photo of completed pattern Is book height important

Is book height important?

Have you ever found the perfect book for a pattern to then realise it’s not the same height as the pattern states? ARGH! That’s more than likely a yes! Will the pattern still fit in my book?? When this happens we can be unsure and not want to risk it in case it doesn’t look right or fit, so off you go, to hunt for another book with your fingers crossed you get the right height too. Here’s how to check if it will fit even if it is a different size and hopefully save you some time and stress hunting unnecessarily!

Patterns are made in a range of page numbers and heights but that doesn’t mean you need both of these to be EXACT in the book you find. Centralising a pattern within the number of pages has been covered a lot, I try to include it in most how to videos, just in case the viewer is a beginner, you can find it at the beginning of this video if you need help with that too.

Book height doesn’t get as much attention but can be just as important. Patterns come with a recommended book height. All this means is the pattern will sit central if you use the same size which is stated. It was either made as a custom for someone or the designer made it in a common height.

Will the pattern fit in my book?

There’s a few things to look for before we can be certain

  • What is the highest point the pattern goes to? 
  • What is the lowest point the pattern goes to?
  • What is the height of the book you have? 

Highest point
Look in the first column of measurements, the one labelled ‘1st mark or ‘mark from top’ etc. Different pattern software calls it something slightly different but it is the first column after your fold/page number column. Go through and find your highest point. This is the one closest to zero. Depending on the pattern it could be anywhere from 0.9cm or it could be quite low at around 8cm, especially if it’s a word pattern. 

Lowest point
Now look for the lowest point that your
pattern goes to. If your pattern is an MMF (Measure,Mark and Fold) this
will be in your ‘2nd mark’/ ‘mark from bottom’ column. If it’s a cut and
fold pattern then you need to check the last measurement of each page.

The height of your book
Make sure to measure the actual pages and not the book cover as this can add up to one centimetre and throw out all your workings.

When you have all your measurements you can now see how much space the pattern actually takes up in the book and, more importantly, if it will actaully fit!
For example if the pattern has a highest point of 3cm and lowest of 18cm then the pattern itself takes up 15cm. You will need AT LEAST 1cm top and bottom to fold to those marks (and a super thin ribbon!) so our absolute minimum here is 17cm. If your book is 20cm then the pattern WILL fit.
However we may need to move the pattern up the book so we also need to check the lowest point the pattern goes to. If the pattern has measurements at 18cm then this will give you a 2cm gap at the bottom. If it’s an MMF pattern then you will more than likley want to use ribbon to keep the book closed at the right point so if your ribbon is quite thick it may be worth moving the pattern up 1cm. This will then give you a 3cm gap at the bottom, which is what I would recommend, and then you will have 2cm gap at the top of your book which is a manageable amount to fold over and still look neat.

photo of completed pattern moving up

Moving a pattern DOWN in a book

Moving a pattern down takes a little more prep but still doable without having to change all your pattern measurements. However if it’s only a couple of centimetres taller than the pattern states then I would usually leave it. When a book is taller your pattern is guaranteed to still fit, the only difference will be you will have a larger gap than intended at the bottom of your book. So you could use a wider ribbon or with some it’s not even noticeable or worth worrying about. BUT if you’re OCD and MUST have it more central then here’s how!

Moving a pattern down in the book

You will need :-

  • a ruler. If you have something stuck on the end of yours like I do such as a coffee stirrer to make a t bar then it would be best to use another without that or consider removing the stick if you don’t have another then gluing it back on when you’re done.
  • a piece of card 
  • pencil/pen
  • scissors
  • tape

Step 1. Cut a strip of card to the width of your ruler.

Step 2. Mark at 1cm then mark at how much you want to move the pattern down PLUS 1cm. In this example I want to move the pattern down 3cm so I have my second mark at 4cm.

Step 3. Place ruler on top of the card and line it up with the second mark, tape it in place.

Step 4. Turn the ruler over and tape the bottom of the strip to the ruler. Fold over the 1cm mark to create a lip. This is to hook over your pages so it’s always lined up at the same measurements.

Step 5. Follow your patterns measurements as normal!

Happy Folding!

Jo x

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