DIY Passport Cover Tutorial with Janome

I’ve been in a travel slump lately. I loooooove to explore and find new spots and go off the beaten path. The last time we went to Albuquerque, NM (*just* a short 4 hour drive from us) we were given a list of restaurants to try. Did we try them? Nah. We drove past them, determined them to be waaaay too touristy and found a little hole in the wall stuffed sopaipilla place, complete with bright yellow old school fast food booths. It. Was. The. BEST. Lunch. Of. The. Year.

While the US is vast and each region has its own charm, my poor little passport is feeling a bit lonely lately. So I thought I’d dress it up as sort of a “if you build it, they will come” project. If I prepare my passport, I will need to use it. Positive thinking, really.

So I present my DIY Passport Cover Tutorial.

This is a really quick and easy project using 2 pieces of wool felt. I wanted to keep it simple but you can dress it up with some hand embroidery or an applique. This is really just setting the stage for a lot of possibilities.

Materials:

  • 2 9×12 pieces of wool felt
  • ruler
  • your passport (they vary in size so you’ll want to double check the size of your particular one)
  • sewing machine
  • pins
  • coordinating OR contrasting thread
  • fusible webbing (optional, only if you have it on hand, don’t go out and buy some just for this project)

How To:

Start by measuring your open passport. This passport is just a hair under 5″x7″ so I’m going to just say it’s an even 5×7, not 5 and 15/16 of an inch. I don’t mess with anything under 1/8.”

Cut your main felt 3/4″ taller (2cm) and 4″ wider (10cm) than your open passport. Cut your inner felt 3/4″ taller and only 1/8″ wider (.3cm) than your open passport.

Now I wanted the cover to be simple so I didn’t do anything huge to the outer cover but I did want to play with some of the fancy schmancy stitches my Janome offers. There are so many to choose from and I almost feel bad because I use the same 4 or 5 stitches for every project. I’d probably use more if I was a quilter but I’m most decidedly not one so it’s the same ol’ same ol’ stitches for me.

I decided on stitch “31” in the decorative stitch section. I liked the cute X shape it made and that is was more geographic than pictorial. Using the edge of the foot as a guide, I just let the machine do it’s thing and made a nice border along each short edge of the main cover felt.

This not only looks cute and is a nice detail but stabilizes the edge of the cover so it won’t stretch out over time. If a decorative stitch isn’t your thang, a simple straight line would also work wonderfully.

Optional but I feel that it’s unneeded: You can use fusible webbing to hold the inner piece in place. Meh. I don’t think you need it but some of you may want a sturdier cover. Center your inner felt on your outer felt, “right” sides out. You want to make sure the pretty part of your stitches are face down on your work surface.

Now fold up those extra flaps you have hanging out and pin into place.

Next you’ll head back to your sewing machine and, using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew along the top and the bottom edge. Be sure to secure your stitches at the beginning and end of each line of stitches.

Oh no! See how things aren’t lining up absolutely perfectly? No biggie! Just trim any hangy bits off. I like to use a straight edge and rotary blade but you can also use scissors.

Now pop it on to your passport (it should be snug to hold it securely) and admire the simplicity of your new cover.

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