Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fabric Keychain Tutorial!

keychains! who doesn't need another keychain? especially a CUTE keychain?


honestly guys, we're making these because everyone else seems so gung ho about them, not because i really needed another keychain.... and then an hour ago i found myself thinking, "i should've made myself one to match my outfit, that would've been so handy tonight..." ha! now i'm thinking that it would be so handy to have one of these for the laundry room, and maybe one for the storage shed, since i'm always paranoid that i'll set the keys down and lock them in.... and maybe one for the mailbox key...


You'll need:
3.25” x 12.5” piece of fabric
0.75” x 12.5” piece of medium to heavyweight iron-on interfacing
key ring
matching thread for topstitching
standard sewing supplies, including a blind hem foot, a quarter inch foot and a foot suitable for zigzag


(the length is flexible – I wouldn’t go much smaller than 12”, because it might not fit over some people’s hands, but 13” or 13.5” would work)


Step 1 – Cut your piece of fabric and your piece of medium to heavyweight iron-on interfacing
step 1


Step 2 – Press fabric in half lengthwise.
step 2


Step 3 – Unfold, press edges in to centre fold line. You can see that your strip is now divided into 4 lengthwise areas.
step 3


Step 4 – Unfold one side. Press interfacing to the second area from the edge, butting it up against the centre fold.
step 4


Step 5 – Fold that side back up
step 5a

and fold the strip into half again. Press it well.
step 5b

STOP! Thread your key ring onto the folded strip. Do it now, before you forget! You can’t do it after the next steps!


Step 6 – Unfold the ends, and pin the two short ends together, lining up the fold lines.
step 6

STOP! Did you thread your key ring on? Last chance!


Step 7 – Using your quarter inch foot and a short stitch length, sew the short ends together. Lengthen your stitch length back to normal now, before you forget!
step 7


Step 8 – Press the seam open.
step 8


Step 9 – Fold the strip along the centre fold line. The interfaced side is going to seem shorter than the non-interfaced side, so we have to ease them together. Start by placing four pins, one in each quadrant of the circle, spreading the fullness equally between the pins.
step 9

Add 4 more pins between the first ones, easing the fullness. Looks better, doesn't it?
step 9b


Step 10 – Blind hem foot magic! Lay the band interfaced side up, and starting right before or after the seam, topstitch closely along the open edge of the band. RANDOM SEWING TIP – when you have two pieces that are slightly different in length and you need to sew them together to the same length (sleeves, quilt borders, etc), put the longest side down, and the feed dogs will help ease the extra in. That’s why you’re sewing this with the shorter (interfaced) side up. More sewing magic!
step 10


Step 11 – Before you topstitch all the way around, stop and look at where you started. You’ll want to trim your threads now, so that you’ll get a neater finish later, but you also want to check that your bobbin thread didn't make a little big of a mess when you backstitched.
step 11

If it did, like in the picture, trim that off. Don’t worry about the stitches coming undone, you’ll catch them again when you get back around to that spot and backstitch.
step 11b


Step 12 – Once you've topstitched the open edge, flip the band around and topstitch the folded edge. In these photos, my stitch length is very small – yours doesn't need to be! I forgot to change mine after I sewed the ends together, and rather than have two different stitch lengths on the same band, I just left it. Consistency is the key to looking good!
step 12


Step 13 – Take the topstitched band and fold it in half, with your keyring at one end. You’ll want the seam to be about ¾” from the fold. Pin the two layers together.
step 13


Step 14 – Switch to your regular sewing foot or a zigzag foot. Using a short stitch length, sew a straight stitch just below your seam. Don’t worry about backstitching, and when you get to the end of your seam, LEAVE YOUR NEEDLE DOWN!
step 14

See how I’ve pivoted to show you my straight stitching, but I haven’t cut my threads, and my needle is still in the fabric?
step 14b


Step 15 – Still with your needle down, switch over to a zigzag stitch.
step 15a

Select a very short stitch length and a wide stitch length. I’m using the widest my machine will do. (ignore the dust on my machine!)
step 15b

Sew a wide zigzag stitch across the band, covering your seam and your straight stitching.
step 15c

I’ve raised my foot to show you my stitches – see how one end has more coverage?


Step 16 – Backstitch and sew forward repeatedly, until you get consistent coverage with your zigzags. When you’ve finished zigzagging and are at one end of your sewing, leave your needle down.
step 16


Step 17 – Still with your needle down, switch back to straight stitch.
step 17a

Still on the very short stitch length, pivot your fabric and stitch down the side of the bar of zigzags. If you need to, you can even stitch over a few zigzag stitches. Don’t worry about backstitching, your stitches are so tiny that they’re secure.
step 17b

I know this seems like extra work, but it’s basically impossible to secure zigzag stitching and still have it look neat. If we didn’t do the lines of small straight stitch at the beginning and end of the zigzags, the threads would work themselves loose, like they’re starting to do here -
step 17c


Step 18 – You are done!!! Don’t you feel satisfied?!
step 18



As usual, i love questions and comments! Did everything make sense?

6 comments:

felicity said...

I love that you put the Why with the What. Great tutorial, Amy!

Flying Blind... said...

Brilliant - love all the ziggy-zagginess!

happysewlucky said...

I never understood the hype about these until Krista gave me one. Much better than my old clunky metal key thingie and easy to find in the quagmire inside my bag. Thanks for the tute!

Lysa said...

Um, you're kinda brilliant! You know that right!

What Comes Next? said...

great tutorial Amy, I see some key fobs in my future

Garnet Gray said...

Very clear and grt advice to secure both ends of the zigzag with straight stitches, to knot it, to keep them from unraveling.

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