Coptic Stitching My Way to My Friends’ Hearts

I met two lovely ladies in my previous job (both named Lisa!), who became such good friends that I found myself quickly spilling the beans on things I would normally not tell someone I’ve only known for two weeks. It wasn’t long before we got in the habit of having weekly lunches or dinners, where, I am almost positive, I monopolize the conversation. For that, I do apologize, but I can’t seem to help it. I get near them and then everything from the past week tumbles out of my mouth quicker than you can say, “Gobbledygook.” That’s also probably what it sounds like to the untrained ear. So when it came to their birthdays this year, I wanted to make something for them that they could use. I ended up not allotting enough time to do exactly what I wanted, but they did end up getting books from me filled with blank pages. I don’t know if they use them, but they seemed to like them well enough, which is all I can ask.


As the title suggests, this is coptic stitch. When a book is bound in this style, it lies open flat, which is convenient when taking notes. My issue with this style (even though it’s one of my absolute favorites to do) is that I have trouble make the stitches tight enough. The book ends up being more wobbly than I’d like, but I suppose I’ll eventually get the hang of it. I added a long-stitch in their books so I could tie the pieces of thread together into a pretty knot, making things more interesting! What I love about the coptic stitch is the exposed spine. Of course that does make it less durable, but if you treat it with care, it’ll last!

Once again I was up all night working on these because I started too late. To be perfectly honest, though, I love being awake working when most of the rest of the world is asleep. I turn on my music, thread my needle, and sew. Have I mentioned that sewing books is therapeutic and mind-numbing for me?

Do you like this binding? Or do you prefer the Japanese stab-binding?


5 thoughts on “Coptic Stitching My Way to My Friends’ Hearts

  1. I think this is brilliant!

    Coptic stitch is my all-time favorite binding method, but the last couple of them I put together were weren’t tight enough. And then I made another one that was too tight so the cover wouldn’t close fully.

    But I love what you did with that long stitch in the middle. I did my first long-stitch binding a few days back but the spine of the cover wasn’t strong enough so the thread had cut right through the spine. I need to re-do it.

    I think I’ll take it apart and re-do it following your method. I am working with a black ‘n red notebook that I bought from the store and I pulled the signatures out of it after cutting the thread. And now I’m wanting to re-bind it in an interesting way.

    Thanks for the post.

    1. Coptic stitch is beautiful! It’s right up there with Japanese stab binding for me. I love all the different designs you can make with stab binding. I do think, though, that coptic stitch is easier in a sense. My problem with coptic stitch is making it tight enough. It’s so hard to do. Have you tried placing a weight on the pages as you sew one signature to another? It does help make it tighter, but it can still be finicky.

      I think tying the thread together like that helps it maintain stability some so give it a shot and see what you think! You might have done it already. Did it work?

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