Stella is a lovely neighbour of ours who recently turned nine (ok, not so recently, in fact, weeks ago but I only just finished making the present for her). There is a great home decor shop in Capitol Hill that I forget the name of - I'll look it up and provide details but for the moment it's just along from Molly Moon's Ice Cream, reason enough to go there - that sells 'green' products: recycled, upcycled etc. There I saw some blank books that were actually bound in fabric that had been salvaged from clothing with the pockets nicely placed in the front centre of the book. I love the idea of always having a handy place to store your drawing materials.
I realised that book binding is outside my craft skill set and besides, it would be sad once you had filled the book to no longer have use of that cute fabric cover (and especially the pocket), so I decided to sew a sketch book cover that can be reused (even greener!). For the fabric I chose a floral-printed mini-corduroy jacket that has been in the cupboard for sometime (bought at a thrift store here in the US though, so less than two years).
The construction is a very simple - a rectangle with flaps sewn at either end which the book covers slip into. There was no appropriate pocket on the jacket so I made the pocket and pocket flap (and a buttonhole - still a mental block for me but actually oh so simple) just the right size for some mini pencils. I went to a lot of trouble to make sure that the pattern met up across the pocket and flap - it worked out well. The button is from the jacket cuffs.
As a finishing touch I embroidered Stella's name on the inside flap using some embroidery floss that I bought at the thrift store (of course).