Single-Section Sewing

Also know as “pamphlet stitch”, this is a simple and elegant sewing structure.

There are other sewing patterns for single-sections, some of which I have described at the end of this page.

Video – 3 hole, single-section sewing


If your pages are bigger than A5 say, you may want to use 5 or 7 holes

For the 5-hole sewing, start in the middle hole, sew out of the next hole then into the end hole. Turn around and sew out of the next hole then jump over the middle hole. Sew the next two holes in a figure of eight shape as before, and you will finish by sewing out of the middle hole. Tie the ends together over the “long stitch”.
With a single-section book, you may be able to cut the edges to a neat finish by holding a metal ruler in place and stroking a sharp blade through the pages. Keep the blade of the knife upright.

Alternative Sewing Patterns

From “1-2-3 Section Sewings by Keith A. Smith”

A “daisy-chain” sewing pattern, formed from a single line of holes along the spine – try 1cm spacing.

Also try making a line of holes and sew a running stitch along – make holes about 5mm apart for a “dashed-line” pattern.

If you have a sewing machine at home, try using that for a single section sewing!

The single-section can be developed into more complex structures such as the dos-a-dos or “back-to-back” where two single sections are sewn into a “Z” fold connecting strip of thin card.

Fold up 2 single-sections and a “Z-fold” connecting piece. Each section is sewn separately into the opposite facing spine folds. This structure has been used since the Middle Ages to join two books into one. It creates a new narrative structure – where does it begin and end for example?

Also try hybridising the single-section with the “elastic spine“!

Artist Book by Jane Hyslop. Single-section structure with every page folding out to double size.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email