Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Utility Belt (Action Pack)

We've been living with Action Pack 4 for a couple of weeks now, really getting to know it. We printed out the whole thing (double-sided, at least, so we saved a few trees anyway), and I gave it to my nine-year-old. He loved it so much he brought it to school with him.

I kind of had a feeling he'd key right in on the utility belt, and I wasn't wrong! I admit when I looked at the directions my first thought was, Really? It looked involved. And it was, in a way, but it didn't take us  more than a couple of hours, and I already had a pair of adult jeans in my to-be-repurposed bag. I've been cutting patches out of the leg with the rip in it, but luckily the other leg was whole and just waiting to be turned into a utility belt.

First, though, I had to do some Aussie-to-American translating. The materials lists includes a "press stud kit," and when I read through the directions I thought press studs were the same as snaps, but maybe I was wrong and a press stud is something completely different I've never heard of? I checked with my Australian friend Bells and she confirmed yes, those would be snaps. For the record, I used the Dritz heavy duty snap kit with tools, shown below after I'd installed all six snaps. The silver post and black plastic piece are the tools (you need a hammer, too), and the metal spiky thing came from my husband's tool box. It's a nail setting tool, 1/32" size, and I used it to poke the holes in the fabric, also with a hammer, before installing the snaps. The way it's graduated at the tip there, it makes it easy to slowly enlarge the hole enough to fit the snap piece through, but not too much by accident.


I'm a bit ahead of myself though! Without revealing exactly how we made it (you'll have to buy the Action Pack yourself for directions), I'll say that I was hoping my son could do more of it. He's left-handed, and I only have right-handed fabric scissors, so cutting the denim was out. He did help make the template and trace it onto the denim, and he helped a bit with the hammering, but wow, that took a lot of whacking to get those snaps in. He's never used the sewing machine before and this wasn't the project with which to teach him... my sewing machine did not like sewing through several layers of denim, even with the heavier needle. It made some scary noises, and at the end, my presser foot came off. Unhappy machine.

This is what the utility belt looked like after sewing and installing the top snaps and one of the bottom ones, when I took a break from hammering snaps (and my thumb, a couple of times) to start dinner. I kind of wonder what the neighbors thought about all the banging coming from our deck?

And here's the finished utility belt, with six pockets ready to be filled with whatever my son wants. There are belt loops on the back (it was sewing those on that really upset my machine) so you can weave a belt through and strap it on, ready for Exploration and Adventure.

While I had the topstitch needle in the machine, I sewed some Velcro together to make another item from this Action Pack, the flower (or perhaps leaf or seaweed, depending) press.

Whew. That was much easier.

1 comment:

bellsknits.com said...

it's done! Fantastic. I love that you didn't have to buy any denim for it. I must remember that!

Well done. It's really great and I'm sure very useful!