Do Lit Yourself: Book Sleeves

July 25, 2019

You know the feeling: you've just bought a new book with crisp pages and fresh book smell and you're excited to take it out on the town. At the end of a full week of commuting, you pull it out of your bag and cringe to find that your brand new book is looking a little battered – or, worse yet – torn. In consideration of this nightmare scenario, ALU staffer Tan Light brings us the how-to for making your own custom book sleeve.

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The sewing bug hit me really hard this summer - I've been working my way through a big project list designed to get me organized with style. Near the top of my list was a book sleeve to protect my paperbacks while commuting.

I based mine on this  BookRiot tutorial with just a few changes: I didn't have cotton batting on hand, so I used a layer of felt and sheets of stabilizer as padding; I made mine with a loop closure instead of velcro. This project required only basic sewing skills - straight lines on the machine and a bit of hand stitching - which makes it great for beginners. 



about ⅓ yard main fabric

about ⅓ yard lining fabric

about ⅓ yard of fusible fleece

Velcro, or 1 button to match your main fabric

thread to match main fabric



I followed the sizing instructions for the small sleeve - when finished, it is a great fit for most trade paperbacks at 7"x 91/2". BookRiot also has instructions for a larger version, should you prefer a hardcover size.  

If you would like to use a loop and button closure instead of the velcro, you will need a an additional strip of fabric, approximately 1" wide by 3" long. Fold it right sides together, sew along the long edge, with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Carefully turn it inside out so it makes a small tube. Make a small loop by bringing the ends together, and stitch in place. When constructing the tab according to the tutorial, I left the tip of the triangle open, turned it right-side out, and then slipped the loop inside. A few stitches across the opening secured the loop in place.

Once the sleeve is completed, you will just need to add the button. I recommend adding a book to the sleeve to help you position the button in the right spot. (and if you have some fabric left over, try making a  matching coffee cup sleeve)!


Here is the finished product!






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