Bookish Creativity – Making A Book Sleeve

It´s time to unleash the bookish creativity!

It´s time to (re)start my book sleeve project! 

You know what a book sleeve is, right? Those functional fabric pouches that protect books? The ones with all kinds of stylish designs that are mainly seen on Instagram or Pinterest? Yeah, those. Now, some claim these book sleeves are a must-have for every book lover. Personally, I think book sleeves are nice to have but they´re definitely not a must-have item. Especially for the prices they´re being sold for. 10 – 18 Euros for a book sleeve is not in my book-ish budget. I also don´t really feel the need to protect my physical books. But I still see the appeal. Book sleeves are cute. Sometimes a tad expensive but adorable.  

This is why I started making my own. I wanted to see for myself if the prices for these book sleeves are justified. I was curious to find out if these book sleeves could be easily made at home by someone who´s totally incapable of using a sewing machine ( like myself ). So, I started my book sleeve project.

The only things I needed were:

  • fabric
  • sewing machine

I have fabric. I have a sewing machine. So I began. And the end result wasn´t so terrible.

Not bad, right? All I did was take old shirts and an old comforter, cut them to the right size and sewed in semi-straight lines. Voila! Yes, I know it´s not perfect but I did the job. A book fits in each sleeve and that´s all that matters. I saved money! I didn´t save much time, though. Sewing these book sleeves took me almost 3 hours.

But this time I wanted to take things a little further. I wanted to see if I could ditch my sewing machine and use a different, easier technique. Cause let´s face it, I can´t handle a sewing machine. Not only am I terrible at sewing straight lines ( which you can see in the right picture ) I´m also afraid my finger will slip under the needle. I´ve heard sewing machine horror stories from people who knew people who also knew people, you know? Can´t be too careful.

It took me weeks to find an alternative- Hemming tape. So, I ordered a roll ( 4 Euros for 5 meters ) and when it arrived I went straight to work!

As for the fabric: I went for something simple again- Jeans and cotton. An old, last worn in 2001 jeans shirt from the hubby and an old pair of shorts I used for garden work.

The reason for the two fabrics is because I need something smooth and soft that acts like a puffer on the inside and something rougher on the outside. We don´t wanna harm our books, right?

After I cut the fabric to the right size ( which size that was, I don´t know. I go by eye measurements ) I cut some of the hemming tape and placed it on 3 edges.

( NOTE: The third pic has hemming tape on the top and bottom. I had to remove the upper stripe to create a pouch, which I didn´t take a picture of )

I used a paperback book from Devney Perry as it´s one of the larger paperbacks I have ( 22cm x 15cm ).

With everything cut and in place it was time to whip out the iron. Hemming tape is nothing more than ironing tape. It needs to be ironed between fabric. The heat from the iron melts the tape and glues the fabric together.

I know I´m not fooling anyone. I´m not trying to. My eye measurement skills suck just as much as my sewing skills do. That won´t stop me from continuing, though. The idea is to see if I can save money. Not to win the book sleeve of the year award.

This is the left side of the book sleeve. The part that gets flipped. No one will see my errors. I can totally live with that.

The next part was the easiest and most satisfying: cutting off the excess fabric around the parts I didn´t glue together and flipping the fabric inside out.

The hemming tape did its magic! The fabric held together. The only problem I noticed after having flipped the fabric was that I needed to do something with the opening. That meant I had to flip it back to the left side and use a little more hemming tape.

I´m happy to announce that the book sleeve project was a success! It may not be as perfect or as beautiful as the book sleeves offered on Etsy but it still works. I´m proud.

So, what did we learn today? You don´t necessarily need to buy a book sleeve. You can easily make one yourself with older shirts/towels/blankets/older pillowcases. Also, you don´t necessarily need a sewing machine to make a book sleeve.If you´re as talented as I am with a sewing machine then go for the hemming tape!

Time invested: 40 minutes

Cost: 4 Euros

All in all, think if anyone wants to pay good money for a handmade product that “protects” books then they should. If the quality of a handmade product is great then there´s no reason not to want to invest. Because that´s what´s valued. Personally, I value handmade products but it´s more of a “Do I really need it?” issue for me.


QUESTIONs OF THE DAY

Do you own a book sleeve? How many do you have? Have you ever made your own book sleeve? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat ❤

Dear bookish Padawans, I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Be sure to stay tuned for the next DIY bookish-project!

