Celebrating the New Year! Quilted Planner Cover [tutorial!]

Quilted Planner Cover tutorial  - SewFearless.com

I’ve been wracking my brain all week trying to figure out what sort of sewing-blogging-related goals I wanted to set for 2013, and I’ve been coming up empty. Monthly challenges worked out so well in 2010 and 2011, but I don’t think it would be feasible with a baby due to arrive in approximately 8 weeks. Then, I thought choosing a “Word of the Year” would be fun… but somehow SURVIVE doesn’t seem inspiring or motivational.

Quilted Planner Cover tutorial - sewfearless.com

In fact, I am starting to feel more than a bit panicky about the short amount of time left before the little dude arrives. I have so many things I want to accomplish, and, as always, I have to let things go. Gutting my WIP pile was leaving  me depressed and moody, so I decided to do a sewing-mojo-boosting, palette-cleansing sort of project. The result is a new Planner Cover for my 2013 Planner Pad. (A tutorial is included at the end of this post.)

Quilted Planner Cover tutorial - sewfearless.com

Palette cleansing projects require the very happiest of fabrics to work properly. So, I broke into my precious LillyBelle stash for this one.

Quilted Planner Cover tutorial - notepad pocket - sewfearless.com

Quilted Planner Cover tutorial - slanted pocket - sewfearless.com

LillyBelle lends itself well to fussy-cutting and pattern matching and other sorts of thrilling sewing challenges.

Quilted Planner Cover - SewFearless.com - pattern matching

It was Andy’s idea to pattern-match the tab closure, and at first, I thought he was ridiculous for suggesting such silliness and I told him so. But… clearly it was meant to happen, because it did.

Quilted Planner Cover - SewFearless.com

See how perfectly it worked out? Best. Fabric. Print. Ever.

When I sewed the last stitch of the binding, I let out a deep sigh of sanctification…
and then I noticed it.

cover mistake - sewfearless.com

Tears were shed. Big. Snotty. Sobbing Tears.
Then the next morning, a bit of hand-stitching saved the day.

Quilted Planner Cover - sewfearless.com

And now, resolutions or not, I am ready for 2013.

Quilted Planner Cover tutorial - SewFearless.com

Bring it.

[tutorial after jump]


Quilted Planner Cover tutorial - by sewfearless.com

The Tutorial

This cover is made to fit the “personal” sized Planner Pad calendar – 6 3/4″ by 8 1/2″, spiral bound. All seam allowances are 1/4 inch unless otherwise indicated. Adjust measurements accordingly for other sized planners.


  • Quilt or Home dec fabrics for Outside and lining.
    I chose to piece together my cover outside. This looks great, but is not necessary.
  • 1/4″ bias binding (homemade or otherwise)
  • Fusible Fleece
  • Peltex #70 Heavy Duty Sew in Stabilizer
  • Fusible Woven Interfacing (for sleeves and pockets) – ShapeFlex
  • Heavy Duty Snap (or another closure)
  • thread and the usual sewing implements

1 - Make the Cover "Sandwich" - SewFearless.com

Step 1 – Make the Cover “Sandwich”. The cover is 16 1/2 inches wide by 9 1/2 high, all layers the same size. Stack up your sandwich from the bottom up as follows: lining fabric, Peltex #70, Fusible Fleece or thin batting, and the outside (which can be pieced as it is in this project). Baste the outer edges together and quilt the sandwich together as desired.

Step 1 - lining

(the quilt sandwich, lining side)

Step 2: Make Sleeves for Planner Cover - SewFearless.com

Step 2 – Make two “sleeves” for holding the planner in the cover. Start with 4 pieces of interfaced fabric 6 inches wide and 9 1/2 inches tall (blue in this project), two pieces will be the left sleeve and the left sleeve lining and the other two the right sleeve and lining. If you want to add any pockets (maroon in this project) make them first, and then attach the pockets to the sleeves before attaching the sleeve linings.

Step 2: right sleeve - sewfearless.com

Right sleeve with lining attached.

For the right sleeve, sew the sleeve lining to the sleeve on the left edge, right sides facing. Turn right side out and press seam. Baste right sleeve to lining on top, right, and bottom edges.

step 2: left sleeve - sewfearless.com

For the left sleeve, sew the sleeve lining to the sleeve on the right edge, right sides facing. Turn wrong sides facing and press seam. Baste left sleeve to lining on top, left, and bottom edges.

step 3 - Make a tab closure - SewFearless.com

Step 3 – Make a tab closure and attach it to the cover. Make a fully finished tab 6 1/2 inches wide and 1 1/2 inches high. Use any method you like. I went crazy and added some accent edging to mine. Whatever floats your boat.

