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  • Writer's pictureLa'la

My new Sketch book (Retchoso Stitch with Soft Cover)

Updated: Aug 9, 2021

This time I planned to make a Sketchbook with Retchoso Stitch with Slip-on Soft Cover. My previous sketchbook changed shape and became puffy after I glued samples and pages inside it, as I used it to document bookbinding method information. So, to prevent this from happening again, I decided to add spacers between pages this time. After lots of thinking and research, I chose not to use individual pieces as a spacer. Instead, I designed pages with spacers.



Materials & Tools:

· Waxed thread (substitute)

· Needle

· Awl (substitute)

· Piercing cradle or large, non-precious, softcover book(like yellow page) (substitute)

· Lightweight paper (under 200gsm)

· Box cutter/Stanley knife with plenty of blades

· Cutting mat

· Steel ruler

· Acid-free PVA

· Sharp pencil

· Brush

· Bone folder (substitute)

· Sharp scissors

· Baking paper

· Book press, heavy books, or flat weights

· Scrap paper (for protecting your surfaces)


I measured my previous sketchbook to make this one the same size.



I tore down papers following the structure I explained in my previous post (I'm The Book Binder). All pieces of paper are ready to be folded to create pages. As you can see in the photo, each piece of folded paper makes a page and a spacer (Instead of two pages).


All pages were ready at this stage. I assembled signatures by combining three spacers and three pages (As you can see in the photo). They sit one inside of the other in the way that each spacer places between two pages.


I had eight signatures lay on top of each other. I prepared a sewing template with four holes (one column of stitches on each side). In Retchoso, each column stitches sew separately with two different threats.

I used an Awl to punch the stitching template at those holes depicted below. I made sure the holes go through the folds of the signature. An old yellow page is handy to put under the signature before punching it.


Above is a detail of how to make Retchoso Stitch.


All columns of holes are perfectly lined near each other. I started with the middle signature. In the end, I Tight two ends of threats. Be careful of the tension of the thread, and it needs to be firm.


The other side follows the same rules.


The stitches on the spine turned out neat and tight. Finally, it was ready for the next step, the cover.



Soft Cover

Slip-on Soft Cover is an easy way to make a cover for a book block. It has easy steps to follow. First, measure the book block and second, follow the sample model to make it.

I measured the height and width of the book block and spine width.


Then followed the above sample to draw the lines.


I used Kraft paper for this softcover as it has a beautiful contrast to the book block pages. I cut the outlines with a Stanley knife.


Bonefolder is an excellent tool to score the lines I wanted to fold and emphasise the folded lines.


I glued down the tabs of two turn-in, put them on the weight.


After 30 min it was ready to try.



For the final touch, I cut off the title of my sketchbook on the softcover. That gave it a different dimension and look.


I love it. (YES)



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