I had grand plans, guys. I was totally going to have 2 posts this week. But it’s already Thursday and tomorrow is booked, so it seems unlikely that it will happen. I hope you forgive me. Hubs took Monday and Tuesday off this week, so we had a little vacation. Today I feel like I’m on turbo trying to catch up on laundry, household chores, and blogging. So I think instead of telling you intensive details about this busy book, I’ll mostly just show you pictures.
I started this book before my mom left, so late May/early June. And I didn’t finish until just before Little Man’s birthday. So 4ish months. Not counting the 2-3 months I spent thinking & planning. In reality, this wasn’t particularly difficult, and probably could have been done in a week or two, if I didn’t have, you know, a 2-year old.
I used mostly felt for this book, with patterned cotton accents. I threw in a little faux fur, craft foam, and various fasteners. Without further ado, here it is!
The curtains here weren’t wrinkled when I put them in the book, but little boys don’t take a lot of care to make sure they’re laying flat when closing the book, and I was waaaaay too lazy to try to iron them again for pictures.
Oh, hello kitty.
My, what a snappy acorn you have.
I’ll be honest. My mom totally put in the zipper. I have no idea how to do that.
Buckle up, puppy.
Jean pocket from an old pair of jeans.
Numbers with corresponding bells.
Giant buttons with shapes.
And there you have it. :) I pretty much made up this whole thing and didn’t use any kind of pattern. It’s doable, but here are some tips I have for any of you wanting to try it.
-Plan ahead. I sort of did, but I winged it a lot, and sometimes things didn’t end up quite centered. Decide which pages will go where and how much seam allowance you need for the “binding” and then measure to figure out where the center will be once it’s put together. Also think about how close things may end up to the stitches around your pages. Leave enough room for your sewing machine foot to fit easily around these things or you’ll have trouble keeping your stitches straight.
-BASTE. I know, basting sounds like the most tedious thing ever. But when it comes to stitching the pages together, basting will save you so much headache. I learned the hard way. I put all my pages together using only pins, and the felt slipped around and ended up uneven in a lot of places. When I went to stitch the first & last pages to the cover, I wised up/got a tip from my mom and basted the pieces together and it was SO much easier to deal with and the finished product was much nicer.
-You do NOT want to have to rip out stitches from felt. You know, felt? That stuff that’s really fluffy and kind of puffs up around stitches and catches really easily on things like a seam ripper or small scissors? Yeah, that. I had to rip out a 3-4 inch section and it took 20 minutes and made me want to say swears. Save yourself the trouble and BASTE. ^see above.
-I made my book about 10 x 10. My mom cut the pages with a rotary cutter. Despite the pages all starting out perfectly straight & uniform, after ironing and stitching the felt warped a bit. It’s the nature of felt, so your best bet is to baste the pages together as evenly as you can, stitch them on the machine, and then trim them to be the same size again.
-I did most of this on my new sewing machine with embroidery stitches, and it was a dream. That being said, there are still some materials that require hand-stitching, like the faux fur.
Would you guys be interested in more in-depth descriptions/instructions? The project took so long, and was done so often at night that I didn’t take any in-process pictures, but I could describe what I did for each page. But if you don’t care and would be bored to death, I won’t. :) So let me know in the comments if you’re interested in more information! I hope this inspires you.
Update 12/11/12: Here are all the in-detail posts & instructions on all the busy book pages!