Much love,

Cursive Writing- Teaching my child the art of penmanship

 

It all started when my 10 year old daughter, Eve, came to me the other day and asked if I could order a book for her on Amazon.

My heart always swells with pride when my kids show interest in books. I mean- an avid reader would love nothing more than to share some book love with their kids, right?

But this time- my heart stuttered and I felt my forehead wrinkle. Eve didn´t ask me to buy her ANOTHER book on horses or other animals. This time she asked if I could buy a book on cursive handwriting. Imagine the look on my face.

At first, I thought she was interested in the history of cursive handwriting. Could have been possible. Some kids like to ride their bikes and some want to learn about cursive writing. Kids are odd that way. To each is their own. But, no. Eve didn´t want to learn about the origins of the delicate hand motions. She wanted to learn how write cursive.

This stopped me dead in my tracks. Wasn´t my child going to learn how to do that in School? I was confused. After calling all kinds of people ( including my daughter´s teacher ) I quickly learned that my daughter will never learn the art of cursive writing in School.

Cursive writing is dead.

cursive handwriting2

I find this alarming. You can find cursive written words all over the place. How was my daughter ever going to be able to read cursive writing without my help or the help of anyone older?

I see a small problem forming.

The closest thing she will ever come to writing cursive will be by connecting certain letters in a word. Not all letters. Just a few. The rest will be in bold letters. Let´s take the word `Letter` as an example.

The `Le` would be connected together in a cursive manner and the `tter` in print.

I can see adults writing that way. Young adults eventually develop their own personal writing style…  But to teach children that kind of style? That doesn´t make any sense. It´s lazy and sloppy. Half-assed technique. ( Okay…I´m getting mad here. * breath in – breath out * )

I´ve noticed my daughter writing in that odd 1/3 cursive style when she does her homework. But I thought it was a new way of learning the skill ( because with every new generation the system comes up with some new crap to try out on the kids ). Little did I know that the school system would go so far as wipe out a style of penmanship. Why?

I´ve searched high and low, combed through countless websites and articles, trying to find an explanation or at least an answer that made sense. I´m just as clever as I was before. Every article I came across looked like they were written by the adults from the cartoon Peanuts. „Warp woooaarp woah woah, wooom warp.“

I´m 35 years old. So, technically- I haven´t been out of school for forever. It´s only been a few years. I belong to the generation where we learned how to connect our letters with loops and curves. All the letters of a word together. Remember?

So, yeah. I bought her a book on how to learn the basics of cursive handwriting. I actually bought 2 books and I´ve invested hours, sitting beside my kid, teaching her how to hold her pen, swinging letters, etc. I can´t say it was easy, though. Do I feel more appreciation for teachers now that I´ve taught my daughter how to write? No. It´s their chosen profession. They get paid to do their job. I feel litle sympathy. ( I´m pissed. Can you tell?)

I didn´t know this as a child but learning to write in cursive is an important tool for cognitive development. As an adult and a mother of 2, I can see the importance of cursive writing. I see the positive effects it has for a childs concentration, for their motoric skills. And believe it or not- cursive writing even has an effect on reading skills as well. I have living proof snoring two rooms down the hall!

I´m talking about our future, here. Young minds who are learning to type with their 10 fingers instead of learning the art of swinging a pen over paper in a graceful manner. I find that sad. This has nothing to do with old fashioned thinking. It has to do with letting something important die because a group of people / some institution find it unnecessary. Which is the stupidest reason I´ve ever came across.

Will it be an issue if this generation is not able to read a book title that is printed in cursive writing?

What about logos, slogans and what not? Some fonts are cursive.

We´re living in a time where technology has the upper hand and time is our enemy. It´s natural that some things my generation enjoyed will soon be a fun-to-laugh-at-memory or completely forgotten. But to let something as important as a handwriting style die is inexcusable.

The end of the story- My daughter is now happy she can write in a different style. And a happy daughter equals a happy mommy.

Here are the books I´ve purchased that have helped my daughter learn the art of cursive handwriting. She still has a long way to go but that´s okay. If the School system doesn´t support it, I definitely will. ( Both books are available on Amazon.com )cursive writing 3

cursive writing 1