21 May

End of School Year Crafting

It’s the end of the school year for us, and I’m thinking of a few teacher gifts. I am a big fan of cookie mix in a jar. As long as the teacher actually makes the cookies, it’s not going to clutter up a desk, and it’s easy for the kids to assemble themselves. We may be known by now at our elementary school as the cookies-in-a-jar family.

But, this year my daughter wanted to do something different for her triathlon running, cult movie watching, kinda geeky, teacher. We browsed the crafty websites for teacher gifts and decided on a binder cover — so he could organize the clutter on his desk (isn’t she nice to notice this need?).

I liked this tutorial from Lola…Again, but wanted to simplify it a bit. Here’s what we did:

I measured all around the binder (in the open position) and added 1/2″ seam allowance. Our binder is 2″ deep one:

Main fabric: 24″ x 12 3/4″. Cut one piece of fabric and one piece of iron on interfacing.

Inside sleeves (contrasting fabric?): 11″ x 12 3/4″. ┬áCut two pieces of fabric and two pieces of iron on interfacing.

Horizontal pocket: 11″ x 4 1/2″. Cut two pieces of fabric.

Vertical sleeve: 6″ x 12 3/4″. Cut two pieces of fabric.

Spine facing: 2″ x 6″. Cut two pieces of fabric and two pieces of interfacing.

Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the main piece, inside sleeve pieces, and spine facing pieces.

Binder Cover

With right sides facing, sew together one long side on the horizontal pocket and on the vertical sleeve. Press with right sides out and then topstitch. Pin pocket on one inside sleeve piece, and the vertical sleeve on the other interior sleeve piece, aligning raw edges.

Binder Cover

Fold over 1/4″ and then 1/4″ again on the right side of the inside front sleeve, and on the left side of the inside back sleeve. Press and then topstitch. Go slow when sewing over the right side of the horizontal pocket as there’s lots of layers there.

Mark vertical lines for pencil pockets on the horizontal pocket. Top stitch. Back stitch for strength at the top of each pencil pocket. Pull the threads to the back and knot for a clean look on the front.

Fold over 1/4″, press, and topstitch one long edge on each spine facing piece.
Place the main fabric face up. Place the interior sleeves (with the horizontal pocket and vertical sleeve) face down on the right and left ends of the main fabric. Center the spine facings over the space between the sleeves with the long raw edges aligned with the top and bottom of the main fabric piece. Pin everything in place.

Binder Cover

Sew all the way around the perimeter using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Grade the seam allowance (trim one layer to 1/4″), and cut excess from the corners.

Turn the binder cover right side out. Fold the binder backwards and slip into the cover.

Looks pretty good! I was impressed with how easy this came together and how good it looks. Pocket options are infinitely customizable as proven by the myriad tutorials out there.

Binder Cover

I hope the teacher likes it too.