Category Archives: Sewing

Projects perfect for young sewists: Key Fobs

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Last week we talked about bookmarks, this week I want to show you how to make key fobs or fabric key chains.  These are super simple and make wonderful teacher gifts, christmas gifts, birthday gifts, or just an everyday “happy” for you or your child’s favorite person who has keys to keep up with!
Key Fob multiple 

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So let’s start with what you will need to get this project started:

Sewing Machine

Iron & ironing board OR ironing surface

Fabric scissors OR rotary cutter & ruler with grid

Cardstock – You will need this to make your pattern unless you just use your ruler to guide your fabric cutting. You will be making a rectangle shape cut so it’s up to you how you want to do it.

Thread – A coordinating all-purpose thread will work great!

Fabric – You can use just about any fabric here, but cotton, IMO is the best option.  It washes well and you can use either quilt-weight or a heavier weight cotton.  You will need a piece that you can cut down to 3″ x 10″, so dig out those scraps and find one big enough to cut down to this size!

Webbing – You will only need a small piece of poly (also called polypropylene) webbing – a 10″ piece.  You may even find an old canvas bag with webbing as the handles you could cut out and use.  If you aren’t familiar with what this is, it’s just a soft, flexible fabric of woven fibers used as tote straps, belting, and more.  I’m including a picture so you know exactly what you are looking for.  We also sell it in our store- you can find it here in white but we also offer a few other colors. Color doesn’t matter because it’s going inside the fabric to make it stronger.

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Key fob hardware & key chain – I prefer to use this as it’s specifically made for this project.  You can also use a variety of D-rings or a large O-ring if you would rather do that. You will have to do that last step differently if you choose the latter.

Pliers – If you are using the key fob hardware you will need a pair of pliers handy to secure it in place. Ask hubby or a friend to borrow some if you don’t have any in your own toolbox! You will also need to grab a small piece of scrap fabric or batting to use as protection so that you don’t scratch up your hardware from the teeth of the pliers.

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After you’ve gathered all of your materials, the first thing you’ll need to do is preheat your iron and set aside. Then, cut a piece of cardstock 3″ x 10″ to use as a pattern for your fabric.  You can also use a rotary cutter and follow the lines of your grid on your cutting mat and cut your fabric piece to that size instead of using cardstock.

Take the 10″ piece of webbing and cut fabric to your ironing station. If you hate pulling out your ironing board everytime, try using one of these Fuse N Press pressing sheets or Kandi’s XPress Mats (pictured below). The Fuse N Press has two sides: one side has your ironing surface and the other side is fiberglass for when you need to iron onto a non-stick surface.

Fold the fabric lengthwise in half and press.

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Place the webbing along the center fold line on the wrong side of your fabric. Fold the outer edge of the fabric onto the webbing and press. Do this again to the opposite outer edge. If you find your iron is too hot, you may melt the webbing so watch out for that.  You can always use an iron shoe or iron sleeve to help keep your iron clean and avoid these type of issues.  We carry both in our store and they are WONDERFUL!

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Fold both sides together and press again.

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Sew along all four edges, starting with the folded edge about 1/8″ from the edge.  Lengthen your stitch to about a 2.5 or 3 so that the stitches aren’t so small.

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Fold in half, shorten your stitch length back down to about a 2 and sew the short edges together about 1/8″ down from the edge. Stitch back and forth several times to reinforce this area.

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You’re almost done! Grab your scrap piece of fabric and fold several times.  Insert the sewn edge of your fabric piece into the key fob hardware, cover with scrap fabric, and then squeeze with pliers.  You will have to squeeze gently in several places before it’s completed secure.  Try not to squeeze too hard in any one area, or you will have dents in the hardware. After a few of these you’ll get the hang of it!

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Aaaaannnndd…you’re finished! You’ve created the perfect accessory to keep those keys easily found in your black hole of a purse.  Oh wait, maybe I’m the only one with a black hole of a purse? Probably not… If you have an embroidery machine, monogram your initials or name before you sew the short edges together to really personalize it!

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I’m an 80’s girl

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quilt market houston 2014 (88)Think back to the last time you sat down to a sewing or crafting project.  What did you do to prepare? Did you just sit down and begin because a chance free moment came available? Maybe you planned in advance to clear your schedule and made preparations by getting your pieces cut or organized so that you could jump right in.  If you are like me, you do a little of both.  No matter which one happens for me, music has to be playing in order to get into that “don’t bother me I’m sewing” mode.

Like the title says, I’m a big 80s girl.  Born in the 70s with two older sisters that had music blaring anytime we got in the car guaranteed I’d know the words to every song on the radio by the time I was 9 or 10.  At least that’s as far back as I can remember.  I suppose I’m drawn to listening to those old songs because they bring back sweet memories of my childhood. Nothing better than getting into the groove (pun intended) while rocking out to Rick Springfield, Journey, Pat Benatar, Michael Jackson, Simple Minds and others.

What’s your routine when it comes to sewing?  Maybe you don’t even listen to music.  Maybe you meet up with a few friends and let your conversation be your background noise.  Whatever the case, I’d love to hear it!