Monday 9 January 2012

A New Diary Cover For A New Year

 Can you believe that 2012 is already upon us? I am a little behind, I know. I LOVE NEW YEARS! I have always loved the fresh start, the new diaries, the new school books and stationery, all full of promise for an exciting year ahead. I love writing in my new diary, putting all the important birthday reminders in, scheduling things months ahead of time, anticipating the events...perhaps this is why I just can't get into using a virtual calendar, whether on my phone or computer. It just does not have the same anticipatory thrill for me as writing things on the clean, crisp paper of a new diary.

This year, as last year, I have a Frankie diary. As you can see from the pics (from the Frankie website) to the right, the diary is quite lovely inside and out. However, I have a thing about needing to make a new cover each year. This year, I wanted to try a cute embroidery design I found in a book titled 'Simple Embroidery Designs', published by Ondori. The simple but effective houses on the front cover of this book really caught my eye.

I also wanted to experiment with using carbon paper to transfer designs onto fabric. In the past, I have generally just done freestyle embroidery, or else drawn the design directly onto the fabric with a washable or fading marker. I love the idea of drawing my own designs, or using children's drawings, or my brilliantly talented husband's sketches, but have not really attempted any method of transferring designs onto fabric yet.

As you can see, I have used some of the designs from the book on my diary cover. I wanted the overall style of the cover to reflect a zakka style, hence the natural linen and red linen, plus the running stitch as a feature. I actually decided to hand stitch this cover, as I felt it was right for the style.

On the whole, I am fairly happy with how it turned out, except that I probably need to add some interfacing for more stability. Also, there are places where the carbon paper tracing shows through (as shown below). I am not sure how to get rid of that, or if it is possible - any suggestions? I did try hand-washing the fabric, but it didn't seem to make much of a difference. I guess I just need to be more careful with the process of tracing the design in the first place. Oh well, that is what experimenting is for, right?


  1. Perhaps try a bit of bi-carb soda & vinegar on the carbon pencil marks? Or if that doesn't work, maybe colour it all in with blue pencil to match the colour of the marks. Also some of the houses don't appear to have doors. All in all I think you've done a great job with it. Can you embroider a townscape on to the back of my suit jacket? with a "you are here" arrow too. I've a wedding coming up and need it poste-haste.

    1. I will only embroider the townscape if you sketch it first, and we both know that you won't get around to that for at least a few I think I'm safe for now. ;)

  2. looks great Candy. And all hand sewn!! Amazing. I'm nowhere near that patient. Definitely know what you mean about paper diaries being so much better than virtual ones. Nothing quite like a new diary , journal or book.


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