Tag Archives: sew

When to Fold? (On Giving Up)

Don't Worry. This is a muslin using an old bedsheet.

Don’t Worry. This is a muslin using an old bedsheet.

There is something to be said for being stubborn. To be an artist or craftsperson, you need tenacity, enough to see you to the end of a project. At some point (about the end of the second week of Nanowrimo) you will get discouraged. This can’t be any good you say, it’s cliche’d and badly made. You might push through, and your tenacity will have paid off.

Or not. In episode #12 of  Jason Brubaker’s Making Comics Podcast  (he also does the comic reMIND) they discussed knowing when it’s time to quit. Which got me thinking about Heinlein’s second rule of writing (you must finish what you start).

I started this jacket for a temp assignment interview, when I realized I didn’t have a suit. I had a pattern for a short jacket, and a skirt. I also had about three days before the interview. I knew from the start something extremely tailored would never work, because it’s impossible to make something professional looking in three days without any experience. I tried out the pattern before I bought any ‘real’ fabric luckily, and I knew by the middle of the second day this wasn’t going like I’d hoped. The project was abandoned and I bought something which worked (and got the assignment). Now there is no reason for me to finish the project. I don’t regret it — it will never be what I initially envisioned. Instead, I can focus my energy on to my navy blue knit dress.

There is tenacity and then there is trying to get a dead horse to run. When do you cut your losses and put a project out of it’s misery?  Knowing this is like knowing when something is done. It’s a matter of experience and a little luck (I had a printmaking teacher who would say you would have to lose something three times before you found it).

Heinlein’s Rules (for reference).

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Filed under Follow-Up, Life

The Red Notebook — Making a Cheap Notebook

This sort of goes with my last post.

After I had finished covering the Moleskine notebooks, I decided a needed a cheaper version. Here is the cheapest sturdiest book I could come up with.

It's sort of plain, but it's the front cover.

It’s sort of plain, but it’s the front cover.

(FYI I’m editing this ’cause I finally retrieved the notebook from work… it’s still a bit rough, use your judgement with the measurements etc.)

Materials:

  • 8.5 by 11″ Copy paper, about 20 sheets
  • heavy thread
  • beesewax
  • thick needle (pointy, so not a tapestry needle)
  • A sheet of cardstock or a paper folder, bigger than 8.5 by 11″

And:

  • Glue (Elmer’s quick drying glue- stick is my favorite)
  • pen
  • ruler
  • Binder clips or bulldog clips
  • Thick folded towel (A couple of folded dishtowels work)

Carefully square up the paper and fold it in half. It’s going to bulge at the edge. Later you can cut it down with an X-acto knife if you want.

Clip the paper together with the binder clips to make sure it doesn’t slide around.

Hold the ruler against the interior crease and mark the center. Make 16 dots about 1 cm apart starting 1/2 cm from either side of the center mark  (I know — I’m mixing measuring systems!).

Put a thick folded towel or stiff foam on the tabletop and use the needle to a poke a hole at each of the dots. This is ideally done from the outside of the fold (where it forms a mountain) but is easier (and probably safer)  to position the needle in the valley of the fold. It will be somewhat difficult to punch through all that paper, but concentrate, be patient and don’t hurt yourself. If you have an awl, now would be a good time to use it.

Wax the thread by drawing through the beeswax.

Thread the needle, and tie the other end of the thread around the had of the book (through the first hole). Sew along the crease in and out of the holes you made. Loop it over the other end and back stitch through the holes, so it looks like the thread is continuous. Gently pull the thread snug. Don’t pull so hard you rip the paper, though. Tie it off the to trailing ends of the original knot.

You can remove the clip(s) now. Press on the signature so it lays flattish.

Lay the sewn paper on the cardstock. trace around it, then flip it over on it’s “spine” so it is laying next to the square you just traced. Trace it again, so it shares the spine side with the original rectangle. This is where you will glue. Add about 2 cm to each side of the large rectangle. Cut it out, then cut the corners off diagonally to the level of the original rectangle (this reduces bulk when you fold the corners over in the next step)

Carefully make some pre-folds on the originally drawn triangle. Check to make sure everything fits by placing the signature block in the folds. take the opportunity to bend the cardstock over the signature. This makes the spine. Rub glue all over the interior surface within the original rectangle of the cardstock, make sure the get the corners. Carefully line up the last page signature block and rub it down. Let the glue set before flipping the thing over and doing the other cover.

Carefully fold the flaps over the page and glue:

2013-07-21 19.22.27

At the spine, you will have to cut a small rectangle out where the cardstock can’t fold over the sewing.

Put binder clips on the edges and let them dry.

I put a pocket on the back inside cover by cutting out a rectangle and gluing it around the outer edge, but it’s a bit fiddly and entirely optional.

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Filed under Books, Instructions, Project - Papercrafts