July 18, 2007

Zippy Zips

Seems like lately when I've posted pictures of my zippy pouches, I've been getting a lot of questions about how I attach the zippers. Well, here's what you've all been waiting for...the zippy zip mini tutorial! Wow! But seriously, this is an age old way of putting a zipper in a pouch, I just don't like the weird corners you get with a zipper going all the way to the edge. I didn't use a pattern, but this isn't rocket surgery folks.

Cut two small pieces of the fabric of your choice . This is a great way to use the little leftover bits. You need a piece big enough so that you can fold it in half and still reach the end of your pouch/bag. You'll end up with a tab at each end of the zipper. I like to make them too long and wide, then trim them later. Place the folded edge over the end of the zipper with just enough space so that you can stitch close to the fold without breaking your needle on the zipper stop/end. Then just top stitch through the fabric and zipper. If the tab is wider than the zipper, trim it to the width of the zipper tape. Once you've done this to both ends, trim the tabs so that the zipper & it's tabs are the same width as your pouch/bag.


Now, on the wrong side of the zipper, trim the ends of the zipper tape with pinking shears. I like to leave about 1/4". This way when you stitch the sides of your bag together, there's less bulk for turning. You'll never see this part once the bag's done because it gets tucked way up into the corner.


Now for the fun part. Place the zipper with it's tabs face down on one side panel of your pouch/bag. You have to stop and think at this point. Make sure you know what's what. Which side do you want the zipper pull to be on when the bag is closed? Is it the front or the back side? Anyway, line up the edge of the zipper and tabs with the top edge of your pouch, right sides together. Pin in place, trying not to make it too wobbly with pins. Take a lining piece and line it up with that same edge, right side together with the side panel. So, what you have now is the outside of the bag facing the zipper and the lining. Like a little sandwich with the zipper in between. Stitch through all three layers with about a 1/4" seam allowance. Press so the seam allowances are going away from the zipper and then do the same thing for the other side.


Now topstitch close to each edge and you have a very neatly placed zipper.


Here's what it looks like on the inside. A nice, neat and enclosed zipper. For a zippy pouch, I just fold in half at this point and stitch the open edges. Make sure the zipper is open for turning or you'll have a battle on your hands. Be sure to clip the corner to avoid bulk once it's turned.

Hope this all makes sense, happy zipping!

27 comments:

Vintage Indie said...

Great tutorials! A lot of hard work goes into all those pictures and details. Hopefully one day I'll be able to move up from sewing a straight line to a zippy!

Thanks

Megan said...

Wonderful tutorial! :) thanks!!

African Kelli said...

Um, FABULOUS! I am a pretty good sewer and mastered my zipper foot a long time ago. I stared for about an hour at your flickr photos trying to figure out how you did that. I cannot thank you enough for this!

BEELICIOUS said...

I avoid zippers like the plague!
but, after reading this Great tutorial I think I just might be able to put a zipper in!

Ha! Thanks so Much :o)

LeeAnn said...

Genious! Pure genious. Thanx!

jessi said...

What a great little tutorial - thanks! I'll have to give it a try!

nikki/WhiMSy love said...

I've never sewn a zipper in my life. But your tutorial kinda makes me wanna. For reals.

iSew said...

Thanks for the nice comments everyone!

She'sSewPretty said...

Oh thank you!! I hate doing zippers but, you made this look so much easier. I am going to try it on my next bag!

Katie Jean said...

This is great! I'm going to have to try it!!

Keri said...

Thanks for this tutorial!!! I wouldn't have figured it out on my own either. :)

zenzhey said...

Thank you for the tutorial! I am one of the ones that stared at your pouches for hours trying to figure out how you did such neat corners! Thank you! This is wonderful!

Carla said...

I just found your blog from Flickr. You do such beautiful work. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I'm going to try it today!

Miss Dot said...

oh THANK YOU so much! I have been trying to figure out how to do that for soooo long!!!! can I put a link to you on my tutorials links? just brilliant. I came via African Kelli.

Regina said...

Ingenious!!! Thanks so much!

amandajean said...

thanks for the wonderful tutorial! I can't wait to try adding the tabs on the ends. thanks for sharing. :)

Gnomedog said...

This is a great tutorial, but I need more help. The outside of my pouch looks great, but the lining inside is bunched up on each end. Would you please cover the last step more clearly? Do you sew the lining & outside separately then turn so that no seams show inside? If so, what direction do you push the zipper to before sewing? I think this is where I went wrong.

Thanks!

Thanks again!

quiltingcarter said...

Finding your tutorial has changed my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I have shared it with my handbag group and printed it out for myself. I put it in word and enlarged the print because I had trouble seeing it in the font size and colors, but I am old. LOL Your pouches are awesome.Thanks so much
barbara carter (quiltingcarter)

Lisa said...

Thank you so much for the lovely tutorial. I have been making some little zipper pouches, and I don't care for the corners either. I can't wait to try this out!

shannon said...

Ok, never mind my earlier question about how you do your zippers! I just found this tutorial -- thank you, thank you!

janep said...

Your tutorial has changed the way I do my zippers for pouches forever. Thanks! Pls check out my retro flower zipper pouch I made at http://projectsbyjane.blogspot.com/

Orchidophile said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! Awesome!

Lee-Anne Gilbert said...

Thanks so much for sharing your zipper insertion technique... I have just made a pouch using my hand dyes and your technique... I have posted it on my blog... with a link back to your tutorial.. Love your work by the way!! Lx

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

Bec Clarke said...

I know this is not a new tutorial but I just found it and I love it. I wish I had found it before christmas, I made so many zippered things.
Thank you so much for being so generous with your knowledge

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nana b said...

Great tutorial. I love the bird fabric that you used. Would you still know the line of fabric.