I'm busting through my fabric stash like crazy making these petite planner covers. They're quick and easy to make and, at only 5 inches tall, you can pop one in your purse or pocket to write down any notes or lists while you're out and about. These are going to be perfect stocking stuffers this Christmas and I'm keeping some on hand for those times I need a quick little gift for somebody. You just need a few small pieces of fabric, some heavy dec weight stabilizer and small pieces of elastic. Give it a try! Use #petiteplannercover as your hashtag if you post any pictures on instagram.
Here's my cute little stack so far. It's going to get a lot taller at the rate I'm going this week.
Here are the inserts I'm using. They come in a 3 pack at Walmart. They are 4.5 inches tall and 3.25" wide (.25" thick). They only cost 88 cents for the pack of three. That's right...88 cents!! You can find them in the office supply section (not the journal section). You can get the golf pencils at any office supply place but I got mine at Express Pencils LLC and I think they're darling.
Here is the supply list and I've included 2 versions of the outer fabric. You can use one continuous piece or 2 smaller pieces. If you have a small special piece of fabric you want to use then the version with the 2 smaller pieces is perfect for this. I love using BariJ's Joie De Vivre Alphabet Panel for these covers (you can see the letter "P" below). Before cutting your fabric take a good look at it and see if the pattern you like is going to be on the book front. It pays to do a little "fussy cutting" to get the right design where you want it.
Below is the fabric supply list. You will also need an Elmer's type of glue stick (I prefer the purple stuff that dries clear), and a poking/turning tool for turning nice sharp corners.
For the version with 2 outer fabric pieces you'll need to sew your front and back pieces together with the raw ends of the elastic loop tucked in the center. See below.
For the version with one piece you'll need to pin your raw elastic ends at the precise center of your piece and then fold the fabric in half, enclosing the elastic ends. Stitch 1/4" from the edge of the fabric fold (enclosing the elastic ends in the seam). See below.
Now you have your outer fabric ready. Grab your stabilizer and glue stick and swipe glue around the edges. Try to keep the glue on the very outer edges of the stabilizer. I recommend the Pellon 70 stabilizer even though it's non-fusible (actually because it's non-fusible). I've tried the fusible version (Pellon 72) and it made the fabric look very rumply when I was done no matter how hard I tried to iron it. As an added bonus the Pellon 70 is less expensive (and always have your coupons ready!).
Once you've got the glue around the edges (work quickly because this glue dries fast), and your fabric placed on top, iron around the edges quickly to set your glue.
Now fold your short piece of 1/2" pencil loop elastic in half and pin in place 1.5" from the top on the side of fabric that will be the back of your planner cover. Your raw ends should be even with the raw edge of your fabric (the fold of the elastic is facing in towards the center seam).
Now grab your pocket pieces and fold them both in half and press. Be sure your fabric design is facing in the right direction if you have a directional print on your fabric.
Now place your pocket pieces directly on top of the outer fabric with the folded edges facing the center seam. Glue in place (glue just around the edges and heat set with your iron once your pockets are in place). Your elastic pencil loop is now sandwiched between the pocket and the outer fabric (at the red clamp in my picture below). The side of the pockets facing down on the outer fabric will be what you see when your cover is finished so make sure it's the part of the design you like most.
Next place the lining fabric directly on top of your outer fabric/elastic/pocket sandwich. Make sure the right side faces the pockets and the shortened end of the lining is over the pocket that does not have the pencil loop under it. Glue around the 3 edges (both long edges and the edge with the elastic loop) and heat set with your iron (but do not glue the shorter end!).
Now you are ready to sew it all together! Place your project on your sewing surface with the stabilizer facing up. It's easier to get a clean, accurate seam when you sew on the stabilizer side. Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance and stitch each side, back stitching where the seams intersect and then stitching off the end. I used my 1/4" foot for this and it makes my stitches nice and accurate. Stitch all the way around.
When you are done stitching trim your fabric/stabilizer corners making sure you don't cut through the stitched corner.
Put your hand through the opening and grab your elastic pencil loop at the end to start pulling your project right side out.
Poke the corners out as much as you can with your fingertips.
To get nice sharp corners use your pointed turning tool to gently push the rest of the corner out. My favorite poking tool is this wooden dowel I sharpened in my pencil sharpener.
Now iron your project but leave the open end opened.
Now swipe a good amount of glue under the lining. Pull the lining tight toward the open end and smooth it in place with your hand.
Heat set it with your iron.
Turn your remaining pocket to the inside of your planner cover, poke the corners out, and press. Now your pocket covers the raw end of your lining so nobody will know.
Top stitch around the outer edge pivoting at the corners (start and finish on the side with the pencil loop so it's not visible at the front of your cover). Top stitch just 1/8" from the edge. If your stitch is any further from the edge you may have trouble fitting your notebook flaps into the pocket.
Here's what it should look like.
Tuck your notebook covers into the pockets and slide a pencil (or tiny pen) into the loop. Isn't this cute?!
Make a pile of them!
Make a row of them!
Give it a try and let me know how it turns out. Use #petiteplannercover as your hashtag if you post any pictures on instagram. Be sure to ask me any questions in the comments! Have a great week and keep on sewing!