Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hand Sewn Journals


The on going major renovations in my new home and the never ending household chores had kept me away from posting for months! Now, with the little time I allocate for myself, I am pleased to share with you my creation completed months ago- 3 handmade journals.

A friend taught me this sewing method where she learnt during working with an NGO in Nepal. I love the spine design very much.

I began making the very first journal during my visit to the Great Cold Mountain of China, home to the minority of Yi people (or formerly known as Nosu). Hence, the very first journal was naturally inspired by the beautiful fabric cuttings of the Yi people.

Very Zakka. Love it!

These fabric cuttings were from the hands of a lovely Yi crafter who worked in a sewing centre in a vocational school. The Yi people sew these fabric patterns on their traditional clothing, bags and etc with a yarn running along the edges to prevent fraying. But I like the raw natural fraying edge. The brown paper, the canvas being used to wrap the journals covers, the laces on the spine and even the thread were bought in Chengdu wholesale market!

This journal was completed after coming back home. I planned to write my experience for the trip in The Great Cold Mountain and Chengdu.......but it is still quite plain (except from few messages left by friends I met there)

Right after the first journal, I made this notebook/journal shown below. I had a big harvest in Chengdu, China wholesale market of fabric including the ever charming blue & white batik used on this notebook. Again, I can not part with the Yi fabric cutting and have great fun machine stitched on paper.


Hand printed cotton with plant dye and die cut pattern on cow skin.

I continued to make the 3rd notebook/journal with much joy. The covers were wrapped with our local fabric- Terengganu batik of Malaysia. I thought of giving this to a friend for her coming graduation...but I still find hard to part with it.


Notebook with Malaysian batik covers.
There are many websites and blogs giving free tutorial on handmade books that you can refer to. Check this one out http://www.toggle.uk.com/journal/creating-hand-sewn-books/ You may purchase books from Amazon.com. or Kinokuniya bookstore in KLCC (Malaysia). Or grab one notebook at home to figure out how to make one!