Sunday, February 2, 2014

Keys, Please

I have always used one of these to carry my keys and cards.

It started in college when we had to carry our ID everywhere to get into dorms and some classroom buildings, and I just never stopped using one.  I don't carry a purse and if I need stuff, I bring an actual bag.  People think I'm crazy when I get in the car to go somewhere and all I have is this, but it's all I  need.  Fewer things to keep track of and lose!

They last me about 2 years and then something falls apart, usually the zipper.

The zipper itself was fine, but the pull tab had completely worn through I had to resort to using a ziptie to keep my keys on there and open and close it.

My last one had the zipper break completely, so I had to resort to holding it all together with a rubber band around it!

The fabric was also getting really worn, so it was time for a new one.

I did some searching and was blown away that even at Marshall's, they are $20 or more!  Nothing for less than that, no matter the fabric, matter the brand.

Highway robbery.

So, I thought I'd make my own since this most recent one was just normal fabric, nothing special or extra durable.

I wanted to use this really pretty gauze that I used for a nightgown this summer, but it was WAY too thin and no amount of interfacing or anything else was going to provide enough weight to make it last more than a week.
One look in my pinks and I knew right away this was the right fabric!  I bought this quite a few years ago and had no idea what I was going to do with it.  I made an apron that I use when I make crêpes for my students (with 500 students this year, you can be sure I am not making crêpes for anyone but myself!) but I still had a lot left.

The Eiffel towers are pretty big, so one who tower wasn't going to be visible, but I thought I'd like it anyway.

I looked at the construction of my old card holder and it seemed pretty straightforward.  There were really nice seams in there but I wasn't planning to get that fancy since I don't plan on selling it.

I realized that one of the things I really like about this one, and many of them don't have this, is the clear plastic in the front that lets me put my swipe card to get into school.  That way, I don't have to take it out, I can just hold the whole thing up to the reader and it lets me in.  I didn't have any vinyl or plastic, so I cut it out of the old one because it was just fine.

That also gave me a great guide for cutting the window in the new fabric to put it in.

I decided to line the pretty fabric to give it some weight.  And mainly because I couldn't figure out how to get the plastic in there and have neat edges unless I had a liner.
This is just a soft flannel that someone gave me ages ago.  It went with it but wasn't going to take up any of my "important" fabric.

I sewed the wrong sides together and then turned them out and topstitched.  Then I put the plastic on the flannel side and topstitched over my topstitching to hold it in place.  In my head, it was going to be much neater as I followed my topstitching, but no one will care but me.

I wasn't sure I had a zipper that I could use but when I looked, I found these.
I hate cutting off zippers, so I decided to use the blue one.  I'd love to know what I used it for in the past.  It is definitely cut because there is not stopper on the bottom and there's just some sewing to hold it together.  The weird thing is that there are no marks and no threads from where it had been sewn before.  I have no recollection of using this except one blue zipper in dress a hundred years ago.  But I would expect it to have threads from when I ripped it out.  And I know I tore the dress up in a fit of rage because I had hemmed it way too short and couldn't fix it.

Blue doesn't go with these pinks but I thought it would be whimsical.  Or something.  I just couldn't cut up one of these white zippers.

I think if I planned to make another one, I would be sure to buy a heavy duty zipper since that is one of the things that really suffers in these card holders.  They get a lot of abuse and this flimsy blue one probably won't last through spring.

One of the things I debated was the little pocket inside.  The original one has it before the plastic part, but it was always super tight to get cards in and out and I'm one of those people that wants to race through checkout because I hate it when people dawdle in front of me.

I decided to make the little pocket since I had two scraps just the right size that  I was going to throw away.  And make it slightly looser.

It makes it look complete when there isn't a card in there.  As soon as my swipe card goes in, no one will see the pocket, but it's fun and makes it a little more heavy duty.  It also helps to keep my essential cards:  license, swipe card and Staples reward card (WTF?  why does that need to be separate?) separate and very handy.


It's slightly roomier than the original, which feels weird. The cards are just banging around in there.  They will settle in.  I really like it.  It will be filthy and tattered really soon, but everyone will know who it belongs to, no doubt!

Oh, and here's the main feature.
You can see pretty much the whole tower, so it works.  Funny, it was centered when I started....

And anyone who knows me knows my favorite part is that I recycled that stupid piece of plastic in the front.

It's the little things.

Linking here: 


  1. Such a great idea to only carry a few items in the one small holder. Gorgeous fabric!!!

  2. I use a wristlet, but I don't have my keys attached to it. My keys usually go into my pocket and my wristlet goes, well, around my wrist.

  3. It turned out great. I really like that fabric.

  4. want to show me how to make these this summer for our quilt show boutique!

  5. Omgosh, I love this! What a fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing with us at Merry Monday this week!


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