These bookmarks make great little gifts, and are especially good for use with hardback books – cookery books, sewing books, desk diaries, study books etc. – because you can also use it to help keep pages open when you are following a recipe or pattern. The finished bookmark measures 8″ by 2″ so it is only really suitable for use with larger paperback books, although there’s nothing to stop you adjusting the size for other uses.
You will need:
- 2 pieces of fabric measuring 2.5″ by 8.5″ for the front and back of the bookmark
- 1 piece of medium weight interfacing measuring 2″ by 8″
- 1 piece of lightweight fusible fleece measuring 2″ by 8″ (or another piece of medium weight interfacing if you want to make the bookmark a little thinner)
- 1 set of 10mm invisible/hidden magnetic snaps – available at a good price from this eBay seller.
- You will also need a sewing machine, your usual sewing supplies, a heavyweight sewing machine needle (90/14), and a washable glue stick (e.g. a Sewline gluepen).
N.B. Involving magnets with sewing can result in a few little hiccups… Remember the magnets will stick to your scissors and your sewing machine (especially the throat plate) and will attract pins and needles. There’s not much you can do about any of these things, but occasionally it can take you by surprise, so thought a warning was in order!
Fuse the medium weight interfacing to the fabric you are using for the back of your bookmark, and fuse the fleece (or interfacing) to the fabric you are using for the front of the bookmark, aligning them centrally (I don’t like to get loads of interfacing in my seam allowance).
Take the back piece of fabric, and on the wrong side, measure 1/2″ from one short end and mark a line.
Line one edge of one of the magnetic snaps with the line you’ve drawn, midway between the two long edges.
Glue the magnet into place using washable glue – that’s the blue stuff you can see in my picture:
Swap to a 90/14 needle (a smaller size would work ok I think, but you will blunt it very quickly). Working on the wrong side, stitch round the edge of the plastic pouch containing the magnet. I find my normal presser foot copes well with this, as long as I stitch really close to the edge of the plastic. Pull the sewing threads through to wrong side, and knot so that they are secured.
Repeat the whole of this process with the other magnetic snap at the other end. Check (then check again!!) that you’ve arranged the magnets so that they are sticking together when you fold the bookmark rather than repelling… 😉 (I’ve only messed it up once….).
Now put the back fabric right sides together with the front fabric. Stitch round the edge with a 1/4″ seam, leaving a 2.5″ gap for turning your bookmark through, remembering to secure your stitching at either end with some reverse stitching.
Turn the bookmark right side out and check it all looks ok. If you are happy that it all looks ok, turn back through and trim the corners, so they taper like this:
Turn through properly, pushing out the corners with a knitting needle or some other blunt instrument.
Press very thoroughly, making sure all your seams are nice and sharp. Don’t iron the snaps! Make sure you press under the open edges of the turning hole nice and neatly in line with the finished seam.
You can stitch up the turning hole with ladder stitch if you like. I confess I don’t bother, and just use a bit more washable glue to hold the edges together. Top stitch round the edge of the bookmark, close to the edge.
You can finish your top stitching with some reverse stitches on your machine, but I think it looks neater if you finish by pulling all the threads through to the back of the bookmark, knot them together in pairs, then thread the ends onto a needle and pull the knots through to the inside of the bookmark.
Press again, admire your handiwork and make some more!
Hope you like the tutorial. Kindly-worded feedback is always appreciated!