Monday, January 27, 2014

A New Scissors Keep Pattern

The " Mini Keeper"  Tutorial Pattern
January ATPSA 

At the beginning of January, our monthly Across The Pond Sew Along project was announced... Scissors Keepers.
Amanda, The Patchsmith,  had time to whip up two pretty and practical scissor keepers , in her  perfect Patchsmith style and colors. Aren't those flowers so cute!

Amanda made her version of the 3 Pocket Scissor Case

And this is Amanda's " About Town"  case , for traveling

There are  some more  beautiful scissor  keepers that are  posted in our ATPSA Flickr Group.  (Hop on over to see the beautiful Heart Scissors keeper, and the  darling linen and embroidery keeper! )

After looking around at all of  the different ways to keep scissors, I was inspired to make my own  little pouch.  This little "Mini Keeper"   attaches quickly to my sewing machine, to hold scissors ,a seam ripper,  little screwdrivers , little rulers, etc.  

 The Mini Keeper ...      an attachable little pouch to hold your scissors and tools alongside of your sewing machine

  I decided to make up a free tutorial , so I could share the pattern with you .

The Mini Keeper   Tutorial   SS04  designed by Susie's Sunroom

      A printer friendly pdf file is here:    SS04  The Mini Keeper pdf


The Mini Keeper   Tutorial                                            SS04

                                       ~ design by Susie @ Susie’s Sunroom
      A handy, little pouch (“keeper” )  for small scissors and  sewing tools,  alongside your sewing machine

Finished dimensions:   8 ½ “  x 3 “  for pouch
Supplies list:   Fabric-    1 – 9 “ x 7 “  main fabric
1-      9 ” x 7 “ lining fabric
1 -  22 “ x 3 “ strap fabric  { can be lining fabric or an accent fabric}      *this length might need be adjusted to fit your sewing machine
                          Batting-    1 -  9 “ x 7 “ batting or fusible fleece  .  I recommend Pellon FF 987 fusible fleece
                           Velcro -    2 “ piece  Velcro strip , ¾  “ wide  (I recommend no sticky types)
                           Tape measurer  -   to see how long to make the straps

Measure your  sewing  machine:
Take your measuring tape and place it around your machine, in the same way you will be placing the straps for your pouch. 

 See in the photo above-  your pouch will be about 8 inches cross.  So,   22 inches will be long enough for the strap on this machine : the straps are sewn into the left and right sides of this “keeper” pouch.  You can adjust the length later,  before you sew the straps into the pouch sides.  

Cut fabrics:
Cut out :  1 main fabric  9” x 7 “
                  1 lining fabric  9” x 7 “
1-    Batting or fusible fleece 9 “ x 7 “  .   This is ironed (or basted) to the back side of outer main fabric.    *  I often use up my scraps of FF987 in this way.*

 Pieces of fusible fleece ironed onto back of main fabric

1           1-     Strap fabric 22 “ x 3 “    * adjust the length if needed, from the  measuring step page 2.

Making the pocket pouch:    
               Sew main outer fabric to lining fabric   

Lay lining fabric right side up.  Place main outer fabric right side down on top of lining. (Right sides together.)
Pin together, leaving a 2 ½ “  gap for turning. 

 Sew around all 4 sides, using a ¼ “ seam allowance.  Remember to   leave the 2 ½” opening.

Trim the excess fabric away from the corners. 
Turn the fabric…. that is, pull the main outer fabric out through the gap you left.   Carefully   push out the corners  and sides. Press with an iron  , and turn under the gap opening , so it will be sewn into the  seam later.
Put aside the pouch piece for now.

Make the straps:
Fold each short end in ¼ “ and iron.  (This creates finished ends.)
Create the long center crease by folding the strap fabric, wrong sides together, and ironing the fold.  (The piece will be 22 “  x 1 ½ “ now.)

Open up, and  then fold the top half in so the raw edge meets the newly created center crease.   Iron well.   Repeat this for the bottom half of the strip.  The raw edges are now meeting at that center crease . (Strip is 1 ½” at this point.)   Lastly,  fold the halves together so that the  folded edges meet , making the strip a final ¾ “.  Press well and pin.  { There are no raw edges at this point.}
Sew along all 4 edges with a 1/8” seam allowance.       Do not cut strap yet!

Place your measuring tape around your machine, so you can measure how long to make each strap.  I want my straps to meet in the back, so the short strap needs to be 4 ½ “.   The long strap is about 17 “.   

Cut the strap at 4 ½ “ from the left edge.  The remaining strap is about 17 “.
 Note:  the Velcro is 2 inches long, so there will be some “ give and take” for attaching it behind your machine.  It is not meant to be a “skin tight” fit.

Figure 2 A short and long strap

Sew the straps into the pouch:
Take the pouch fabric, and fold it in half, with the lining fabric on the inside. The fold  will now be at the bottom and it will measure 8 ½ ” x 3 ½ “.
 Pin the sides together, after inserting one strap into each side.  Each strap should be placed about 1 inch from the top  edge of the pouch .

Sew each 3 ½” side together with a ¼” seam allowance.    Reinforce your stitches at the beginning and end.     Hint:  I often start at the bottom  edge (the folded edge) , and sew up towards the top. It is easier to finish up on the  thicker edge.

