Liberty lanyards

For the past year, I have been using a bright orange lanyard to keep my office security tag handy. The colour is cheerful, and it can go in the washing machine when it starts to look a bit grubby. And it was free from a conference that my husband or I attended at some point in time.

Was it stylish? No! But it was better than the basic black of my colleagues’.

In my drawer of requirement (like Harry Potter’s room of requirement, but smaller), I had squirreled away a few of the metal whatsits that go on the end of lanyards. All I needed to do was make the ribbon bit. Obviously, Liberty lawn was the go-to fabric for the fashion-conscious office worker.

How to make Liberty lanyards

Make some to coordinate with every outfit!

How to

If you want to make your own lanyard, all you need is:

  • a strip of lightweight fusible interfacing 1 x 38–40 inches
  • a strip of fabric 2 x 38–40 inches
  • metal lanyard whatsit
  • coordinating thread

You can make your lanyard any length. I chose to aim for a finished length of approximately 36 inches because my orange lanyard is 36 inches, and that seemed to be a good size.

The interfacing is optional, really, but I chose to use it because I thought it might help minimise any show-through on the fine Liberty lawn. With regular quilting cotton, show-through is less of a problem, but I think interfacing might still be a useful addition to help prevent stretching on looser weave cottons. I chose to fuse interfacing to only the centre of the strip so it did not end up too stiff.

Here is what you need to do:

  • Fuse the interfacing along the centre of the wrong side of your fabric. I just eyeballed it without measuring as I ironed it down.
  • Fold the strip in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together, then fold each half again into the centre.
  • Give it all a good press.
  • Trim off each end at a 45-degree angle. An angled join helps to reduce bulk.
How to make Liberty lanyards

Fuse a strip of lightweight interfacing down the centre of your fabric strip. Press, and trim the ends to 45-degree angles.

  • Slide the metal whatsit onto the strip. It is really important you do this before joining the strip’s ends to form a loop.
  • Check that you have not twisted your loop before sewing the ends together. Finger press the seam open.
How to make Liberty lanyards

Slide the metal whatsit on the strip, and sew the ends to form a loop.

  • Top stitch on either side of the strip, sliding the metal whatsit out of the way as you sew.
    You might want to experiment on a scrap first. I used my sewing machine’s satin stitch foot and moved the needle to the far right. I found a few pins along the open edge helped keep everything in place as I sewed.
How to make Liberty lanyards

Top-stitch along both sides, close to the edge.

  • Add a line or an X of top-stitching to hold the metal whatsit in place.
How to make Liberty lanyards

Sew an X in a square to hold the metal whatsit in place.

  • Make others to coordinate with every outfit or to give to your friends.
  • Wear it with pride and be the envy of all your office colleagues.

I used metal whatsits that I reclaimed from other conference lanyards and nametags, but I am reliably told they can be bought on eBay. Everything can be bought on eBay.

Does anyone know what the metal whatsits are actually called?

7 thoughts on “Liberty lanyards

  1. They are called Lanyard Alligator Clips 🙂 A fact I only know because I’ve spent an unfeasible amount of time looking at lanyards, pockets and clips in the last week or so. Do NOT ask me why. Your lanyards are extremely handsome, much nicer than the orange ones I’ve bought. Perhaps I’ll make my own personalised one for the rally…

  2. Very pretty! Not sure I’d be allowed to replace my school one with this, but it’s eorth a try! Maybe more women would wear them if they looked like this!

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