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portfolio,book binding

For my portfolio class we were given a budget and told to go buy a nice portfolio to use during our class presentations, and keep for job interviews. I went to the store (Flax in SF is AMAZING, but $$!) and saw that they only had one style of portfolio that would work for our type of projects. It came in bamboo ($130) brown wood ($130) metal ($100) and white and black plastic ($80). Honestly I was kinda Meh about them. They were pretty, but really $$. Also, I had a feeling that everyone one in my class would buy one...and that kinda defeats the point of having an eye-catching and interesting portfolio.

Long story short, I decided to make one. I looked on ebay and eventually found a suitable book that had a vertical layout and was 13x19". My projects are tabloid size 11x17" so that gave me a nice border. Later on my teacher assigned we have a smaller companion book (8.5x11 printouts) of our fabric, merchandising plans, support and research materials. The two books combined cost me about $60, $50 of which was my budget.

I did the smaller book first as my tester, so I didn't take a lot of pictures. It was a photography book called "Dogs in the Sun". The pictures are actually very nice, I plan to keep some when I clean my room post-finals madness.
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One point I am not happy about? The black masking tape. I was almost done re-binding when the fabric spine of the book got a crack in it. I tried a few methods to fix it, but in the end went with the tape, it covered the text which I thought might be distracting anyway.
After I was done re-binding the inside was still kinda messy, and the dogs were now really random so I covered it with some black paper. Double-stick tape yeaaa!
portfolio,book binding

When doing the larger book I took more pictures. First get some fabri-tac glue, and some spray glue if you think you may want to temporarily bond stuff. As the pages of the portfolio I used two cheap Itoya brand portfolios I got from school. Make sure you look for the kind that has the perforated spine. In some versions (like mine) it was glued and easy to pull off. I have also seen them sewn.
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Then take your book and carefully cut/pull out the pages of the book. Try to leave as much of the book as you can as it will give you more to work with later.
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Next measure your book and cut a buckram strip the length and width of the spine. Since my book included extra pages of the rust cover paper, I cut a piece wider than the buckram and spray glued them together. I knew I was going to be sewing in two bunches of the Itoya pages, so I marked sewing lines on the buckram.
portfolio,book binding

Next sew the Itoyapages to the Buckram/paper strip. I used several strands of Silimide (waxed thread) and a back-stitch.
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When you are all done, put a fair amount of Fabri-tac on the buckram, and press everything into the book. Hold in place until it sets (usually under 30 seconds) then let be a little while to be safe. For my first book (The blue one) I didn't have a colored paper strip do I covered the join with the tape. For the second book I had planned to glue the paper down sealing the join. Unfortunately for me I ran out of fabri-tac and not only was the spray glue not strong enough it stained the paper :(
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With the aid of a friend I was able to make it out to a store that carried Fabri-tac. After that gluing the join/paper was easy. To cover the messiness left by the spray glue I added another piece of the rust paper over that. I even had enough paper left to add a pocket to the front, it hold my CD (digital version of portfolio content) and business card.
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Having had my my BIG portfolio presentation this morning, I can say it was a huge success! One of the critiques even commented on it. He said something like, "I noticed it was different than everyone else, I was intrigued/interested to see what was inside." He also asked if I had mentioned its relevance during my presentation (Which I hadn't) but now I am wondering if I should have? It is definitely relevant to my theme (Anachronism) and as my major fashion trend I used Steampunk. It's definitely not a 100% steampunk book, but it has the flavor.


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April 2011

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