Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Grandma's Needlebook Tutorial

These little needlebook cases are headed for goodie bags for Tuesdays Sewing Bee. They are quick and easy to make so I thought I'd share them in the form of a tutorial with you. They would make great stocking stuffers, shower game prizes, hostess gifts, gift basket addition, etc. They're quickly made with things you most likely have on hand. Plus, I will share tips on how to keep the costs down even further. I made these from 1930s reproduction apron prints simply because I had them on hand, they fit the table theme for the party and because I just adore them. But you could theme your fabrics and applique motif to fit your intended recipient.

Grandma's Needlebook Tutorial

Step One - Create the needlebook's base by cutting cardstock or manilla file folders into the desired size. FRUGAL and TIME-SAVING TIP - I buy notecards at thrift stores for next to nothing and keep them on hand for crafting. I use fusible webbing to create custom cards by simply fusing on scrapbook paper, vintage sheet music and vintage graphics. Or I use them for cutting tags, making bookmarks, etc. They were perfect for these needlebooks. I didn't even have to score the fold!

Step Two - Cut fusible webbing to fit needlebook. You will need two sheets, one for the inside and one for the outside. TIME-SAVING TIP - If you're making more than one needlebook, fold your fusible webbing into as many layers as quantity needed and cut them all at once with a rotary cutter and ruler.

Step Three - Layer webbing onto card and fuse. TIME-SAVING TIP - You can fuse both front and back at once. The heat is sufficent to secure the back side at the same time as the front. Peel off paper.

Step Four - Cut two different fabrics the same size as needlebook, one for the inside and one for the outside. Then layer pieces like this: Fabric for inside of needlebook (wrong side up), card, fabric for outside of needlebook (wrong side down). Slip in a length of ribbon on each end between fabrics and card to provide the closure for the needlebook. Fuse all at once being sure all edges are even. Trim if needed.

Step Five - Trace your chosen applique motif onto fusible webbing. Cut roughly around applique shapes. Fuse to fabrics. Cut out on lines. Arrange on card front. Fuse into place.

Step Six - Cut felt to fit inside of needlebook leaving a bit of a margin. Spray felt with spray craft adhesive. Press into place on inside of needlebook.

Step Seven - Embellish front of needlebook. FRUGAL TIP - Instead of buying tags at scrapbook stores where they come in small quantities and premium prices, I buy mine in the office supply section of Wal-Mart. They are less than a dollar for 200 count.

Step Eight - Tuck in a few pins and needles into felt. Tie shut and it's ready for gift-giving.


Anonymous said...

I need some of these! Seriously, I've been really irritated by my inability to keep various types of hand sewing needles separated and available so I can find them when I need them.

I can see a needlebook marathon session to give myself a variety of them (and a few extras for gifts)

Thanks for the detailed and well illustrated tutorial. You've outdone yourself once again!

Sometime you should consider a tutorial on taking such good photos for the tutorial details/steps.

Anonymous said...

You are so talented! I love those!! ?'s...are there rules on buying fusable web? I've never used it before, but you've inspired me :) If I go into JoAnns and say..'can you show me where the fusible web is please?' will it be a 'here it is' or 'here they are, which one do you need?' (which is when I usually stand there looking like a deer in the headlights cause I didn't know there would be choices -blush-). And am I correct that you cut the fabric just alittle bigger than what you needed...and then trimmed afterwards...somehow not cutting the ribbon (which I'd be sure to do at least once ;) ) Or should I be sure things are lined up that exactly before I start? always :)
Laura in VA

Unknown said...

Hi Laura - Nice to see you here! Fusible web is usually kept on the same shelf as the interfacings at JoAnn's. You buy it by the yard. I prefer Heat-n-Bond to WonderUnder. You can also buy it in a big roll on the notions wall. Trimming should be very minor if you use a rotary cutter, ruler and mat to cut your fabrics accurately. I had to trim only the tiniest bit because the fabrics would stretch a tiny bit when ironed on. These really are addictive to make. I plan to make several for myself after the party.

Zarinaia said...

Hi! Thanks for this tutorial. Your needlebooks are very useful!
I think I will made some of these.

Anonymous said...

Thank you :) It's on my list! The scootching while ironing was what I was afraid of ;) I'll be careful...and rotory cutter and mat were just one of the BEST inventions!

Oh I come and visit often :) You inspire me...I keep telling Dh that we need to go to Alaska so I can come learn from you ;) I'm wearing him down I think lol!
Laura in VA

Angelia said...

You make the cutest things!!!
Your tutorials are always good to!

Marcia said...

Brilliant idea to reuse cards received! I'll be making a few of these. Thanks!

Lil_Birdie said...

How cute and useful too :)
Thanks for sharing

MaMa said...

What a great idea...I never would have thought of this and I love your tips. Thanks for sharing.

Jana said...

EEK! I can't contain my excitement! I LOVE THIS IDEA!! Oh what joy. And so easy too.. I just happened upon this tutorial through Sew,Mama,Sew! and I think I will be a frequent visitor. Bless those who make it east and inspire us all! You are very talented

Sew Spoiled said...

Great idea!! I could use some of these too.

A.L. said...

Oh my gosh.

I've been having fun looking at your gorgeous site and realized that you used this 1930s fabric that I've been looking for.

I wonder if you have any scraps and wouldn't mind trading. I have a pretty good collection of 1930s and would be happy to trade. The fabric I've been searching for is that yellow one with the bunnies in the airplane and parachute.

Many thanks.

BrendaLea, the Prpldy said...

I've made needle books before, but love the way you made this one. Great tutorial and I will be making some like this. Thanks for sharing it.

Juzoo said...

I admire crafty people who see good in all scraps of materials and in creating original projects. Hats off to you! I believe I think like you do and will enjoy reading about other projects created by you. Talent is a God-given gift!