuff got in the way. The idea behind it was that it would a) stop me buying duplicate fabrics and b) help me to shop for coordinating fabrics,trims,buttons etc and be small enough to be carried around all the time. It's pretty simple to make too.

You will need: A juice brick pack,
 fabric for the cover and lining of the book, card, fraycheck or clear nail varnish, small piece of ribbon, swatches of your fabric.
You will need a sewing machine to sew this as you will need to sew straight through the brick pack which is not a problem with a machine but wouldn't work by hand.

First off all cut  small cards out of cardstock  7 cm by 7 , Take small swatches a little smaller then your cards from your  fabrics and sew them to the cards  using a zig zag stitch all around the edges. You can use a small dot of glue in the middle to hold them in place initially.
Make 2 small holes in the edge of the cards to later thread some ribbon through.

Now for the cover: you will need this to be bigger then your cards so it protects them.  Cut the front of a brickpack  into a piece 17 cm by 8 cm. wash and dry your brickpack piece, now cut a piece of fabric for the cover this will need to be slichtly larger 19 cm by 10 cm , then cut another piece of fabric  for the lining 17.5 cm by 8.5 cm. When you have all your pieces take your lining piece and fold it over around the edges and iron them checking that the finished piece still fits inside your brickpack piece and that it is a tiny bit smaller then your brickpack piece.
Make 2 creases in your brickpack piece so that you end up with a book shape. this should be at 7.5 cm then again after 2 cm.
 Pop a few small dots of glue on the middle of the  brick pack and  put your lining on top.Cut a small piece of ribbon long anough to go through your cards and tie in to a ribbon comfortably and pop it on top,(you may need to use fraycheck or clear nail varnish to stop the ribbon from fraying)decide where the holes in your cards are and sew your ribbon on straight through the brickpack and material,now you need to attach the cover do this you will need to press the edges so that it goes over the brickpack but under the lining pieces so that the brickpack is sandwiched in between,now zig zag all the way around.
Now pop your cards in and tie into a bow.

Other options would be to scan the fabrics in and make a little book from the copies but I find it helpful to have a swatch off the actual fabric.
I hope this is clear.I wanted to do a bullet point style tutorial with photo's but it's not working for some reason.If there's anything you're not sure about please leave a comment I do try to reply to all comments


  1. This is such a great and cute idea, thanks for sharing!!!

  2. What a fab idea, definitely going to make one! Have to ask what a "brickpack" is though? A tetra pak juice carton?

  3. Yes it's a tetra pak carton. I found it quite by accident that you can easily sew right trough it. I've used dit a couple of times since. it works.

  4. Curious as to how you accidentally sew through a juice carton, but won't ask! What an excellent substitute to cardboard, I guess it counts as waterproof?

  5. Hi Molly I was just looking around for a suitable material so I tried it out.(it didn't accidentilly land under my needle lol)It works great and my machine sewed it without a problem with a normal needle. I should think it would be waterproof seeing as it normally holds liquid.