Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sketchbook Padfolio

This should look familiar. I made a similar padfolio for a friend and had enough fabric left from the fat quarter for a second one for me. Except I noted I wanted to finish the inside a bit differently. It's kind of hard to see in the picture, but I used the tie closure again, this time stitching it right into the side while satin stitching the pockets.

I wanted to make this one suitable for a journal or sketchbook insert so I modified the pockets to open at the side, not the top. I'd already cut fabric for the pen pocket, so seamed the sides and top-stitched it to the larger pocket on the left. I looked for spiral notebooks, but apparently they don't make them this size. So I moved on to the idea of a sketchbook that I could make myself. I found a pad of 8 x 10" sketch paper which, when folded in half, would be the perfect size.

Well, almost perfect. The 10 inch dimension included almost 1/2 an inch beyond the perforation, so the individual pages are a tad narrower than I wanted, but I still think usable. I used directions for making a basic codex from the book "Cover to Cover" by Shereen LaPlantz. Three signatures of 4 folded sheets each turned out to be the proper thickness for this folio. This is my first try at bookbinding as it were, and while I could have snugged up the buttonhole thread a bit more as I added each signature, I thought it turned out pretty well for a first effort.

I was undecided about whether to include a cardstock cover, but in the end decided the folio itself is supposed to serve that function. I also couldn't decide whether to slip both first and last pages into the pockets or just the last page into the right pocket. After taking this picture, I slipped the front into the pocket too and I think that is the way to go. Another option would be to sew the signatures into the padfolio itself, that space between the stiff Peltex acting as a spine. But for this first run, I decided I wanted something I could easily remove. If the drawings are worth it, once the pages are filled, I can remove it and add a special cover. Or separate the pages, keeping only those that I think are worthwhile saving.


margaret said...

Every page of every sketchbook is worth keeping - it's a record of what you've been seeing and thinking!
These padfolios are both useful and beautiful - but doesn't satin stitching take an age to do?

The Idaho Beauty said...

You are right on both counts, Margaret. I tend to keep everything anyway, so the thought of me editing a sketchbook is a bit foreign and unlikely to happen. And yes, satin stitching does take an age, but I haven't found a better method to give me similar results that isn't equally time consuming. I have it down to a science pretty much, so just let my mind wander productively as the needle goes up and down...