Learning to Make a Sketchbook, Lesson 2
Last week I started learning to make my own sketchbook, and today I went back for lesson two. The paper was already cut to size, and endpapers folded and glued in place, so today’s job was to begin sewing. First of all, Dominique took a page and calculated with a grid where to put the ribbons on the side
Then, she marked where we would punch the holes where the thread would pass :
She then wento over to a large armoire which is a treasure trove of various papers, to choose one which would work as a cover page and a last page. once we’d chosen that, we cut it to the width of the watercolor paper and kept out a small piece to sew directly on to the first and last watercolor paper pages (we will later glue the actual first and last page onto that.)
Next step, using the marks she’d made on the red cardboard guide, she showed me how to punch the holes in the paper where the thread would go through. (I then did that part for the 15 remaining pages)
For sewing the pages together, she has one of these (if anyone knows what they’re called in English, please leave a comment!)
Update – from Bill’s comment, I learned that this is called a book sewing frame. According to Jenny, it also looks like a sewing press (or book press).
Apparently it’s not necessary, but helps to keep everything in place while you sew.
First, she put the ribbons in place :
They were anchored down with modified hairpins :
Then she clamped everything in place:
Time to start sewing :
The thread needs to be pulled tight enough to snap back when you pull it out. She warned me to always pull the thread in the direction I was sewing or I’d risk tearing everything up!
At the end of the first page, you tie the string in a knot,
but after that you attach one page to another by looping the thread back down through the previous two pages :
You keep working from one side to the other, so that you are tying up both ends.
So you basically sew one page at a time, attaching it to the previous pages on either end by looping back through.
It’s pretty easy once you get going. There is one hard thing though, and that’s adding extra string if you run out. I’m not even going to attempt to explain it – here are photos of every step though. You make a knot this way, which can be placed precisely where you need it before tightening. It needs to fall right at the hole by one of the ribbons. Here are the photos in sequence – I wish I could be of more help!
As I said before, the sewing can be done without setting it up this way, as long as you can keep the threads straight – Dominique said she does it all the time – and to avoid making the famous knot, you would just have to be sure you had enough string from the beginning!
OK, I hope this wasn’t too confusing! Lesson 3 tomorrow.