11 February, 2016

Extra Pull Key Fob Tutorial

 These Key Fobs are fun to make. 

Getting the zipper pulls on can be fiddly but I love the end result. As someone who fidgets, unzipping and arranging the pulls and then zipping it  back together are fun for me.

You'll need:

  • Zipper (10 inches or longer). I used a 22"  YKK brand. 
  • Extra zipper pulls.               Atkinson brand with YKK pulls 
  • Key Fob Hardware               Bought on etsy. 
  • Scrap fabric 1 7/8 inches wide by length of zipper tape. I used a Liberty print.
  • SF 101 Interfacing.                Bought at Joann's

 I found a little light interfacing gave me the firmness I wanted in this keyfob. My go-to is SF 101 (pellon product). Iron this to wrong side of fabric strip. To help with bulk at center when folding, I cut my interfacing narrower than the fabric.

 I'm trying to decide which zipper tape color goes best with my Liberty fabric. Purple, Orange, Hot Pink???

You'll need to cut off the top and bottom metal stops on your zipper. Unzip the pull all the way off. You are left with two tapes.

Sandwich your zipper tape inside the Fabric trim. Sew and top-stitch. I don't have to use my zipper foot on my machine. I can move the needle over to the far left. That way the foot rides evenly on the fabric strip and doesn't get all lumpy-bumpy with the zipper teeth.

If you can't move your needle over, switch to your zipper foot to sew this fabric trim.

I used two parallel lines of top-stitching, I could have used one. Or, a decorative stitch on my machine.

 Okay - here are the fiddly bits.

You can google, "How do I put a zipper pull back on" to find a lot of youtube videos. I like the one by Erin Erickson of DUMD (Dog Under My Desk) Sewing patterns.
{I don't think my left hand is up to taking video as well as close-ups}.

I'll try to explain the process. Zipper teeth need to interlock with each other. One side of your tape will be higher than the other. Always start with that same side for each subsequent zipper pull.

Don't mind the messy ends, you will trim these later. You might even trim them while your giant hands try to fiddle with tiny teeth.

Slip the top of the pull on whichever side you decide to start with. Slide until you hear a little click. Two clicks is also okay. Take the other end of the zipper tape and start it. The first side is easy, the second side is a lot tougher. There isn't as much room in the pull for two tapes.

Try pulling on your left tape to give the second tape room to maneuver. Try using the pad of your finger to tap the bottom end of the pull while tugging the left over and maneuvering the rightside into the pull.  Are your fingers getting more clumsy?  Take a deep breath and repeat.  If you listen carefully, you will hear the "click" as the second side engages.

If you totally have nylon coils disintegrating, trim off the end and start again.
At some point after hearing the 'click' of the second end, you will be able to pull the tab and zip it up the tape.

It does get easier now that I've made half a dozen. Just remember to breathe.

 The first pull zips up the teeth. Carefully, tug the tapes apart at the end where you start the zipper pull and do the next pull. If you start on the opposite side, it will create a little gaposis. If you start it on the same side as before, it looks straighter.


 You can buy key fob hardware pliers for $20 and up, or like me, I use pliers I found in the hangar. I put masking tape on the jaws to soften the teeth. I also use a scrap of fabric to try not to mar the shiny fob hardware.

 Once you have your fabric butted up inside the fob hardware, you want to squeeze gently all over the hardware. Don't do one place at a time. Gradual squeezing on the left, then on the right - make sure your fabric is straight, squeeze again until it's all tight.

Some people use glue also but I've never had one pop out so I skip the glue.

 I used a 22" zipper, sewed my fabric trim on, then cut it in half to make two key fobs.

 See how the front one is twisting towards the camera - this is one reason I used interfacing. I think with time and use, it will lie flatter.

These are the pulls I ordered. YKK brand pulls mix well with YKK zippers.

I ordered the key fob hardware on etsy years ago - I still have some. I did have to google search for the zipper pulls and then bought the cheapest one. I haven't seen these colored pulls in a store. The zippers are usually in stash or if I have to order some - then I generally use ZipIt on etsy.

I would love to see ones you've made. Throw a photo at  me in the comments or by email or Instagram (sidebar).

This is an easy project for gifts.

08 February, 2016

Key Fobs

 I saw these key fobs a couple of weeks ago in my instagram feed and needed to make some myself. 
You need a zipper and some extra pulls.
They are perfect for key fobs because they use up scraps and they provide endless zippering for fidgety people (moi).

On the longer blue one you can slide the pulls up to make a secure wrist strap. On the smaller ones that fit into your hand, they are especially fidgety-worthy.

The length of the strap depends on the length of your zipper tape. You're gonna use one side and loop it around. You sew some bias tape - I folded and ironed fabric in half and then in half again and then sewed it down one side. I reinforced the tape with interfacing.

Then you slide your pulls back on, in any order, in any amount.

After fussing with those, you then clamp the key fob hardware on.

I used Atkinson Zipper pulls.
They come in colors. If you have an excess of zippers, you can pull them off and re-use.
Try to stay within the brand. The YKK brand pulls worked well with the YKK zipper tape. I felt like I was struggling more with the Coats & Clark brand zipper.

For the Portland Timber's, I use a 10" zipper. For the blue wrist strap, I think that zipper was 22" long.

Here's a little video by Erin Erikson on how to reattach your pulls:

One of the Portland Timbers Key fobs is winging its way north to DD.

My question du jour?  How much would you charge for one of these cute things?

05 February, 2016


I won a couple of giveaways lately.

I won $25 of Superior thread during Elm Street Quilt's BagIt series in December. It took me several weeks to where I could peruse the thread pages at Superior Threads to decide what to get.

