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Our latest SWAP is all about the zipper pouch and many of you have mentioned that zippers can be scary! So, whether it’s shortening your zipper, general installation, or even the basics of where to find them… we have you covered.
Let’s start out with the basics.
In order to really dig into and understand zippers, it is important to know about all the working parts. This picture from The Sewing Loft clearly explains it all! A few key things to consider when selecting a zipper for your project is size of teeth, color of tape, length and style.
A standard zipper (shown above) is perfect for our zipper bag swap but you would need a separating zipper to create a jacket that opens in the front. This means that when open, the zipper will actually be in two separate pieces.
When shopping for your next project, it is important to keep in mind that zippers come in all different sizes and colors. That means that you can pretty much find every color under the sun on the market today.
Things to know before you head to the store:
- length of opening
- type of teeth (metal or nylon)
- an idea of color selection or better yet, bring a swatch with you
Before you head to your machine:
- grab your zipper foot or better yet, the narrow zipper foot.
- instead of pins consider a washable glue stick or mini quilting clips. These will help keep your zipper in place for sewing and prevent bent pins.
Tips For Sewing Zippers
If you are ready to start but are nervous, don’t be. There are so many great tutorials and classes available on the internet today to help you stitch with confidence. Here are a few to help you get stitching.
This free class will walk you through the basics step by step of simple bag making. Class includes patterns for a reversible tote bag and simple zipper pouch and is perfect for beginners.
This free class is perfect for those wanting to move beyond the simple zipper bag. In class Sunni will demonstrate how to shorten a zipper, stabilize zipper area and review different zipper applications/installation. It is one that you will want in your library for sure!
If you are looking to dive right in, Nancy Zieman has a great tutorial for standard zipper installation.
Want to add a splash of color or print to your project? Consider grabbing a piece of scrap fabric to create a zipper tab at each end. This technique is especially helpful when your zipper is too long or slightly too short.
Now that you have the zipper basics down, it’s time to get stitching! Here is a mega list of free zipper bags to stitch up.