Necessity can be cruel.
She can make you do things that you had never imagined yourself doing.
Things that will call into question your strength of character, your endurance, and your will to survive.
Yes my friends, she can make you sew.
With a sewing machine.
(More on that in a bit.)
First, let me tell you about screws and nails.
When you’re creating something, there is a moment when you have wood right where you want it.
You balance, prop, stand on one foot, and then turn to grab a nail…
…or a screw. Guess what? That’s right, it’s barely out of reach.
(Mom, I totally stopped using my teeth for holding screws, or opening packages. 🙂
This frustration might be shared by others, like people who make jewelry, or people who are real sewing machine users…
These people work with small metal parts too.
Enter that handy wristband you may have seen at hardware stores.
I thought one of those would be the solution for my loose screws.
Only- have you actually SEEN those wristbands at hardware stores?
They are huge. (At least the one’s that I’ve seen.)
Even the “pink” ones (I’m guessing they are intended for humans of the female variety..) are bulky.
So I wasn’t really excited about the prospects.
Besides, I might actually end up wearing it all day (because I work all day) and I wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t bulky, or pink.
So that meant only one thing.
I’d have to attempt a DIY magnetic wristband.
One that wasn’t huge or bulky. (Or pink.)
But, doing that also meant I’d have to SEW.
Not since an ill-fated attempt to mend a boat cover, have I gotten out that machine.
This was serious business.
I need to explain that I hate learning how to use a new tool or machine.
I hate reading the instructions, figuring out how to set it up, change attachments, and perform maintenance, because I will not use said tool until I understand it completely.
Why? Because of that stupid boat cover fiasco:
(cue flashback blur… the following is a flashback.)
My mom tried to come and help, (she’s a pro) but I got overconfident.
I dove right in when I wasn’t supervised, and I did everything wrong.
It was a nightmare. I tried to fix my mistakes by just sewing over them, and I ran us into a mess of thread, canvas, and tears.
My mom was able to undo my crazy sew job, but the scars still remain.
That is why I learn a tool inside and out before I use it.
Can you blame me?
This brings me to my point about sewing machines.
HAVE YOU SEEN A SEWING MACHINE????!!!!
Not only is there all of these scary and intricate attachments, but there are thread patterns! MULTIPLE thread patterns!
There’s also thread tension, stitch length, and all those different needle numbers/sizes.
Oh and the bobbin!! Don’t forget the bobbin!
(Yeah. There’s a whole other mess going on down where the bobbin is located.)
Anyway, don’t worry. This is NOT a sewing tutorial.
There is absolutely no way I could even attempt to tell someone how to use a sewing machine.
What I am saying is that it’s possible to identify a need, and take your best shot at finding a solution.
Sometimes it will lead you straight into uncharted waters, other times it will teach you a new way of doing things.
In my case, I had to face my fear of sewing.
Here is a list of what I used:
First, let me show you just how tiny these magnets are:
These little things are powerful. I keep them away from the kids though. Can’t have them sticking them up their noses or in their mouths.
I measured how wide I wanted my wristband to be, against the width of my wrist, and trimmed my sheet metal scrap accordingly. I also cut a few thinner pieces to line up with the sides of my wrist.
Next, I spaced out the magnets.
When the magnets are touching each other on all sides, they are too weak to “grab” my screws and function how I want this wristband to function.
Hence, the spacing out.
Next…. you gotta keep a straight face, cause I kinda made this up:
I used painters tape to keep the magnets from “migrating” towards each other once they are inside the fabric.
(I know! I could’ve used epoxy or something, to keep them in place, but I wanted a layer of some kind over the top of them.
Hence, the tape.
(I wrapped it over the edge to protect the fabric from that sharp, jagged, nonsense.)
Next, it was time for the fabric.
I measured just over double the width I wanted, deciding to just fold it over so I wouldn’t have to sew on both edges.
(Just an observation I’d like to point out: I hate how expensive those measuring things for fabric are. Ouch.)
Now we get down to business.
Here is where I locked the door, closed the shutters, and got real.
I sat down to sew.
(Please, please, please, do not be offended by my thread width, length, or spacing, or whatever you may see that doesn’t jive with normal sewing rules. I’m really just winging it here.)
After I did the length and one end, I turned it right side-out and attached one side of the velcro.
I stapled it to secure it, then removed staples after.
(I’ve had a few bad experiences with straight pins. Hence, the stapler.)
Next, I flipped it over and proceeded to sew it with black thread. Great. Just great. (forehead slap)
(Please don’t judge. I’m feeling vulnerable right now.)
After I did all this work with black thread, I noticed I was, in fact, using black thread on gray fabric.
Then I went ahead and changed it out and continued on my way using gray.
I zig-zagged my line in a shameful, non-perfect way.
(I’m going for function here, not beauty.)
Here’s a shot of me picking out the black, after I was finished getting the velco attached.
What comes next is a picture of my 6 year old’s pinewood derby car.
I was working on that at the same time as this wristband, so I feel like it deserves a space here…
(It took 2nd place! )
Now, where was I…
Oh yeah, after I attached the velcro, I slid the magnetic piece inside the wristband…
…and then I measured placement on my wrist.
Then, I marked placement for the rivets. (They hold the magnetic pieces in place, and keep them from sliding side to side.)
Next, I used a leather hole punch to make the hole along the edge of the metal inside…
…then, I set the rivet.
The last step is simply closing up the other end of the wristband, while attaching the other side of the velcro.
And there you have it. Done.
(Great for those of us with a few loose screws, eh?)
P.S. I chose gray because I am not great at making flashy color commitments.
(I’m still side-staring my bright yellow auto paint dresser.)
So, don’t let me be the boss of magnetic wristband fabric choices, they can be whatever, and I won’t be offended.
Check Out My Stamped Metal Necklace Tutorial
Thanks for reading!
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