Book binding for lazy housewives – The washi tape method

In my previous post I already mentioned Kathleen’s blog calender, which you can find on her blog Verbeelding. Apart from that, Kathleen also shared a very handy  sewing planner. I’m starting to consider Kathleen as my personal organiser 🙂

To keep all those sewing plans nicely together, I wanted to make a booklet, as I’ve already done before. But since I’m pretty inpatient and since I wanted to make that booklet now (instead of getting all materials first), I started going with what I had lying around: washi tape. And half an hour later, I had a book.

What do you need?

  • Paper. In my case, 24 printed sheets of the sewing planner. Tip: print on both sides. I forgot, and I had to get the glue out to tape all my empty pages together
  • Washi tape, wide enough to keep all your quires together
  • A sharp needle
  • Thread
  • 1 sheet of more sturdy paper, coloured, if possible
  • A paper cutter or scissors to cut all your pages the same size

How to bind a book with washi tape

  1. Divide your sheets in equal piles, so you can fold your quires. In my case, I had 24 sheets and made 4 piles of 6 sheets.
  2. Fold your piles in half. In my case, because I didn’t print double-sided, I had to fold each sheet separately and then put them on a pile. I then kept this pile together with washi tape. There’s no need for you to do so as well, you can just fold all the sheets of 1 pile in 1 go.Boekbinden met washi tape
  3. If necessary, cut your quires so all pages are the same size. I didn’t do this for my book (as I’ve said, this is the lazy housewife method).
  4. Put all quires on a pile.Boekbinden met washi tape
  5. To keep the separate quires together, I sewed them together as described by SéverineBoekbinden met washi tape
  6. Get your coloured sheet of paper out, and cut it in half.
  7. Make sure that your quires are aligned, and put one of the coloured halves on top. Make sure you put it 1/4 cm from the folding edge. Put something on it to weigh it down, if necessary.Boekbinden met washi tape
  8. Get your widest washi tape out and tape it as such that you tape the coloured sheet to the quires.Boekbinden met washi tape
  9. Gently fold the washi tape over the edge, and press it down, so all quires are attached to your washi tape.
  10. Carefully turn the whole thing.
  11. Place the second piece of coloured paper on the back of the book, in the same way as you did for the front.
  12. Fold the washi tape over it, and tape the coloured paper down. Boekbinden met washi tape
  13. Rub all sides of the washi tape again, to ensure that all paterials are attached.
  14. Flip through your booklet, and check whether reinforces are necessary (I had to glue the back and front of each quire together if I wanted to lose the empty pages).Boekbinden met washi tape

Done!

Boekbinden met washi tape

Keep in mind that washi tape booklets are booklets that should stay put on your sewing table. Don’t carry them around too much. They are kept together by washi tape, not duct tape. Although… Duct tape now has a whole design line. Maybe worth a try as well?

