Sewn Journal Jackets

By  Jennifer Davey 

A journal is a great gift for any occasion, and it's even better with a personal touch. Create a journal jacket to match any personality. With a pocket to store writing instruments, this cover will ensure the journal is always ready to receive any little secret or idea that needs a special place.


  • Journal or composition book
  • Fabric: suiting or canvas, lining
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Zipper, 9” length
  • Magnetic snap closure
  • Lace, scraps


  • Sewing machine and matching thread

Basic Supplies

  • parchment paper, scissors, ruler, pencil, measuring tape, pinking shears, fabric marker, iron and pressing surface, sewing needle, straight pins
  • 1. Measure journal or composition book. Create main pattern by adding 1" to height of journal (for measurement "A"). Measure around width of book and add 7". Draw pattern on parchment paper.
  • 2. Cut one main pattern from each outside fabric, lining, and interfacing. Cut following panels from lining fabric: two A"x10", one A"x3", one A"x1-1/2", one A"x4-1/4".
  • 3. Press fusible interfacing to wrong side of outside fabric. Add embellishments to main fabric face as desired; pin in place. See Photo 1.

    Photo 1
  • 4. Press under 1/4" along length (measurement A) of the 3" and 1-1/2" pieces. Insert zipper between pressed edges; sew in place. Place zippered pocket front right side up on 4-1/4" panel. Line up sides; pin in place. Baste all four sides, 1/4" from edges. See Photo 2.

    Photo 2
  • 5. Fold 10" panels in half to make 5" tall; press. Sew 1/4" from folded edges.
  • 6. Pin pocket to raw edge of one folded piece. Sew together with 1/4" seam. Press seam toward folded edge.
  • 7. Lay outside fabric panel face-up on work surface. Lay zipper pocket face down on panel, lining up corners. In same manner, place other cover sleeve on other end of cover. Lay lining over pieces, pinning around edges. Machine stitch in place, 1/4" from edges, rounding corners and leaving 4" opening at one side. See Photo 3.

    Photo 3
  • 8. Trim excess fabric from corners and curved edges. Turn right side out and press edges well. Hand-sew opening closed. Apply closure.
  • Tip
  • 1. Clipping the excess fabric from a curve will allow for a crisp turned edge. The quickest way to reduce the fabric from a curved edge is by using pinking shears.