Tutorial: Sewing with Rivets (The Quarter Keeper) with Jodi from Sew Fearless.

Yipee! It’s a guest post day at The Southern Institute! And I’m so pleased that this blogger agreed to be our guest today… even though she has never guest posted before.  Way to jump  right in, right?  Our guest is Jodi, from Sew Fearless, and you’d never guess that this is her first time as a guest blogger.  Jodi is a blogging and Twitter friend who has a knack for really fun and useful projects.  You are in for a treat today (I say that a lot don’t I… it’s true!)!  Heeeeeeeeere’s Jodi!

Helloooo! I’m Jodi and I blog over at SewFearless.com about my fearless pursuit of all things sewing.

Today, I wanted to share with you my latest experimentation, which actually is not sewing, but is a fun finishing touch on many sewing projects – Rivets. After I show you how they work, I’ll give you a quickie little project to use them on.

So… rivets. Not only do they add bling to your project, but they are handy for attaching things when it is difficult to sew – like when there are more layers than your sewing machine can handle, or the location is prohibitive to sewing.

Where do you get them? I found Etsy to be the easiest way to shop for them.
Searching for rivets‚ under Supplies, will reveal rivets of all sizes and shapes. (Skulls, anyone?) The ones I used for this project are double capped, rapid rivets, 6mm.

You will also need some setting tools.  Suppliers like to sell them as kits and you will need one appropriately sized for your rivets. It doesn’t hurt to ask the seller for help if you are confused by their options. I needed to. :) Included in the kit is a hole punch, a setter, and an anvil. You will also need a cutting mat or something to protect your work surface, and a hammer. I went with a rubber one because it was quiet and I didn’t want to wake up napping babies. The cutting mat I am using is one from a dollar store. I didn’t want to destroy my good one with the hole punch.

To install the rivets, lay your project on the cutting mat and position the hole punch (pictured on left below) on top of where your want your hole to be.  Hit the hole punch with your hammer until it pierces through all layers.

Next, we poke the “post” half of the rivet through the hole. Then snap the “cap” onto the post. It will stay on, but be wiggly until our final step.

Place the post half of the rivet on your anvil. The top of the anvil is curved to protect the shape of the rivet while we are hammering. Then, place the concave end of the setter onto cap.  Keeping the setter as straight as possible, give it a good whack with your hammer to set the rivet.

And that was it! Not so scary right?
Ready to give a project a go?

We have a store in the area that makes you deposit a quarter in order to get a grocery cart. I like to keep a cart quarter ready in my van cup-holder for whenever I need it, but my quarter disappears more often than I like. Drives. me. nuts. So, I made myself this leather keychain with a pocket for holding my cart quarter, and now no one can steal it. Mwahahaha!!!!  The keychain is attached to the key ring with a rivet.

For this project, you will need the rivets and setting tools we talked about, scrap leather (I love thrift store purses for scrap leather), thread, size 16/100 “jean” needles, thread, binder clips (to replace pins), a key ring, and a non-stick sewing machine foot (or a regular foot with masking tape on the bottom to prevent slipping). [More details about sewing with leather can be found in this blog post.]

Print off the pattern, choosing ‘no scaling’, and cut out the three pattern pieces. Then, trace the pieces onto the scrap leather and cut them out.

Position the pocket piece wrong (suede) side down on the right side ‘Piece A’. It should be towards the bottom but not butting up to any edges. Hold the pocket in place with the binder clips, and sew it down along the curved edge using a 1/8″ seam allowance. Be sure to back-stitch at the beginning and end to secure.

Place ‘Piece A’ on top of ‘Piece B’, wrong sides facing, with their sides and bottom edges lined up. Sew together all around the edge of ‘Piece A’.

Now would be a great time to pull out a quarter and double check that it fits snugly in the pocket. If not, bring in the pocket side seams with a second row of stitching so that it is.

Next, we attach the keychain to the key ring with the rivet. Punch! holes into the key ring where marked on the pattern pieces. I placed the pattern on top of the key ring and punched the holes right through the pattern and the leather. Fold the key chain around the ring (right side in) and line up the holes. Then Snap! and Whack! and you’re done!

You have now conquered rivets! Go forth and Sew Fearless!
Thank you for having me at The Southern Institute!

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  1. [...] Tutorial – How to Install Metal Rivets Posted by Jodi on October 15, 2012 Leave a Comment Hello and welcome to Sew Fearless! A home for the Sew Addicted. If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to my RSS feed and never miss a post!Parts of this post were original published as part of my “Quarter Keeper Tutorial” guest-post at The Southern Institute.  [...]

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