Top Menu

Make It, Take It: Scissors Keeper


I’m very excited to show you my new scissors keeper! I’ve wanted to make one for a long time now, but today was the day!

I was super happy that Krista sent me a copy of her book: Make It, Take It. It’s an awesome collection of projects to make with friends! And I loved reading Krista’s intro, I honestly have known Krista for quite a while through her blog, but didn’t know she ran an amazing sewing retreat business. Of course it all makes sense now, but how cool is that?! Paging through the book, there is a super talented group of women who contributed the projects as well as Krista herself. It’s like gathering up a bunch of awesome sewing friends right in one book. makeit


I picked out the Scissors Keeper project designed by another friend of mine, Amy Friend. She’s always so thoughtful with her designs (she’s always up to something fabulous) and I definitely need to make more of her patterns! The scissors keeper was such a quick and satisfying project. I didn’t allow myself to dwell on fabric selection (isn’t is always the most time consuming part?). Instead I just grabbed from my stash knowing that it’ll look great no matter what. And I love it! It all went together so quickly and effortlessly, love that. scissors

I’m super excited to have this awesome cozy to take with me on sewing trips and someday I’m going to make it to one of Krista’s retreats!!!

Fabric: Railroad Denim by Robert Kaufman, Mini Flowers by Umbrella Prints (lining)


And the winner of the Divided Basket filled with scraps is Heather!! She said: “So generous of you! I have made many of your tutorials and patterns and in addition to an amazing finished project – I have learned something new each time. You put as much or more effort and polish into your tutorials as I have seen in some patterns I have purchased. I really, really appreciate it. And of course I would also love to win that beautiful basket!”

Congrats again Heather, I just sent you an email. And thank you ALL so much for your super encouraging and sweet comments. I so appreciate each and every one. I think I’ll have to do more giveaways with things I’ve sewn! Hope it’s nice and sunny where you are today!

Comments: 6

Habitat Divided Basket


Happy Friday to you! I am so thankful that it’s the first day of Spring! I’m also really grateful to each and every one of you who has read my blog, or tried one of my tutorials or patterns, or just enjoys sewing as much as me!

habitat basket2

Last week I taught a group of wonderful women at the Sewcial Lounge in Madison, WI how to make the Divided Basket. They all made such gorgeous versions! Every time I see a new basket pop up, I am in awe of the beautiful fabric choices and creative touches you all add.


I finished up my step-out basket yesterday and was really wanting to give back to the community. So I’m giving away this basket and filling it with scraps!

Ready to enter? Thank you to all who entered, this giveaway is now closed. :)

  • Just leave me a comment!
  • One winner will be chosen.
  • Open to all US residents!
  • I’ll leave the giveaway open until Sunday, March 22nd 10pm CST.

Have a great weekend!basketside

Pattern: Divided Basket
Fabric: Habitat by Jay McCarroll, Robert Kaufman Chambray Dots, Lizzy House (lining)


anatomy of a zipper


You love sewing with and using zippers, right? Well, if you’re new here, let it be known that I love zippers. Sometimes zippers can seem like some crazy contraption that’s out to get you, but if you know your way around a zipper, you’ll feel much more confident working with them. I’ll be covering a few common types of zippers and what the parts of the zipper are named.

Plastic coil – plastic coil zippers are quite easy to find at big box craft supply stores. They’re often referred to as an all-purpose zipper. I think they’re the easiest to use and get great results. Plastic coil zippers are easy to shorten. You can sew a few stitches (by hand or machine) over the zipper teeth where you need the length to be and then simply trim the zipper with a scissors 1/2″ past the stitches.


Metal – metal zippers have metal teeth and end stops. They come in many different finishes (nickel, brass, antique brass to name a few) and zipper tapes of varying colors. I love the look of a metal zipper. They are more difficult to shorten, but it can be done – with a little elbow grease and a needle nose pliers.

Zipper tape: 
Zipper tape is the ‘fabric’ that runs along the sides of the zipper teeth. Zipper tape lengths and widths vary my manufacturer and by zipper type. For example, the width of a purse zipper is approximately 1/2″ wider than that of a standard plastic coil zipper. Usually the wider the zipper teeth, the wider the zipper tape. Zipper tapes come in a variety of colors to coordinate with your project! Most commonly, zipper tape is polyester, but you can also find cotton and a few other specialty materials.

Separating or non-separating?

Separating zippers do just that, they separate when fully opened. Think of a jacket, that is a separating zipper. Non-separating zippers stay connected at one end when fully opened. Some non-separating zippers stay closed on both ends (such as a coverall zipper). It’s important to pay attention to what type of zipper a pattern calls for. If you try to use a separating zipper in place of a non-separating zipper, you could run into trouble. For example, separating zippers do not have extra zipper tape at the open end of the zipper, and if you would try to use one in place of a non-separating zipper you wouldn’t have enough zipper tape to properly install the zipper, thus leaving a gap or even making the zipper much more difficult to use. Non-separating zippers are also sometimes called closed bottom zippers.


Zipper Pull(s):headtohead
There are many ways a zipper can open. Most zippers are a one-way zipper. There are also head-to-head zippers, coverall zippers, and two-way separating. When purchasing a zipper pay close attention to what type of zipper the pattern calls for.

End stops:endstops
The end stops are very important. Not only do they help you measure your zipper (see below for how to determine the length of a zipper), but they tell the zipper when to stop opening. The end stops of a zipper are usually metal on both plastic and metal zippers. You can buy replacement end stops and install them yourself, this comes in really handy when shortening a metal zipper. The end stops are located at both ends of a zipper, the pull-side (referred to as the top stop) as well as the end of the zipper (referred to as the bottom stop).

An invisible zipper is a great choice for, you guessed it, installing a zipper where you don’t want it to show on your finished project. Garments and pillows are both common projects that utilize invisible zippers often. You can install and invisible zipper using a regular zipper foot, but I find it’s well worth it to have a specialty invisible zipper foot. For my Janome, the invisible zipper foot only cost a few dollars and it really saves time. There are special channels that guide the invisible zipper coils and keep the needle in the perfect position. When the zipper is correctly installed, you can’t see the zipper – thus it’s invisible, like magic!

Measuring a zipper:
Teeth/Coil Size – It’s true, zippers are also measured not only by length, but also the width of their teeth/coil. For example a #3 size zipper’s teeth/coil is smaller than a #5 zipper, a #3 zipper teeth/coil is 3mm wide whereas a #5 zipper is 5mm wide. Most metal zippers I use in my projects are a #4.5. A #5 is fairly wide and is most likely designed for a project where you need a heavy-duty zipper. If you’re shopping online and the listing doesn’t tell you what teeth/coil size a particular zipper is, contact the shop owner.

labeled coil zippers

Length – To determine the length of a zipper you measure from the top stop to the bottom stop. On a separating zipper, measure from the top (pull-side) stop to the end of the zipper tape (where the zipper would separate). That is the length! Easy, right?!


While this isn’t an exhaustive list of zipper types and features, I have tried to cover most of the common parts and types of zippers. Hopefully this information will help you next time your project calls for a zipper!

I’d like to thank Jennie from Zipit for helping me verify the information within this post and giving me permission to use a couple of her photos (teeth/coil size photos).



Comments: 8