Side Stitched

Soft Cover


First soft cover oriental side stitched book, made as an exercise in class. The patterned endpapers, visible through the leaf, did not show up in this photo.

K's friend the slam poet wanted a couple of bound copies of something he wrote. These are simple Japanese side stitched, identical except that one is in a red arbalave bookcloth with grey endpapers, and the other is in a purple unfinished cloth with blue endpapers. I really like this stitching pattern, subtle variations on a theme.

I wanted to get them finished for him quickly, so I used glue on both covers even though I had some concerns with the purple cloth. However, when it came to attaching the front cover insert, which I would normally do with PVA, I was concerned about discolouration on such large areas of white printer paper. I had no issue with using paste on the unsealed purple cloth, but I was worried about adhesion on the arbalave. I did a quick test, and it seemed to hold on sanded cloth, so I went for it. So far so good, I've told him to bring it back if it starts to lift.

I love doing this kind of book, something personal for someone, a binding that adds to something unique and meaningful. I have to remember that it is hard to explain to someone in words alone how a binding is constructed. That's my take away from this book.

My first hardcover side stitched, an album made as an exercise in class.

Notebook for C's birthday. The cover paper is flocked. The endpapers are red printer paper covered with a white printed trace, a thin sliver of unobscured red showing around the edge. Those two papers are then wrapped around the text and visible along the spine. The whole effect is rococo, but I was happy with it.

As an exercise, this one is A6.

My first hardcover side stitched, an album made as an exercise in class.

There is trace between each page to protect photos.

This book was a thank you to one of A's teachers. It was made with materials on hand. The cover paper was one I brought back from India, the endpapers were made with tissue I bought from a supermarket to wrap a last minute gift. The tissue was hard to handle and had a tendency to wrinkle and peel off.

This one was made for K's birthday, with a full sleeve of contrasting card around the spine.

Hard cover with hinge on back and front covers. A portrait orientation variation on the side stitched album. Red cover paper brought back from India. The end papers are also wrapped around the spine. A notebook for G.

This is a rebind of the green A6 book in the first column. I carried it with me everywhere and the card cover was not strong enough. I reused the endpapers, but the cover paper is from some beautiful sheets of Japanese paper K gave me for Christmas. I am particularly happy with the way the cover turned out, although my photo doesn't do it justice.

The spine stitching is 1cm from the spine, and I think that is the limit of how neat I can get it. I was experimenting with 'half bound' techniques. On a bigger book, there would be more paper compared to the bookcloth.

Another hard cover notebook. Same spine detailing, with endpaper continued on first and last page of text. Cover paper brought back from India.

I made the rococco b&w side stitched notebook above for my sister's birthday last year. She filled it up in the hunt for her new home. Now she needs a new one to keep track of her renovations.

I bought a compass cutter to cut the circles. I still don't quite have the hang of it. Luckily the red paper was thick and forgiving, so the hole made by the point in the middle was easy enough to close up (most of the time). The blade is too short, so if I stick the compass in a cork (or similar) so as not to mark the paper, the blade doesn't reach. My craft knife blades don't quite fit, but otherwise would work well. I'll have to think about this. Even so, it was much easier than the circles for the case bound version of this.

The papers are from my stash brought back from my holiday in India. I bought them on a whim, before I had really considered learning bookbinding. I've been trying to work out how best to use them, and I think this project does that.

This is a variation on the one immediately above. That was for my sister's renovation, this is for building our new garage. I have lots to do towards that, but I made this book instead.

Another notebook for G, made with materials on hand. Cover papers brought back from India.

Bookcloth and endpapers bought in Berima.

This is a variation on the one immediately above. That was for my sister's renovation, this is for building our new garage. I have lots to do towards that, but I made this book instead.

I don't think I've tried this stitching pattern before. It took lots of thread and I had to restitch three times because I kept running out. For next time - seven times the length.

Papers and cloth are all from stash. Black from India, cream (which has a nice texture of threads and gold and silver flecks that are not clear in the photo) was the endpaper on Mr L's book and the bookcloth was from K's book of writings.

I had a different cover planned (and actually made). It was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and Mondrian. Kind of Frank Lloyd Mondrian, but it looked terrible.

Two side-stitched notebooks. The purple one was an experiment with using the ascona tool to draw over foil. I was inspired by this video, although I don't have a gilding pen. At the Gathering, Jim Canary talked about modifying a soldering iron with a rheostat and some screw in tips to make a gilding pen, but for the moment the ascona tool will do.

It worked pretty well, but I have to work out some way of holding the paper more rigid so it doesn't wrinkle as I pull the tool over it. The tool stayed hot much longer than I anticipated and didn't require much pressure, so I found I could draw each line in one go.

The green book was an experiment in carrying the recessing across the hinge. The paper onlay obviously wrinkles, but not as much as I thought. To keep the paper cover design intact, I made the stitching discontinuous. I wasn't sure how that would work, but it was fine. The purple book only has one stitching point in the middle and then at the corners. It was a bit unstable while I was stitching it.