Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Envelope Needlebook Tutorial

I wanted to share my envelope needlebook tutorial and templates. These are based on the needlebook that my sister made for me years ago, and I use it all the time. It seems like a free tutorial existed for these once upon a time, but neither my sister nor I can find it. I think this style needlebook is so clever, so I've made a template and tutorial to share.



  • Templates

  • Freezer paper (optional)

  • Outer fabric - 8" square

  • Lining fabric - 8" square

  • Fusible interfacing - 8" square

  • Fusible web, like Pellon Wonder-Under - 1" square

  • Fabric for "stamp" - 1" square

  • Felt

  • Sew-in snap

  • Thread

  1. Print and cut the template. I recommend ironing 2-3 layers of freezer paper to the back of the template before cutting it out. This makes it more durable and (I think) easier to trace.

  2. Prepare the "postage stamp"

    1. Iron the fusible web to the back of the "postage stamp" fabric

    2. Cut the stamp down to size, using pinking sheers if you have them

  3. Cut the pattern pieces from outer fabric, lining fabric, interfacing, and felt. Everything is ready for assembly now.

  4. Fuse the interfacing to the outer fabric. If you are using a delicate fabric, like voile, for the lining I recommend ironing a 2"x3" piece of interfacing to the middle of the lining. This will reinforce the area  where you'll attach the felt pages.

  5. Fuse the stamp to the outer fabric, following placement guide on template. Stitch in place.

  6. Stitch the "address" on the outer fabric, following placement guide on template. I used a straight machine stitch, but a decorative stitch or hand embroidery would be lovely.

  7. Center the felt pages on the lining fabric. Stitch down the middle of the felt pages.

  8. Put the outer fabric and lining fabric right sides together. Pin. Stitch around the edges with a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving at least a 1.5" opening to turn right side out. I leave the whole bottom flap un-stitched.

  9. Trim the seam allowance and clip the corners.

  10. Turn right side out. Use a crochet hook or knitting needle to turn out the sharp corners.

  11. Put the needlebook page-side up. Roll the seam slightly towards the lining, so just the tiniest bit of the outer fabric is visible. Finger press the seam. This minimizes the amout of lining visible when the needlebook is folded up.

  12. Press the inside and outside with an iron. If you're using a polyester (or poly-blend) felt, do not touch the felt with the iron!

  13. Edge-stitch all the way around the envelope. I like to use a blind-hem foot for this.

  14. Hand-stitch the snap in place. I attach the snap to the top flap first, then fold up the needlebook and press down on the top flap. This makes a little indentation in the bottom flap where the other snap should be sewn.

  15. Fill your needlebook with your favorite hand-sewing notions. Happy sewing!

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