Saturday, January 2, 2016

My First Hard Bound Hand Sewn Journal Book

Ohhhh what lessons learned with my first attempt!!!

It was touch and go with various mishaps along the way but I managed to finish my first journal and I have to say, I'm pleased as can be.............flaws and all.

I watched so many YouTube videos on this and in doing so became a bit confused with stitches used on sewing together the signatures.  With this first one..........I can't say what stitch I used but definitely not the coptic stitch which I later used on the other two text blocks I have waiting to be covered.  This stitch didn't really pull this thick watercolor paper together as tightly like the coptic stitch but I understand gaps are normal between signatures when using heavier paper stock regardless of stitch used.

I debated gluing the text block along the spine but ended up doing so which helped a bit but still have some gaps between signatures.  When I glued the spine on this book, I didn't add any paper or cloth.......instead straight on the spine itself.  I think with the other two books, I'll add a piece of cloth when gluing the spine.

With this one, I made end sheets (or liner sheets for front and back of text block).  At first I thought maybe I should have used thicker paper but it actually turned out OK in the end.  Still think I'll try for thicker paper as it might not wrinkle as easily when gluing to the hard casing.  Then again, I may just glue book casing straight onto the first and last page of the actual signatures.

Another little mishap was with the book cloth.  I purchased actual book cloth for this first book, rather than making my own.  It's not a very big piece either so I didn't have room for error.  What do I do????  I'm all set up with glued mat board to place on the book cloth and lay it down smoothing it out only to realize I had just placed it on the wrong side of the book cloth.  I quickly pulled the mat board back up but glue was on the cloth.  Trying to (hopefully) dab the glue up with a wet cloth, the material lost its stiffness and started to deform and wrinkle.  I thought for sure I had ruined it.  But I decided to go ahead and continue forward after the cloth dried from where I wet it.

Amazingly, it all worked out smoothing the cloth with a bone folder onto the glued mat board (correctly placed on the proper side........LOL)

As a last minute decision, I decided to use headbands but of course should have been placed on the text block before adding the mull.  But again.........it worked out OK in the end.

Placing the case onto the text block was the most challenging of all.  I honestly didn't think it would look all that great and had trouble placing it.  Thank goodness the glue doesn't dry too quickly.

One other lesson learned is taking greater care in measuring my boards for the book casing.  I only wanted about 1/8" to 1/4" border showing around the text block but ended up with much more.  Top and bottom were OK but the right side not so much.  Had I planned it that way, I could have added a loop to hold a pencil which would have worked out perfect in the space.  Maybe next time if I decide to go that route but I really prefer to have less inside casing border.

All in all.................I am truly happy with the results.

1)  Sewing the Signatures into Text Block

2)  Inside after gluing the spine (still some gaps between the signatures towards the back of the book



3)  Text Block after adding End Sheets and Mull (that green paper as added support holding it all together)


4)  Cutting the front and back cover boards (mat board) plus spine support


5)  After gluing cover boards and spine support on book cloth and folding glued cloth around edges


6)  Outside of book casing


7)  After text block glued to book casing


8)  Front cover finished book


9)  Inside front cover


10)  Center of book


11)  Inside back cover


12)  Back of finished book



A special thank you to Vicky Williamson and Cathy Johnson for answering questions I couldn't find answers to prior to starting this.

2 comments:

Jean Mackay said...

Impressive work Susan! Congratulations on tackling journal making and coming out the other side with something you are pleased with! Great stuff!

Susan Bronsak said...

Thank you so much, Jean!! Means a lot to me!!!!

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