At the May 2015 Tavern, “Bryjna” was teaching a class on bookbinding using the “Secret Belgium Binding” method. I’ve taken one other bookbinding class before (years ago, back in 2005) and this was a totally different method. She provided us with all of the supplies, with the request that we make one for ourselves, and five more to donate as Largess. I suspect she might have meant at the upcoming Coronation at that point, but honestly I just couldn’t get my craftiness together in time for that (not with also trying to put together my henin and a dress…)
So, finally in August I finished off the last of the books. I ended up trying a few different methods of doing the binding while experimenting with the general technique, and found that the later ones were much more “solid” feeling than the originals. One thing I did was cut down the width of the spine; I found it felt better with a smaller rather than wider spine. I’d probably keep the brown one for myself, if it wasn’t for the matte board spine, which I don’t really like compared to the pretty rice-paper covered front and back “Bryjna” created… so I’ll likely donate all 6 for largess when the opportunity presents itself. (None of the events I’m going to in the next little while are requesting largess, so I’ll wait until a request is made…) Plus… my main persona has no use for a book!
In class we did use an awl to punch holes in the front and back covers (and pages) for the stitching, but I found that VERY tedious, so when I was doing the remaining 5 at home, I opted to clamp them all together with the template, and used a rotary drill with a small drill bit instead.
While our instructor’s notes came from a Calgary Board of Education convention notes, you can also find the method here on Hollanders: http://www.hollanders.com/secret-belgian-binding or Herringbone Bindery: http://www.herringbonebindery.com/blog/2013/11/19/tutorial-top-secret-belgian-binding/ which has a few differences, including suggesting the inner covers go in after the binding – a look I kind of like.