I thought this would be fewer photos, but... I just love bindings.
What I didn't show is this, the book I use for my binding needs. Actually I have three of his books, but this is the one with all the fancy smancy stitches (the other ones have fancy stitches too - just different structures). I picked a variety called an Arrow, but there's more than one, which is why the books so great.
The book gives both wordy instructions and diagrams. I like the diagrams because it's crystal clear to me what the pattern of the stitch sequence is. Not that I get it right. I usually have to stitch the first few positions and then take them out and try again. One thing to remember with any binding is to know if you are looking at the plan from the outside or from the inside of the structure. Sometimes I get that flipped.
Not that you would. You're much better that way than I am, but please don't boast. It hurts my feelings.
I could be using my fancy dancy japanese hold puncher, but once I use duct tape, that rules out the hole puncher. I gummed it up good in the spring and I'm not cleaning that baby out again if I can help it.
From the diagram (either from a book, a class or just your plan), you should be able to figure out how much thread you're going to need. Technically, my advice would be to use just what you need and no more, but in practice I always add more than I think I'll need because I make too many miscalculations and HATE tying new thread on (although that really is just my pathology - tying on thread is no biggie).
Some thread is prewaxed. This one is not, so I had to run it across this bar of wax. See the lines? That's where the thread digs into the wax as it is being dragged across. With my herculean strength. Really two or three passes would be enough. And let me just add here from experience, if you think LOTS more wax would make it just that much stronger, it doesn't. You just end up scrapping off excess wax from the thread as it pushes through your little holes, and that's a mess. So don't even think about it. Just stop. Well, maybe one extra pass, but really, that's it.
I want to say this about John Neal booksellers. They're mail order. They're fairly small. Their staff is FANTASTIC! I live not far, and when I can I stop by. They actually really know their stock and have given me terrific advice. So I'm saying it's not just a bunch of people throwing stuff in boxes. They really like this stuff. Their biggest target customers are calligraphy/graphic artist people. I lost the pictures of the wall of envelopes they've saved when people wrote in with fantastic penmanship. Anyway, they have all the bookbinding materials you might want and a great section of instructional books. Plus they sell packets of needles.
I love that phrase. Packets of needles.
Going back to the diagram (which you need. Really you do. Have a plan. Measure it out. Save yourself the headache. I use graph paper for mine and make it the size of the spine, so I can get a sense of the layout and how close the holes are etc.) I then marked out the places I needed to punch holes.
Can you see how the signature is nestled into the phone books crease? That keeps the pages from shifting. You want to go straight down and hit each page on the fold line, or as close as you can. I hadn't clipped my pages together on this signature, but I usually do. Very easy to do, and saves yourself a lot or rearranging and flopping.
Also, keep the awl straight up and down, so it's not angling away from the spine.
After the signatures are all punched (and a little groggy), you can start sewing the signatures in. Usually I go through the cover, pull my thread mostly through, and then go through the signature. Sometimes there is wiggling of the needle. Sometimes the awl reappears, sometimes the papers need to be adjusted. This is a good time to slow down, take a deep breath and relax your grip.
For this particular binding with three signatures, the middle signature went in first. I modified the plan just slightly. Then later I had to live with the complication that made. But I'm resourceful. I figured it out.
After you do a bit, go back and check that you have in fact pulled all the threads through. At least once every journal, the thread gets hooked up on a edge or knotted on itself and if I haven't checked quickly enough, I have to rework large sections to tighten everything up. Check from several perspectives.
The more complicated the sewing stitch, the more likely you will have to grow extra fingers or hands to handle the signatures as they are sewn in.
I love the rhythm of stitching.
Although I said you should keep checking the thread for looseness, there are also times it's good to leave a little play, so you can maneuver your needle more easily. This isn't so necessary for the first signature, and by the end of that one, it is usually easier to know when it's time to make everything snug.
This is a slightly heavy thread, and it's going to show quite a bit on the inside spread of each signature. That doesn't bother me. But choosing binding color and thickness is a consideration. Also, in this binding, one end of each signatures is "wrapped" by the thread, meaning it goes around it (and through the cover). It's more likely the pages can get cut into, which you can already see the the image below. Again, not a big deal for me in this journal, but I could have planned that better.
Here is what the final binding looks like. I didn't realize just how subtle the color choice was, but that makes it less bold on the inside, which might be good. I like it, but might have chosen the blue thread if I'd realized.
Now the basic structure is done. I've added tabs and I might modify it some (I just realized I didn't prep the two envelopes I inserted) but hey, that's all good.
Tonight I'll put it under a book to help the pages fold better. I should have done that last night, probably, but I was befuddled by tape choices. I fled.
Now peace has been restored to the valley. (Kung Fu Panda)
Sorry this post is so long. No one asked for it. I just felt like it.