Friday, September 28, 2007

Tutorial: How to re-thread a zipper pull

I love all the tutorials floating around the web. I fully admit to late night googling, trying to find out how to make your own niddy-noddy. In the spirit of giving back, I now offer this small tutorial on re-threading a zipper pull:


One of the most vital products in my sewing studio is "Make-A-Zipper".

Economical and easy to use, I just measure the length of zipper I need and snip it off. One peril of using it, however, is over-zealously zipping the zipper pull off the zipper!

After much forehead slapping and abandoning perfectly good zippers, I came up with the following way to rethread a zipper pull.

1. Separate the zipper tapes

Just pull the tapes apart - they should separate fairly easily.

2. Get 2 strips of masking tape

I usually make mine around 2 to 2 1/2 inches long.

3. Make masking tape tabs

This is the important step. Carefully line up one side of the masking tape along the outside edges of the zipper teeth, making sure to leave about three-quarters of the tape hanging off the end. Then fold the masking tape back on itself to the other side of the zipper, creating a little tab. Now do the same to the other side of the zipper.

4. Thread one side of the zipper

Thread the zipper tape through one side of the zipper pull. You'll feel the teeth click as they enter the pull. I usually slide 2 or 3 teeth into the slide.

5. Thread the other side

The tab is helpful for this step. Tugging firmly but gently, thread 2 or 3 teeth through the other side of the pull.

6. Start zipping

This is where you'll see the tabs in action. Firmly hold both tabs in one hand and pull on the zipper pull with the other. You may have to change the angle of your zipping hand slightly to get the pull to move. Try wiggling your hand around and soon you'll start feeling the zipper pull zipping.

7. Hurray! Your zipper is happily re-threaded!

Now take a look at your re-threaded zipper. Your zipper tapes may be misaligned a little bit. If that's not a problem, then sew away! If this is a problem, start the process all over again. But you're a pro at this now, so it will only take a few seconds!

Note: I've only tried this method with nylon coil zippers. I'm not sure if it would work for zippers with molded plastic coils. This technique also applies only to zippers without a zipper stop.

Let me know if you have any questions or if this tutorial is helpful. I know I'm thrilled with my home-made niddy-noddy!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Flare vs. Flair

Yippee! I've moved out of the prototype stage to the production stage for my new handbag! Here they are...the first three from The Flare Clutch line:

I've gone back and forth in my geeky English Major way between calling it the Flare or Flair Clutch. I decided on "Flare" since it is more physically descriptive but I'll call in "Flair" in my head for my own amusement.

I'm excited about the pockets in this bag. There are two exterior pockets accessed from the same zipper that can hold lipstick, credit cards or slim flip phones. Inside is a slip pocket that is sized to fit cash.

I'm hoping to start carrying them in my shop this weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I need a Strapline

One of my favorite blogs is Lisa Lam's U-handblog. The blog is related to her on-line shop, which sells lots of great bag making accessories. U-handblog is chock full of useful stuff: sewing tutorials, tips on running your own business and inspirational photos of handmade bags [Editorial comment: my Retro Blue Dots on Brown Handbag Set is one of this month's U-Handbag's flickr Faves. Again: feeling a little like a rock star!]

Anyways, Lisa just started a new blog, CraftBoom, about running a craft business. Her latest post is "Ways to Market Yourself & Your Craft (on the cheap)" and has the following suggestion:

Get yourself a strapline (as defined by Wiki). A strap line is a useful bunch of words that serve to reinforce /inform (in a quick & simple way) just what your craft business is/provides. I’ve had my strapline “Love Bags, Make Bags” from the beginning and I hope that from reading it, it is obvious to the reader that my craft business is involved in handbags, and handbag making. When my strapline appears alongside my logo is serves to inform people of what my business is (in case you can’t tell from looking at the logo in isolation.
I need a catchy strapline. Do you all have any suggestions? Do you have a strapline?

Monday, September 17, 2007

My Favorite Things

At our house, the latest disc taking up permanent residence in the DVD player is "The Sound of Music." I've been struck anew at the hottie-ness of Captain Von Trapp and the girls have learned about the evil-ness of the Nazi Party. In honor of Maria and her charges, here are some of my latest "Favorite Things."

Aren't these magnets and buttons cute? I got them in a lovely little package from my good bloggie pal, Steph. She recently had a give-away on her blog and I was one of the winners. Yay! I'm particularly enamored with the Etsy pin. It will be going on my jacket momentarily. She also included one of her moo cards...those are so cute! I'm still trying to decide if I should invest in some but the long box of business cards I just received keeps holding me back.

Here is a ring I bought myself to celebrate my 1 year Etsy Anniversary. It's a Slinky Ring made by Horizonte. I love the textures and colors. It's also very light and doesn't snag so I can wear it while sewing. (I took some pictures of this lovely ring on my finger and immediately deleted them. I have singularly unattractive hands - great for sewing and creating, not so great for modeling. I get hand envy whenever I see Blissful's or JPAT's pretty hands in their listing photos!)

Finally, some of my desk companions. The blue puppy is a pencil sharpener we gave the oldest Kidling for Christmas that I have co-opted. His little ears flap when you sharpen a pencil with his tail/crank. He is also emptied in a surprisingly anatomically correct fashion that the youngest kidling likes to call, "Changing the puppy's diapers." Finally, there is my "Shakespeare Insult Mug." It holds lots of coffee and makes me laugh. I especially like "Not so much brain as ear wax."

Really, Captain Von Trapp is just yummy!

Friday, September 07, 2007

"That's a lot of cards, Mommy!"

So said my oldest kidling upon seeing my recently arrived box of one thousand business cards.

I have to say I agree with her. After ordering a hundred cards here and there, I did some cost analysis (ooooh, look at the business-y type words!) and realized I should just buy 1,000 at a time.

Of all the things I've done related to my Etsy shop, this one has given me the greatest pause. Looking at that dauntingly loooooooong box of cards makes me realize I'd better work hard so those little slips of cardboard have lots of places to go, either through marketing or sales (there I go again with the business talk!). Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Back To School!

I have to admit to having a certain wistful feeling on the first day of school for the past few years. While part of it was sending the oldest kidling off to another year of elementary school, a lot of my wistfulness was missing that sense of anticipation a new school year brings.

This Septmember, however, I've got something to be excited about: I've been busy in my studio making some new things for my Etsy shop! It's not quite the same as getting a box of 64 crayons with the built-in sharpener but pretty darn close. I'm especially excited about a new handbag design I've been working on. I'm still tweaking the design a bit but hopefully I'll have some ready in the next week or so.

I've also been making some new 3 Pocket Flip Wallets from my big stack of fabric. Here's a sneak peek:

Are you excited for Back-To-School season?