In just a couple of hours you can turn an old pair of jeans into a composition book cover that your back to school teen is sure to love. I’ve sized this project to fit a composition book measuring 9 3/4″ x 7 1/2″ but you can easily size the directions up or down to fit any notebook.
Materials needed to create a Composition Book out of Jeans
- An old pair of jeans
- 1/2 yard cotton fabric for the inside
- Mistyfuse fusible web
- Timtex or other comparable stiff interfacing
- Composition book measuring 9 3/4″ x 7 1/2″
- Sewing machine (I use a BERNINA 740)
- BERNINA Reverse pattern foot with clear sole 34 D
Start by deconstructing your jeans. Using a sharp seam ripper carefully remove the back pockets and set them aside.
Turn the jeans inside out, cut the top part of the jeans at the crotch and then turn the legs inside out and cut off the side seams. Press the leg material well and then cut them into long strips measuring at least 16 1/2″ long and of varying widths from 1″ to 2 1/2″.
Cut a piece of Timex 10 1/4″ x 16″ and fuse a layer of Mistyfuse to one side. Place your strips of denim right sides up on top of the Mistyfuse side of the Timex overlapping each strip about 1/8″. Don’t worry about the strips hanging over the edges, you’ll trim the excess off later. Once you have all the strips in place, press the surface with a hot iron to fuse them to the Timtex. After you have fused them in place, turn the piece over and use your rotary cutter and ruler to trim off any excess material.
Set your machine for a wide zigzag stitch and zigzag stitch along the edge of each strip where they overlap to secure them in place.
Fold the book cover in half wrong sides together and decide where you want to place the cover pocket. Open out the cover and then sew the pocket in place along the side and bottom edges using the original stitching lines on the pocket as your guide.
Turn the book cover over and fuse your lining fabric in place.
Cut two pieces of fabric 10 1/4″ x 13″, fold them in half wrong sides together to make two pieces measuring 10 1/4″ x 6 1/2″. These are the inside sleeves that hold the notebook in place. Press them well. Place one of the sleeves on your worktable with the fold on the left. Place the the other pocket you cut from the jeans on top making sure to keep it at least 1/2″ up from the bottom and at least 1/4″ from the right edge. Stitch it in place using the original stitching lines on the pocket as your guide.
Place the fabric sleeves on the lining side of the book cover aligning the raw edges of the sleeves with the raw edges of the book cover. You can either pin them in place or machine baste them very close to the edge.
Zig zag stitch around the edges of the book cover. I used a very wide (7.0) dense (.50) zig zag stitch for this.
TIP: I used Superior Threads MonoPoly thread in my bobbin and a regular cotton thread in the top of the machine to do the zigzag edge stitching with the book cover lining side against the feed dogs. Using the monopoly in the bobbin makes a nice clean finish on the inside. If you use a colored thread in your bobbin, make sure it coordinates with the colors in your lining fabrics.
Slip your composition book covers inside the sleeves and you’re done!