How to sew a welt pocket with a zipper

When I made the nappy bag, I wanted it to have a welt pocket with zipper. There are several ways to make such a pocket. Below you find a description of how I learned to do it in class. (Sorry for the dark pictures, by the way. It’s winter, you know…)
What you need
  • 2 pieces of fabric of 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 in) straight grain or 45 degrees of the grain. That’s your own choice. Overlock them before you begin
  • A 15 cm (6 in) zipper
  • A piece of interlining: 6 x 17 cm (2.4 x 6.7 in)
  • A small pair of scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing chalk
  • An iron
  • A zipper foot for your sewing machine
How to get it all in the pocket
  1. On the right side of your fabric, draw a rectangle measuring 15 x 1 cm (6 x 0.4 in) where you want to insert the pocket. Draw a horizontal line in the middle of this rectangle. This will be your pocket opening. On both sides of the horizontal line, mark 1cm (0.4 in) on the inside of the rectangle. Starting from these marks, draw a line to the upper and lower corner of the rectangle, creating a triangle while doing so.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. On the right side of your fabric, use pins to mark the corners of your pocket. This will help you to draw the corners on the wrong side of your fabric.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. On the wrong side of your fabric, draw a rectangle around the markings: 2.5 cm (1 in) above and below the edge, 1 cm (0.4 in) on each side.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. Iron the interlining on the wrong side of your fabric. While doing so, make sure that the pocket opening is in the middle of the interlining.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. Draw the pocket opening on the wrong side of your fabric, on the interlining.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. If you haven’t done so yet, remove the pins from the corners of the opening drawing.
  1. On the right side of the fabric, pin one of the pieces of fabric with the right side on the right side over the opening drawing. Make sure to cover 2.5 cm (1 in) on both sides and 3 cm (1.2 in) on top.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. On the wrong side of the fabric, carefully and precisely stitch the outside edges of the pocket opening.
    Note: Start in the middle of a horizontal line, never in a corner.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. Cut the middle line carefully until you reach the triangle points.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. Cut the triangles very carefully.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. Put your hand from the wrong side of the fabric through the opening and pull the fabric through the opening, so the pocket is on the inside.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. Trim the edges.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. Roll the edges between your thumb and index finger until the seam is neatly folded.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. Iron the edges.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. On the wrong side of your fabric, stitch the triangles on the pocket fabric.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. Pin the zipper in its place.
    Tip: If it’s easier for you, baste the zipper in its place.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. Use your zipper foot to top stitch the pocket opening and thus stitching the zipper into place.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. On the wrong side of the fabric, pin the second piece of pocket fabric on the piece of the pocket that’s already attached to the pocket opening, right sides facing each other.
How to sew a welt pocket with zipper / Hoe naai je een paspelzak met rits
  1. Stitch around the pocket parts, to finish the pocket.
  1. If you haven’t done so yet, overlock the edges. You can also use the overlock to cut the redundant piece of fabric from step 16 off the pocket.
Finished!
Nappy bag / Luiertas

How to make a cardboard Christmas tree

christmas
Renovating a house while living in it kind of means that you are camping in your own home. And that means that most of your stuff is hidden away in the attic (and that the things you need will always be at the back and at the bottom of that attic, but that’s a different story).
It also means that Christmas decorations are hidden away in that far corner. I mean, did you ever take your Christmas gear on a camping trip? So when it’s the season to be jolly, it means I try to improvise on how to decorate the house a tiny bit without taking up too much room. Last year, this was the result:
Merry x-mas
And don’t worry, I did not waste any of those post-its. Each and every single one of them was reused as a grocery shopping list or to get my planning going.
This year, I wanted to do something with the pile of cardboard boxes we had lying around. We had just unpacked and assembled the cargo bike in Ikea style, so I had a big blank cardboard box to get going. Resulting in this Christboard tree:
Christboard tree / kerstonboom

And yes, it’s true. Only a quarter of the thing has been painted, and it’s covered in knee dents. But let’s just call that authenticity. And see it as a tip: Don’t sit on your cardboard while drawing the tree.

What do you need?

  • 2 large sheets of cardboard (105 cm / 42 in high, and 80 cm / 32 in wide)
  • 1 geometry triangle
  • 1 long ruler
  • 1 pair of scissors and/or 1 cutter knife
  • 1 cutting board
  • a couple of gold spray paint cans

How to make that tree

  1. Starting at the bottom corners, use your geometry triangle to measure a 30° angle, then draw a line measuring 20 cm (8 in).
How to make a cardboard Christmas tree / Hoe maak je een kerstboom van karton
  1. From your new point, measure a downward angle of 25° and draw a line measuring 10 cm (4 in).
  1. From your new point, draw a line that’s parallel with the 30° angle from step 1. The line measures 20 cm (8 in).
  1. Teken vanuit het nieuwe punt een lijn naar boven die evenwijdig loopt met de lijn op 30°. Maak deze lijn 20 cm lang.
How to make a cardboard Christmas tree / Hoe maak je een kerstboom van karton
How to make a cardboard Christmas tree / Hoe maak je een kerstboom van karton
  1. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you reach the top of the tree.

    Note: The lines of the top will be slightly longer than 20 cm (8 in) to create a nice top.

How to make a cardboard Christmas tree / Hoe maak je een kerstboom van karton
  1. Put the cardboard on your cutting board and use your long ruler and cutter knife to cut the tree out. Be careful when cutting the corners.

