Doll North Bookmaking Part 1

A. Making the Signatures

1. Collating & Folding
A signature is a bunch of sheets of paper that are stacked and folded as a group. This book will be made up of 5 signatures, with 4 sheets per signature. The first thing to do is to group the pages by signature. The first signature goes up to page 8; the second to page 24, the third up to 40; the fourth up to page 56; the last signatures ends with some blank pages.

Now, take your pages and fold them in half. Use something smooth, like a fingernail, paperclip, or side of a pen to get a really sharp fold.

Take the folded pages and collate them, sticking them one inside the other, keeping the proper page order in mind. If they get folded the wrong way, no worries, just fold them back the other way. Continue until you have 5 finished signatures.

2. Punching the Holes
Take the piece of goldenrod cardstock and fold it in half, with the printing on the inside.

Get one of the signatures and slip the guide page inside. Holding the pages slightly open, use a safety pin (unfolded to about 90°) to punch holes through all the sheets at each of the black dots.

Keep using the guide in each of the signatures until all are punched. Afterwards, go through each hole with the sewing needle to enlarge them a bit.

Much better! Now, they are ready to be sewn together. This is the last chance to make sure all of the pages are in order!

B. Sewing the Signatures

Red = Thread going in
Blue = Thread coming out

1. Sewing
Cut a length of thread at least 26″ long and thread the needle. You can start on either the first or last signature. Go in at hole 1, leaving a 2″ tail. Do not make a knot yet.

The first part will basically be a running stitch. Keep the thread a taut as possible as you sew.

The thread is out of hole 8 and it is time to add the next signature. Clamp the two signatures together, leaving the centers open to stitch through.

Go into hole 9, and follow the guide until you reach hole 22. Tie a regular square knot, and secure with a dab of glue.

Clamp the second signature to the third, and continue to hole 23.

Follow the guide until the thread comes out at hole 36. Here we’re going to make a kettle stitch. This stitch will be used every time you exit the last hole of a signature. Secure with a dab of glue.

Continue this pattern until hole 70, then secure with a knot as shown.

2. Prepping the Text Block

Snip the thread ends to about .25″ long. Push the sewn signatures (now known as a text block) down along each side to get the signatures neatly lined up.

Sandwich the text block in between two pieces of scrap matboard and clamp. Apply a liberal amount of glue to the spine, getting it in all the nooks and crannies.

While the glue is still tacky, center the piece of muslin on the spine, and press down to secure it.

Now, on to making the covers and attaching the text block!