Sew, What's New?

Curating sewing and quilting talent, techniques, and tutorials, since 1997.

Make a loose cover (dust jacket) for a ring binder


I bought an A5 ring binder to hold my latest Sewing Machine Needle Organizer

Unfortunately it is;

  1. Black, which is not a jolly colour, and
  2. It now has teeth marks where the Rotty kindly picked it up for me! 

So it was time to make it a cover.  I measured up and decided I needed a strip of fabric about 28” x 13”.  I had a fat quarter of a fabric with sewing notions on it I wanted to use, but it wasn’t wide enough, so I added a couple of strips of a co-ordinating green pillowcase.  I cheated and used the nice hemmed bit!

I measured and marked a ½” seam allowance then turned it under across the top and bottom and then the sides, stitched it down and pressed it.

I turned the sides in 5 ½”, right sides together,  to form the flaps.  I pressed then stitched right across from one side to the other about 1 ½” up from the bottom.

I turned it right side out, pressed, put the binder in and used my water soluble pen to mark the other sewing line along the top of the binder.  Next I turned it wrong side out again and stitched across the top, then removed the marks.

I turned it right side out again, turning the top and bottom up along the stitched lines and pressed it. I slid the binder inside, under the sides and over the tops and bottoms.  (You can see the dents from the Rotty’s teeth really well in this shot!).

Now I want a label.  I don’t have an embroidery machine to stitch one for me but I do have printable cotton I bought from  Once the label was printed I peeled off the paper backing and applied a piece of Bondaweb instead, then fused the label to the cover.  I used a zigzag stitch to finish the edges.

Exactly how I wanted it!  Now I want to make another one, as a gift.  I bought another piece of sewing notions fabric from my local patchwork shop and they kindly cut it to order!

This time I decided to line the fabric so there are no raw edges.  I recycled a blue pillowcase and stitched a ¼” seam allowance all round leaving a small gap for turning.  Clipped the corners, trimmed the seams with pinking shears.  Turned it right side out and pressed it, and it's ready to make the cover.

Here it is lined and turned wrong-side-out, with the side flaps turned in 5 1/2" and sewn about 1 1/2" down across the top.  I didn’t bother to stitch right across this time, but I did check the fit again (and marked the sewing line with a water soluble pen) before sewing the flaps across the bottom.  Once turned right side out it is ready to add the label.  I did think about applying it before stitching down the flaps, but I didn’t feel confident it would end up central!

So I put the cover on the binder and then fused the label in place same as I did for the first one.  It is really not difficult to stitch round it under the flap, but I did forget to check my bobbin before I started.  So naturally it ran out on the first side.  I unpicked it and did the whole thing with a newly filled bobbin.

Yep, I’m pleased with them both.  As it’s a gift, I rather like the fact the word “Love” appears on the spine of the blue lined one!   The seam allowance is a bit lumpy this way round, so I put it right inside and it works well.  I am going to spray them both with Scotchguard to help keep them clean.  I tested the spray on some scraps as directed.  

Unfortunately I only tested the fabric, not the label, and the Scotchguard made the ink run.  I had only sprayed the blue one, so I cut the stitches and peeled it off, then made a new label from some white pillowcase.  I traced the words with a water soluble pen and embroidered them with running stitch and blue embroidery floss.  Dabbed the pen marks off and it's done.   I covered the other label over before I sprayed it.  Lesson learnt!

Of course, being as it's for machine needles, I really should have tried doing it with free-motion machine sewing.... but maybe not!

If you want to print off the instructions, they are here;

Print on US Letter Size paper.pdf

Print on A4 size paper.pdf

I hope to see pictures of your makes!

Sew Smarter: 30 Professional Techniques

Views: 3983


You need to be a member of Sew, What's New? to add comments!

Join Sew, What's New?

Comment by Karen on May 6, 2014 at 10:06am

Hi Jean - yes I suppose I could do pdfs for the covers now I know how!  I will try tonight if I have time.


Comment by Jean Paternoster on May 6, 2014 at 3:55am

Is it possible to have a printable pdfs for the instructions please

Comment by Jean M. on May 5, 2014 at 10:08pm

Really like that; I need one also, so will give it a shot. Thanks for the idea.

© 2022   Created by Susan.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service