    Note: If your cardboard isn’t too thick, you can use a pair of scissors instead.

How to make a cardboard Christmas tree / Hoe maak je een kerstboom van karton
How to make a cardboard Christmas tree / Hoe maak je een kerstboom van karton
  1. Use the cut cardboard as a template to draw the second part of the tree. Cut this part out as well.
How to make a cardboard Christmas tree / Hoe maak je een kerstboom van karton
  1. On both parts, measure where the centre point is, both in lenght and width.
How to make a cardboard Christmas tree / Hoe maak je een kerstboom van karton
  1. On part 1, draw a line from the top of the tree to the centre of the tree. On part 2, draw a line from the centre of the tree to the bottom of the tree.
  1. Measure how thick your cardboard is.
How to make a cardboard Christmas tree / Hoe maak je een kerstboom van karton
  1. Use your geometry triangle to copy the thickness of your cardboard onto the centre line. In doing so, make sure that the centre line remains in the centre of the tree.
How to make a cardboard Christmas tree / Hoe maak je een kerstboom van karton
  1. Cut the slit you just drew on both parts.
How to make a cardboard Christmas tree / Hoe maak je een kerstboom van karton
  1. Slide both parts into each other.
How to make a cardboard Christmas tree / Hoe maak je een kerstboom van karton
  1. Use spray paint to paint the tree. Or better yet, decorate it however you like.

    Note: I was only able to paint 1 quarter of the tree with 1 can of spray paint. So if you want to paint the whole tree, buy at least 4 cans. Or buy just the 1, and put the tree up in a very strategic corner.

christmas

How to darn socks

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this thing with socks. Bright and beautiful with fun cartoon characters on them, you name them and chances are I’ve had them. I particularly remember a pair of yellow Bert and Ernie socks I had as a teenager. They were a present from my best friends’, and I regarded them as my lucky socks. I must have been the only teenager around who was happy getting socks for no matter what occassion. Come to think of it, I must have been the only teenager who was so fervently darning socks!
Unfortunately, the Bert and Ernie socks have long since worn out beyond repair. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t still be spotted wearing pink Powerpuff girls socks.
Last May, during our honeymoon, my husband and I were casually strolling along Pier 39 when we stumbled upon the coolest shop ever: the Shop Market. I know, a pretty lame name, but it had the coolest socks I ever have seen. I just had to stash up! One of the pairs I got there had the muppet Animal on them.

muppet socks

Unfortunately, I managed to get a hole in one of them. Not too big though, so I could easily repair it. And while I was at it, I could just as well darn another pair of warm winter socks (although they’re not cool at all, but in winter time, everything’s allowed to keep those feet warm). But what better reason than this to write a post on darning socks?

What you need:

  • A wool needle. Those are the ones that have a rather large eye and a blunt point.
    wool needle
  • An egg-shaped something. I have a stone egg that does the job just fine. The important thing is that you have something slightly rounded to pull the sock over, to imitate the form of your foot. Mine looks like this:
    egg stone
  • Darning thread. This looks as follows:
    Laine Saint-Pierre

    Most of the time I use this, but a string of wool is just as good.

Darn it!
It’s not that hard to be honest. All you need to do is weave tight.

  1. Turn the sock inside out.
  2. Place the egg-shaped stone – or anything else that’s rounded – in the sock, underneath the hole.
  3. Get your thread through your needle. There’s no need to tie a knot, just leave a tiny bit of string dangling when you start weaving.
  4. Start at the top of the hole. If there are still some threads in the hole, weave through these, like this:
    how to darn socks

    In fact it’s even better to start a bit higher still, in a part that is still good.

  5. Weave down, left to right, right to left, like this:
    how to darn socks

    Now if the cat OK’d it, you’re sure you’re safe 😉

  6. When you have reached the bottom of the hole, or even a bit lower, make a quarter turn.
  7. Sstart weaving in between the treads you’ve just added.
    how to darn socks

    Make sure that you weave tight.

  8. When you’ve reached the end, cut the remaining thread off.
  9. Turn the sock right-side out.
how to darn socks

Tada! Good as new!