Composition Notebook Sewn Fabric Cover

Back in 2018, I had received a gift from a friend/coworker’s mom.

Randi was over in Tampa for work and I had seen her notebook cover and told her it’s so cute and pretty. I had assumed she had sewn it herself and had told me that it was her mom who had sewn it.

Months later, Randi flew back to Tampa and we saw each other at the office.  Upon seeing me, she said I have something for you. I was so surprised that she had something for me and she told me it was from her mom. 

It was a composition notebook sewing kit that she had prepared for me. In the kit were a letter, an instruction, and the materials that I would need to finish it.  The red fabric already stitched with cushion and even has my initial embroidered on it. It also has several already cut fabrics to serve as the pockets where I could insert in the composition notebook cover/flap. It even came with a polka dot designed ribbon to match the theme, which I assumed was a love bug theme.

I have never met Randi’s mom, Miss Dixie H. So this was truly a sweet surprise. Upon seeing the gift, I had remembered the notebook cover I saw from months ago. Randi mentioned it to her mom and so her mom made something for me to finish. I read the letter, twice! As I couldn’t believe what I just received. I thanked Randi and had also thanked Miss Dixie as well.

For the past 2 years, I have been trying to finish it.  But each time I opened the kit, I felt intimidated by it. It was really simple, all I had to do was sew them together. However, I didn’t want to ruin it. I was afraid that I would mess it up.  So I always end up putting it aside. This went on for 2 years. Every now and then, I would open the kit then close it back. 

When my furlough started, I had added this in my list of goals to accomplish.  I would look at the kit then I would tell myself maybe tomorrow I will feel more confident to do it.  

I realized that if I still have not finished it even with more than 20 days into my furlough, then I will never be able to finish it. Therefore, I have decided that I cannot let this go on and not be able to finish it. So a few days ago, I had opened it again and read the instructions possibly 5 or more times.  I googled the verbiage as I’m not so familiar with the sewing terms yet, such as “selvages” “batting” etc.  Once again I felt intimidated.  For the past 3 days I kept looking at it then putting it off.  I played with the fabric placing it on the notebook, then look to see if I sew it here or there would it be okay. I would put it down to walk away from it for a bit. Then come back and hope that I can overcome whatever roadblock that’s stopping me from making it.

Today I told myself, I need to at least start doing something with it. So I went ahead and started sewing on the edges. I couldn’t follow the image of the instruction so I went with my gut feeling and just placed where the pockets would be. This was one of the struggles I had before, whether where to place the pockets or how many pockets I should add. I realized that I just have to keep it simple. I told myself, “just sew the pockets that you need to insert the book cover.” That seemed to help. I found myself keep asking, “now what?” After each hurdle I would face, now what? After I had sewn the pockets, now what? After I had sewn the lining with the pockets on the notebook cover, now what? Then it came the time for when I had to sew the ribbon on the edges. Once again, I tried to figure out what it should look like. In the end, I went with my gut feeling. I think it turned out great!

If you do look at it closely, you will see that I still have a lot to learn when it comes to sewing. The stitching looks very messy. For sure, I won’t be entering any sewing business in the near future. I still need a lot of practice.

I want to thank Miss Dixie H. for giving me this project. I apologize for the delay in finishing it as I felt intimidated by it. In the end, I had to let go of any fears that I had and just told myself to have fun making it – and I did! This will be one of my cherished gifts. Thank you again.

ASL 04.28.2020 (Clearwater, FL)