Textured Cork Notepad Cover

Cork notebook on a blue counter with office supplies arranged around it

In today’s techy world, I still like to put pen to paper to write notes and lists. A pretty notepad holder makes a mundane task more fun. Plus, I love the textures of the ribbon, cork, and buttons.

Let’s make one together!

Materials for Making the Notepad Cover

Ruffle the Ribbon

The Ruffler #86 is the go-to foot when you want to make gathers and pleats for garments and home dec projects. It works great on fabrics, lace, and ribbons. You can easily customize the size and distance of your pleats with a few minor adjustments. Click HERE for more information on how to do that.

I have two important tips for you: 1) make sure that the U-shaped arm is on the needle bar and 2) fabric or ribbon that is to be ruffled goes between the separating blade and the ruffler blade, not UNDER the foot.

We are going to use it to ruffle the ribbon.

NOTE: There are two variations of this attachment, one for 5.5 mm machines (yellow dot) and one for 9 mm machines (orange dot). Let your dealer know which machine you will use so you get the correct one.

Ruffler #86 foot with part indicators

Step 1

Thread the machine with thread to match the 1 1/2″ wide ribbon. It is best (and easier) to thread the needle before attaching the foot. On the BERNINA B 880 PLUS and B 790 PRO, the automatic needle threader will be deactivated when the foot is selected. Do not attempt to use the automatic needle threader while the foot is attached as damage can occur.

Once the foot is attached and selected, increase the depth of the pleat by turning the adjusting screw clockwise as far as it will go.

Close up view of a screwdriver inserted into the foot for pleat depth adjustment

Move the adjusting lever to 6 to make pleats every six stitches.

Close up view of the pleat adjustment lever

I tested at this setting with the default stitch length of 2.5 (left ribbon in the image below). The pleats were not as close as I liked, so I decreased my stitch length to 1.5 (right ribbon). This is where you can play and adjust the pleat depth and distance to what you like best.

Two dark blue ribbons in different lengths

Step 2

Insert the ribbon right-side up into the foot with some of the ribbon extending behind the foot. You need this extra bit to turn under later. I like grosgrain ribbon for this technique … it sews nicely and comes in lots of colors and even prints!

Side view of blue fabric being fed through the Ruffler foot.

Align the ribbon so that the needle is in the center. You might want to draw a chalk line down the center of the ribbon to help with alignment. Stitch at a moderate pace and guide the ribbon as necessary. Stop stitching about 1/2″ from the end of the ribbon. If you like, give it a quick press to straighten, but don’t flatten the ruffles too much.

Side view of the blue fabric being fed through the machine, with pleats at the beginning

Step 3

Re-thread to match the narrower ribbon and repeat on both pieces. When you are done, you will have three ruffled ribbons.

Blue and white ruffled ribbon on a wood counter

Embellish the Notepad Cover

Step 1

Mark the spine seam lines 8 1/2″ from each short end on both the right and wrong side of one 5 1/2″ x 17 1/2″ cork piece.

Cork with a measuring tool on the top

Step 2

Spray temporary adhesive on one side of each Peltex piece. Place on the wrong side of the marked cork rectangle, with about 1/8″ of cork showing on the bottom, sides, and 1/8″ away from marked spine line. The area between the marked spine lines does NOT have Peltex.

White Peltext pinned to the cut cork

Step 3

Mark a 6″ vertical line centered on the cover front. Place basting tape on the line and position the 1 1/2″ wide ribbon in place. Thread with matching thread. Fold under the top edge of the ribbon and stitch along the ribbon’s stitching. Fold under at the end of the ribbon, too. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end. The Embroidery Foot with Clear Sole #39/39C makes it easy to see the line of stitching!

Overhead view of blue ribbon being sewn to cork

Change the thread to match the narrow ribbon. The narrow ribbons will be added on either side of the wide ribbon. The one on the left will be even with the top of the wide ribbon and the one on the right will be even with the bottom of the wide ribbon. Draw 4″ lines about 1 3/4″ away from the center of the wide ribbon. Place the basting tape and then the ribbons. Adjust as needed so that it is pleasing to you. Stitch along the ribbon’s stitching.

Close up view of white ribbon being sewn to cork

Step 4

Now let’s add some buttons. I had fun digging through my button box and even found some rare BERNINA buttons!

A box of various buttons

Arrange the buttons as desired. Use a smidge of basting tape to hold in place.

An overhead view of ribbon and buttons arranged on the cork notebook cover

Attach the Button Sew-on foot #18 and stitch the buttons in place with coordinating thread. I love the Pinpoint Laser on the B 790 PRO! It shows me exactly where the needle will go for easy placement of the button under the foot.

Close up view of the Button Sew-on Foot #18 on cork

Step 5

Now it’s time to put everything together. Thread the needle and bobbin with matching thread (I’m using blue) and select the Triple Stitch. Attach the Jeans Foot #8/8D. The single needle hole of the foot provides extra stability as you sew through the thick layers of the cork and Peltex.

Place the front and lining cork rectangles wrong sides together, aligning all edges. Add the pocket to the inside back and clip along all edges.

Cork pinned with clips and laying on a black grid background

Stitch the spine seams first along the marked lines. For a tidy backstitch, I began with a straight stitch starting about 1/4″ in and backstitched to the edge of the cork. Then I switched to the Triple Stitch and sewed forward to the end. Then back to a straight stitch to backstitch.

Close up view of cork being sewn

Stitch all around the notepad cover with the Triple Stitch, guiding the cork along the inside right toe of the foot.

Close up view of the final side edge being sewn on the cork notebook cover

That’s it! Insert your notepad and you are ready to write in style!

Notebook inserted into the finished cork notebook cover

I hope you enjoyed exploring some new feet and using the Ruffler #86 in a creative way.

Until next time, happy sewing!

An open notebook with pens and office supplies arranged around it.

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