Now we are ready to add the Velcro to the ends of the straps.

 Position your Mini Keeper on your sewing machine:
It is very  helpful to place your pouch where you want it to be positioned on your sewing machine.  You will probably want your “mini keeper” to be at a spot that is not on top of your power cord or on/off switch.   It will be most likely be long enough to fit around the front corner of your machine.

Pin the ends of the straps together on the back side of your machine. Make it fit to your own personal preference.  This will show you where you need to sew the Velcro  pieces on.  Place pins so you know where to center each Velcro strip.   There will be some “give and take”  since the Velcro is 2 inches long.  This is a ’ relaxed fit .’ 

Figure 3 This is the way you will want it to connect at  the back side of your sewing machine.

Pin the Velcro onto each strap.
 One  piece of Velcro is pinned to the top side of the strap ( the short piece.)  And the other piece of Velcro is pinned to the bottom side of the other strap ( the longer strap.)  Double check this before sewing!

Important details in this next  picture :

Worth saying again:          Add one piece of  the Velcro to the TOP side of the short strap.
             Add the other piece of Velcro to the BOTTOM side of the long strap. 

Sew the Velcro to the short strap.  (The top side )  I shorten my stitch length to 2.0, and go around all four sides twice.   (Probably overkill!)
Next sew the other piece of Velcro to the long strap (the bottom side) in the same manner.

Figure 4 Sewing the velcro on to the strap

We are almost done now!
If you would like to make sections in the pouch, you can sew a seam down the front of the pouch to make pocket sections.  I made 2 pockets in my mini keeper, by sewing one seam down the center of the pouch.  You could create a narrow pocket, too, for your seam ripper.

This Mini Keeper can  "keep" a lot of sewing tools!

Position your “Mini Keeper” at your sewing machine, and adjust the straps so they will connect with the Velcro at the back.
The back of my Viking sewing machine.

Side and front view of my Viking machine

My Viking sewing machine is ready to go now… with my tools right at my fingertips!

 I made a second Mini Keeper for my other machine, the Baby Lock Creative Pro. (I didn't want her to get jealous!)

The Mini Keeper on my Baby Lock machine


Please share your pictures of any scissors keeps that you make, in our ATPSA Flickr Group! We'd love to see them.

Last thing...                       Cute Swap Alert:   

 The Skinny Pincushion Swap  at Amy Made That!

                Sign ups close on  Jan 31 at midnight EST, at Amy Made That!

Some skinny pincushions that I made , with the free pattern
Amy,  of Amy Made That! blog, is hosting this cute pincushion swap.  Here's her description of this swap:
A Skinny Pincushion is easy to make.
You can add some assorted goodies just for fun,
then send it off to a happy new friend...
and wait for your OWN Skinny Pincushion to arrive
from another swappy friend!

There are nearly 50 "swappy friends" signed up so far... from countries all over the world.  Maybe you'd like to make a new sewing friend... so  join in a simple and fun swap with us!

I'm off to my sewing room!

Linking up at Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts    and
                    And Sew We Craft Together @ And Sew We Craft  and
 Threading My Way  Sewing Accessaries Linky @ Threading My Way


  1. Fun idea! It looks like you are pretty organized lady :-)

  2. What a great tutorial, and it's so well-written! You are a natural teacher! I'm putting this on my Pinterest board for Tutorials.

  3. Oh my - what a clever idea and so handy to have it right there by the side of your machine. I love how your mini keeper co-ordinates with your skinny pincushion. I'm gonna make me one of these with some red gingham hearts added.

  4. How clever! Maybe keeping my scissors from straying is a possibility! Thanks for the great tutorial.
    Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

  5. My favorite is when darling meets useful!! Cute scissor keeps and mini keeper and thanks for the tutorial!

  6. thanks for the tutorial, this is such a good idea. I can never find my scissors or seam ripper when I'm at the machine.

  7. I love your scissors keeper! You did a nice project and a beautiful tutorial. I don't understand how it works this challenge, but I'm interested! I went to visit the Flickr group "Sew Along Across the Pond" and I joined the group. I visited the blog The Patchsmith and I really like! When new projects come out?
    Thanks for the tutorial, it is a good idea and above all practical!
    Marisa from

    1. A new project comes out the first of every month, in our blogs. You can find it also in the Discussions / Topics section in the Flickr group, too. So glad you are joining... can't wait to see what you will sew with us!

  8. Great tutorial Susie. I know I need one. And I can't wait for the mini pincushion swap, any size dimensions? Just to be sure I don't make a fat one! LOL

  9. A fabulous idea to have those small things right where you need them. Great tutorial.

    1. I've featured your mini keeper today...

  10. I will be making one of these. Thanks so much for the great tutorial.

  11. What a great idea! I am going to pin it, it will be perfect for quilt retreats!

  12. merci merci merci trop trop bien amitiés

  13. Eeeek! Susie, I've just seen your tutorial for your sewing machine mini keeper ..... it is sooooo on my list to make! Can't understand how I hadn't thought of something like this, except I have always used my tiny travel kits for all my odds and ends. I've only recently started quilting and now have more gadgets I need to hand at the machine!
    So pleased to meet you, and thank you for sharing your tutorial!
    Barbara xx


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