Step 3b - attach the tab closure - sewfearless.com

Attach a heavy-duty snap to one end of the closure and the front of the cover…

Step 3b- Attach tab closure to cover - SewFearless.com

…Then, sew the other end of the tab to the back of the Cover.

Step 4- Attach Sleeves to Cover on lining side - sewfearless.com

Step 4 – Position Sleeves onto lining side of cover; baste in place. Keep the tab closure out of the way when sewing.

 [note: I added a ribbon to the center of the Cover. I thought I was going to use it for something, but it turns out it wasn’t necessary. Just ignore the ribbon, k?]

step 5: Add 1/4 inch binding to edge - sewfearless.com Step 5 – Add 1/4 inch binding to the outside edge. Pre-made, homemade, double french fold, bias, straight, or whatever you want.  It is your choice. Bind the edge and call this project DONE! [Need to learn more about bias binding? Check out my post about binding a quilt.]

Step 5: bind edges - sewfearless.com

Enjoy your planner and the New Year!

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18 Responses to Celebrating the New Year! Quilted Planner Cover [tutorial!]

  1. Natalie January 7, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    Jodi it looks great. I have a thing for matching pattern to tab if possible, also making match at the seams. I do sometimes try no too but I some how just go ahead and do it. I’m glad the hand stitching worked for you, no one will be able to tell.

    Thanks for the pattern, you are one busy Mom. Hopefully you can do a few more projects before the cutie shows up.

  2. Karen January 7, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    That is wonderful and functional and oh so gorgeous! I love your concept of the palette cleansing project :) I appreciate your tab pattern matching too… you are so clever :) Today is the first day of kids back at school, and, even though I’m watching other kids, I’m inspired to take back my life from the holiday (or flu?) hangover that lingers and is preventing me from doing what I want to be doing (sewing!). And hopefully I’ll get my goals in writing today too… So they happen… Though I agree with your SURVIVE theme :)

    I’m so sad I was barfing instead of seeing you while you we’re in town! Missing you really added to the misery, but now that we are back to health, I am REALLY SUPER EXTRA looking forward to visiting you :) Can’t wait!

  3. Meg January 7, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    I love it! And double love for including your steps. :)
    Also… Gonna be honest, it took me a couple looks to even figure out what was wrong with the first pic. Haha.

    • Jodi January 7, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

      It is not very noticable, but once you see it.. you can’t unsee it…. and I was hormonal and tired… and I had worked so hard on making the details perfect to have such a goof up.

      yeah… i rarely cry over a project as hard as I did when I found that mistake. heh. :)

  4. nissaMade January 7, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    looks great! I didn’t realize the mistake until I saw your closeup.. and even then it took me a while to figure it out!

  5. Charity January 7, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    That is pretty! And your pattern-matching is impressive. =)
    I couldn’t even see the mistake the first 6 or 7 times I looked for it… but I did finally find it. Nice fix!

  6. Miriam January 13, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    This is lovely, and I LOVE your little logo tag!!

  7. Marisa January 25, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    This is so great!

    I was looking for a book cover and I think that I’m gonna use this tutorial!

    Thank you very much!

  8. Mama Lusco December 13, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

    Gorgeous planner cover! Thanks for the tutorial :)

  9. Angie January 2, 2015 at 11:42 am #

    Hello, do you sell these covers? Thank you!

  10. Katrina Henderson January 25, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

    Do you make and sell these? I would love to buy one! :)

    • Jodi January 26, 2015 at 11:06 am #

      No I do not.Sorry.

  11. Amanda S February 3, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

    I know this post is old so not sure if you’ll see this, but did you pre wash the fabric? I’ve heard both opinions & several that say don’t bother if it’s something you arent going to wear or wash, but thought maybe I should with the fusible interfacing. This is my first time using interfacing so I’m learning as I go with this one.

    • Jodi February 4, 2015 at 10:44 am #

      For this and similar projects (like bags) that I do not launder. I do NOT prewash.

  12. Jocelyn A March 5, 2015 at 11:45 pm #

    I just found your blog and love it. Thank for this post. I’ve been getting into decorating my planner though I do not go all out. I thought of making a cover so I can change the look of my $12 planner instead of buying the expensive life planners. I’ll be honest, I’m not that busy :) Thank you again!!!

  13. Mariah September 1, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

    Hello, This is a great tutorial! I’m doing it now with some tweaks, and hopefully it will turn out as great as yours! Do you mind if I cite your blog as my inspiration when I post it on my blog?


    • Jodi September 3, 2015 at 9:05 am #

      of course!


  1. Ai-je vraiment besoin d’un organiseur ? | Confessions d'une accro à l'organisation - April 22, 2015

    […] Vous avez même le tuto (en anglais) disponible ici : http://sewfearless.com/2013/01/07/celebrating-the-new-year-quilted-planner-cover-tutorial/ […]

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