I've decided the best way to start off the new year is to fulfill my promise to do a series of tutorials on zippers. Today's tutorial is on putting zippers into little pouches.
But first a little history.
The year was 1979.
Most of you weren't even born yet. But you'd be surprised to know that the sewing machine had been invented and there was actually electricity. Anyway. I loved to sew and long kettle cloth dresses were all the rage. (Kettle cloth? Oh, never mind.) (My fabric was delft blue with cornflowers on it, made by Concord I think, but I digress). I remember putting in and taking out what seemed to be a mile long zipper at least a dozen times. Just couldn't get it straight. Every time I tried to sew around the zipper pull I'd get a detour in my seam. I was a perfectionist and that little curve around the pull drove me absolutely crazy! Fortunately I had very long hair and it covered up my boo boo quite nicely. (After that I always looked for patterns without zippers).
Fast forward to 1995.
We were new Bernina dealers and were getting ready to do a presentation on zipper feet for Bernina Club. Annette and I tried and tried to get a nice looking zipper in the front of a jacket. Nothing was working until we found a helpful hint in a book somewhere.
So my dear readers, because I love you I'm going to share that simple hint with you here. Thanks to this post your zippers will be forever straight.
Now back to our tutorial:
These make the most practical gifts. Fill with cosmetics, undies or dirty clothes (please don't give them filled with dirty clothes, let the recipient fill it with her own dirty clothes).
I have a small one that I carry my sewing machine feet and thread to classes when I go to sewing machine conventions. You can make them any size and they are a cute way to organize your stuff in your handbag, diaper bag or suitcase.
With Valentines Day just around the corner I thought small ones would be cute filled with candy or other small gifts. And because they take so little fabric I'll just bet some of you may have all the ingredients in your stash. (Remember who you're dealing with here people. I'm the lady that sells you all this stuff - I, unlike your husband, see what you take home in those little red bags!)
So. Are you excited?
Lets get started.
First, you're gonna need these.
You can use regular zippers or these. The cool thing about Sullivan's zippers is that they come on a roll with lots of pulls and come in all kinds of neat colors. You simply measure what you need, slide one zipper pull onto the needed piece and cut.
See. The instructions are right there on the package.
You can also use regular zippers for this project. Since you will be cutting your zipper to fit your bag, this is a great project for using up those left over zippers we all seem to accumulate in our sewing rooms. (Remember. If you have it in your stash and didn't buy it for this project it's considered FREE).
Decide how large you want your finished bag and cut two pieces that size out of the outside fabric and two pieces from the lining fabric.
Take one of the outside pieces and lay the zipper face down on it, right sides together.
With your zipper foot on your machine, sew close to the teeth of the zipper. If you have a machine that lets you move your needle position to the left this is the time to use it. (Here comes the Helpful Hint that will change your life forever): As you get close to the pull of the zipper stop with your needle down and move the zipper pull out of your way by pulling it back to where you have already sewn then finish sewing the zipper to the outside fabric. (The black arrow below is pointing to the zipper pull that I have pulled out of my way).
I can hear you gasping.
Brilliant I know.
I'll give you a minute to compose yourselves and we'll continue.
Now place the lining on top of the outside fabric, right sides together with the sewn zipper all snug in between the two fabrics. With the outside fabric on top, sew just to the inside of the previously sewn seam.
Now do that all again with the remaining two pieces of fabric, sewing them to the other half of the zipper. (Above red arrow). Remember. Each time you come to the zipper pull you are going to stop with the needle down, and move that bad boy out of your way.
Trim up the sides, getting rid of the extra zipper length that you don't need.
If you'd like to add a tag or ribbon into the seam, do that now. Just fold it in half and tuck it into the side seam with the raw edges in the seam.
Unzip your pouch. I repeat. UNZIP YOUR POUCH. If you don't unzip your pouch before this next step you will be sorry. Trust me! (Yes, Pam this step es muy importante!)
(Preview on cuteness to come).
Put the outside fabric right sides together and the lining fabric right sides together and sew together. Leave an opening on one side big enough to turn the whole thing through.
Helpful Hint Numero Dos: Take a more generous seam allowance when sewing the lining than when sewing the outside. Sometimes (okay, almost always) the lining gets all wadded up in there because it's too big and there is no where for it to go. So by taking a more generous seam allowance it lays nice and flat.
Now reach in there and pull the whole thing out through that unsewn hole. Sew up the hole either by hand or machine, and then tuck the lining into your bag.(This is where you'll be glad you listened and unzipped your bag).
That's it. You just put in a zipper. Correction. You just watched me put in a zipper.
Here's a pouch made from a hand towel from the clearance table at Target. The applique was already done for me. I just added the ric rac.
A cute pencil bag.
Can you stand the cuteness here? I'm just say'n.
Your homework this week boys and girls is to practice these simple bags because next week...Oh. My! You won't believe what we're gonna do with zippers next week!
Be prepared to be dazzled.
Encourage one another,