This is my second attempt at making a quiet book. If you’ve been following my posts, I made one a couple of years back for my daughter. See the book here.
Since I now have more experience with babies ( or at least one), I can tell what kind of books would engage them better. When little, my daughter used to love to chew on my books. I badly wanted to give my dear friend’s newborn a gift she could enjoy not just as a chew toy but something that could grow with her as she got older. Of course I needed my book to be chewable/washable but it also had to be interactive and interesting. I’ve learnt that the little ones love animals and also books that are involve some activity. So I decided to merge all the above requirements and a make a “lift-the-flap and find your animals” fabric book for my friend’s newborn. I am hoping she enjoys the book and keeps it for a few yrs to come!
This is by far the most labor intensive sewing project that I have done.Phew! The execution was time taking but quite repetitive and so was easy part. What took most of the time was coming up with ideas to place the animals and design the flaps for each page. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed making this book and ( depending on the response) plan to make many more in the coming years.
The tutorial I have laid out for you is mostly about how to sew the skeleton of the book. The design and applique will obviously vary with individual needs/likings, but am sure you’ll get an idea how to make those when you look at pics and video.
- Enough fabric for the pages.
- Appliques and embellishments for each of the pages.
To make a 6 X 6″ fabric book you will need to cut 7 X13″ piece fabric and a 6 X 6″ batting for each page. I cut out 6 rectangles which sufficed for 8 individual pages excluding the cover page. (Each rectangle will make 2 individual pages assuming the book’s spine runs through the center of 13″ side)
Always cut even number of rectangles. You’ll know why as you proceed to the end of the post where we seal the edges.
Lay out the fabric in the order in which you’d want your final version of your book to look like. You can also mark the page numbers with a gift wrapping tape and marker. The tape is easy to move around and once the project is complete, easily comes off without damaging the fabric.
Before you start working on the applique/design on each page, make sure you pin the batting to it (If it helps, mark the spine with a fabric pen or create a crease in the center so you know where one page ends and another begins).
Now start working on the appliques and embellishments for each page. To make my job quicker, I bought sew- in animal appliques from the store and hand made the flaps/scenery that goes with the page. For more info on how to make your own fabric applique see here.
I also added some ribbons to the cover page for some texture for the baby and a loop that can be used to attach this book to a stroller/car seat.
After all your pages are ready, place the rectangles in order.
Pick them up in pairs ( 1&2, 3&4 and 5&6) and lay them right side together. Pin the sides.
Stitch the sides leaving a 3-4 inch gap (preferably in the center) so you can turn your work right side out.
Turn it inside out. Poke the corners with a pen/pencil if necessary to create a cleaner vertex.
Press and Pin.
Do this for all three rectangles.
Now top stitch the edges.
For the final step, place the rectangles on top of each other and pin it. Make sure your pages are in the oder you want. Zigzag stitch on the center crease to join the book at the spine.
There you go. You’re done.
I am so happy with how it turned out. Here’s a glimpse of the individual pages.
Here’s a quick look at the fun stuff the baby can do with the book.
Move the fish and see it swim in the bowl.
Lift the carrot to see a bunny hiding inside.
Look behind the rock and say hello to Mr. Froggy
Move the branch to find a swinging monkey
Open the door to find a dog
Whats peeping through the window? A happy kitten.
Whose hiding in your tent? A bear!
A little word of caution:Keep in mind this book if for little babies who like to chew. Pls. do not use embellishments like buttons/zippers or anything that is sharp or can be a potential choking hazard. Try to stick to organic breathable materials. (In fact, even the batting I used here is 100% cotton)
Before I end the post, if you have the time, pls. see the video below to see my daughter’s reaction when I showed the book to her 🙂
Until next time then, Happy Making!!!!
Would love to hear your comments/suggestions!