In the end, I picked three serger cones to try and step up my serger thread game - I'm prone to using what's already threaded - as in black cones or white cones. By just changing the upper looper cone, I can add some pizazz.

The small spool is King Tut Quilting thread - made in Japan of longer staple cotton. It's a variegated thread that is very pretty to me.

It will, knowing me, take about four years to actually open the plastic wrap and use this. I have a penchant for new, shiny things and sometimes, you just have to pet new things for a bit while the perfect project percolates up to the surface.

 I didn't win the zippers - this etsy store, ZipIt,  is my personal fave for ordering zippers. They come *instantly* within two days and they always provide a free zipper pull for fun.

 SewMamaSew hosts a giveaway series in November - Handmade Holidays where you can see new sewing tutorials and also comment to win crafty books each day.

I won the new Cath Kidston book, SEW!, and it's a delight to drool over the pages and dream.

 My final pics are of a dish towel, I literally, figuratively, stumbled over at Fancy Tiger Crafts.

I wandered into the site from elsewhere, and found this $7.95 dish towel of awesomeness.

Cotton, printed with sewing and crafting notions. You have to pay shipping but it's still cheaper than the pineapple dish towel I bought in Hawaii. Or the ones my DD buys me from Alaska. I might have a thing for dish towels.

My significant other tends to wipe his mouth and hands first and then wash them (guys.)

My towels gets used wrongly so I need a lot of them. I love picking them up at estate sales for a buck (50 cents even) from that persons' travels around the world. Touristy towels tend to be pricey originally and made of linen and cotton.

I bought one to check quality. These may be bought again to use as gifts. Who doesn't need a new dish towel?

31 January, 2016

Leather Making

This is my kitchen table. A big fat leathery mess.
DS and I have been delving into leather work. He wanted to give his friends 'Handmade!'
I'm happy to support that.
Also, very interested.

One of two hides I now have in the house - will they stay with me or do they travel with DS?

He made this hatchet cover.

  •  We covered pattern making. 
  • How to figure out dimensions if you do not want to pay $4.99 for a digital download. 
  •  How leather stretches (OMG). 
  • What types of leather we really needed. 
  •  How to hold a bic lighter so it does not scorch the leather (do not use on cork!).
  • Which tools are necessary (thank you garage sale find! and Tandy Leather).

The wallet behind the cork  was our first presentable wallet. I made the cork one first. This holds a card on each side (mirror image design) with a pocket in the middle for paper bills/more cards.

We are now working on a design for a four card minimalist wallet with middle pocket. DS bought the second hide - a shoulder cut - the other night. This leather cut looks like we'll be able to shave the 'seams' easier and provide a bit more structure - and less stretch.

His goal is a minimalist wallet. He also made a couple of journal covers. 

I have seriously awesome kids.

29 January, 2016

Hearts For Teresa

My blogging friend, Teresa, has a serious addiction to red hearts.

I planned to make her one for Christmas, but, you know how that goes. I made it last night based off a pin on one of my pinterest boards.

I dragged out a box of wool stash (clothing and yardage) and found the red and the blue (from a plaid) I was looking for. Nabbed my embroidery floss and a super awesome needle and settled into watching episode 4 of Downton Abbey. This heart took about 20 minutes more than the episode.

I actually had to grab a youtube video to recall how to start the blanket stitch - and how long has it been since I've made french knots?

22 January, 2016

1000 Customers on Etsy And Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to my awesome customers on etsy.
I looked at my etsy stats last fall and was quietly surprised that I was so close to 1000 sales since I  opened the sh0p in 2009. I put a concerted effort into realizing my #1000 goal and reached it January 20th.

My customer was ecstatic that I had the vintage pattern she had been searching for and replied, "OMG! Jupiter luck again! That's amazing and I'm so glad I am your 1000th order! Thank you for making this order free! And, thanks to you having this pattern, I can unleash my creative potential. May you have many more thousands of sales! :)"

Jupiter Luck!
Jupiter Luck received everything here FREE for being my 1000th customer.

Missy Jupiter Luck ordered a pattern bundle and I enclosed some sewing goodies as well as some Hawaiian zipper pulls & notepad. I made the zippy bag on right a couple months ago with some japanese silk kimono scraps and put everything inside. On the left-hand side of the photo below a pattern,  I made a quick pocket tissue cover with some fabric I bought in Oahu at Fabricmart.

I was thinking about stopping at the dollar store to see if they had any bells and whistles to put inside the package, but I'm afraid I am still on Hawaiian time and it's all buttoned up and sent now.

I have some of the best customers on Etsy. I've sold online for many years - since before ebay started. Etsy customers truly appreciate hand made and love vintage.

While in Hawaii, I did a giveaway. "How much is a simple 5" x 7" zippy pouch?

It was lined, it did have a strap. Whoever guessed closest to how much that puppy was going for would win something.

I had guesses of $22.00, $19.95, $28, $35 & $39.95.

A no-special-fabric zippy pouch with strap
is $45.00
in Haleiwa, Oahu.

**** And our winner is  ****

$39.95 - I'll take the Macadamia nuts! LOL! You lucky person! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

I'll be sending Teresa some Macadamia Nuts tomorrow.

Thank you for playing my pricing game!

20 January, 2016


DS and DD take photos differently than me. In a focused, memorable way that excites me.

They are much more in tune with what other people are doing online on Instagram or SnapChat. Other online platforms that make me feel old trying to figure them out.

My blog is more of a photo-journal 'cuz my memory is going.

I take photos and write from there. And it's mostly to get stuff out of my brain.

Koko Head

They are trying to recreate awesome photos by putting their own spin on them.

They are acting because of a photo they want to take.

pu'u manamana