Friday, January 15, 2010

Sewing a New Book

I spent some time this evening sewing a Coptic bound book. I cut the cover off of the 1940 book, The Trees by Conrad Richter. A heavy blue book cloth covers this book and it is still in relatively good condition considering it is 70 years old. When sewing a Coptic book, I like to cover the sections with paper in order to give it a decorative embellishment as well as to provide a small amount of room for growth in case the person who uses it chooses to add photos or other ephemera. The unsewn book has been sitting around for a while waiting for me to tend to it. (I teach second grade full time and has taken up the bulk of my week).

I love the feeling of pulling out my various colors of waxed linen thread, looking at them - trying to decide which ones would be just right for the project at hand. Tonight, I settled on olive green, blue, and red. While these vary from the braided thread used as a closure, I think the colors compliment the cover nicely. Sometimes, the thread pulls or gets tangled, causing frustration on my part. Not so this evening. This upcycled journal came together perfectly.

I think back to the first time I sewed a Coptic stitch book by following the directions presented in Keith Smith's book, Exposed Spine Sewings. I used cardboard and copy machine paper since I knew it was for practice. It didn't turn out too bad, but it wasn't something worth keeping. Putting it in my "give-away" pile at school made a little second grader very happy though! I have come a long way since then. I feel rather confident about this particular stitch and would like to branch out and try something new. I played around with the Celtic Weave a week or so ago. It didn't turn out right. With practice though, this too will likely become second nature one day.


  1. What a cool little book - the re-used cover is so lovely!
    I had a bit of fun with Coptic binding early last year; then I got busy with other types and forgot about it. Must have another go and see if I can perfect it!
    Thanks for sharing your neat little book.

  2. Great blog! Saw your Etsy page too. I really like your aesthetic.