Sketchbook Project 2011

Recently I was asked how my Sketchbook is going. Funnily enough, I’ve just uploaded a bunch of new pictures to my photobucket account, so I can share them here easily!

I was originally planning on sewing my sketchbook back together after replacing the way too thin paper inside of it. However, I ran into some problems with this when I tried it.

Problem #1 – my machine does not have a stitch length long enough to sew the paper in without creating a perforated edge that ripped near the top and bottom.

Problem #2 – The new pages themselves, although I used thicker paper, were also tearing.

I think the real problem is that I don’t know my new machine well enough to know what it can and can’t do. My old machine was capable of making books, no problemo, but this one just doesn’t cut it.

A word about sewing paper – to the best of my knowledge, it does NOT damage your machine in the least. It may dull your needle but that needs to be replaced regularly anyway. I have sewn papers, cardboard and even really thin plastics with my new machine and have had no problems with it at all. Some people are worried about hurting their equipment. I am not an expert, and if sewing paper does hurt your machine I’m not gonna buy you a new one, but I’ve been sewing for five or six years now and have had no issues with paper or even cardboard damaging my machines.

So you may be wondering how I did my Sketchbook since I couldn’t use the machine. In the end, I went with the Pamphlet stitch. Basically, what you do is mark a hole in the top, middle and bottom of your cover, about an inch or so in from either end. Then you fold your paper in half and stack it so it becomes a big signature. Make sure your stack is squished together really tightly and hold it in place with some kind of clip or clamp (I used one of those bull dog clips…I think that’s what they are called…) and poke holes in the same spot as you did for your cover. After that, take some thread (I only had regular sewing thread, so that’s what I used, but you can use embroidery floss or any other kind of string you like) and sew your book. Start inside your book, go out the middle hole, go up to the top on the outside of your book, push your needle through the top hole and into the book, go down to the bottom hole, and come out on the outside. Then go up to the middle hole one more time and go back inside your book. Tie your string ends together, dab a little glue on the knot if you feel it needs it, clip the loose ends and you are done!

Was that all confusing?

Yeah, I thought so too! So go watch a video on it instead. This is the one I used, but you can just do a search for ‘pamphlet stitch’ and all kinds of good tutorials come up.

So now that you have your book back together with decent paper inside of it, what should you do to the pages? I’ll show you what I did so you can get some new ideas!








There will be a more detailed explanation post coming up soon, but for right now, I just wanted to show how far I’ve gotten on mine before I go back to working on it tonight. January 15th is the deadline and it’s coming up so fast, I’m starting to feel a little panicked! Anyone else nervous about their Sketchbook? Let me know so I don’t feel all alone and like a huge slacker!


About messymama
I'm a SAHM with a busy schedule and a love of too many things to count! I sew, I write, I draw, and I love to create. I'm always on the lookout for a new project idea. One other very important thing about me - my house is in a continual state of upheaval and mess. Slowly but surely I'm working through the piles and boxes, but I am still in the process, and some days it seems like it would be much easier to pack up and move!

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