As part of my ‘mission to organise’ I have plans for lots and lots of folders. Unfortunately they aren’t the prettiest things in the world, so I thought I’d experiment with making a fabric cover. Now that I know how quickly and easily these can be done, I’ll be making plenty more.
This may sound a bit confusing when I try and explain the steps, but trust me, it makes a lot more sense when you are actually doing it.
First open your folder flat and measure it, mine was 25 1/4 x 12 1/2 inches. Add 1 inch** to each measurement for seam allowance, taking my cutting measurement to 26 1/4 x 13 1/2. You will need to cut two pieces this size.
** Just a note about the seam allowance: the 1 inch allows for 1/2 inch on each side, however you do need a tiny bit of wriggle room, the cover can’t be the exact size of the folder or you’ll never get it on. You can either add just a little more than 1 inch to each measurement, or sew your seams a little bit narrower than 1/2 inch. I selected 3/8 and it worked well.
Next decide how far in from the edge you want the ‘pockets’ that the folder slips into to come, and double that measurement to get the width of the pocket pieces. The height will be the same as you used for the larger pieces. I wanted mine to be around 6 inches wide, so I need to cut them 12 x 13 1/2. Cut two pieces this size.
Take the two pocket pieces and fold them in half, so that each now measures 6 x 13 1/2. (Only one is folded in the photo below).
Place one of your larger pieces right (pretty) side facing up. Place the folded pocket pieces on top, one lined up with the left hand side, one lined up with the right. Raw edges should be matching with the folded edge towards the centre. It’s a little hard to see with this patterned fabric, so I have inserted a slip of paper under the left hand pocket piece.
If you’re a pinner, pin the pockets in place along the folded seam. Place the remaining large piece of fabric on top, right (pretty) side down. Pin in place and sew along the two long sides and one of the short sides. Remembering that here is where I used a 3/8 seam allowance.
Remove your pins, trim corners and turn the cover right side out. You should now have two pockets secured, and one open end. In the photo below I have used paper to show where the pockets are, and on the right hand side you can see that the end is still open. Give your cover a quick press with the iron to straighten all of the edges up.
Now you take the pocket on the open end of the cover, and turn it so that it moves to the reverse side. It’s very difficult to demonstrate with photos, but just lift it and flip it over the end of the cover. You should now have one pocket on the front and one on the reverse. Straighten your edges again, and with everything smoothed down, sew the open end closed.
Trim the corners and then flip that pocket piece back over to the same side as the other one. The seam gets hidden inside the pocket and you are done!
Slip your folder in place and admire your handy work. Wouldn’t these make even the most boring of paperwork slightly less offensive to have around the house?