Sunday, August 16, 2015

Zipper Bags Simplified: Part 1 of 4

Zipper bags are one of my favorite things to make. I have tried to produce the simplest tutorial to help even a beginner make one successfully. Please let me know if you have any questions, or I can make something more understandable.

We are making a bag that uses a 5" nylon zipper, and measures approximately 5"x7" (13x17 cm). Once you know the general technique, you can change the dimensions of both your zipper and bag with ease.

Start by selecting your zipper, and materials. Your zipper length will determine one dimension of your bag. 

  • Improvisationally pieced block approximately 5.5" x 7.5" or 13 x 17 cm
  • Backing fabric the same size as your front block
  • 2 pieces of fabric the same size as the backing for lining
  • 2 pieces of batting the same size as lining or just slightly larger
  • 5" nylon zipper
  • Fabric scrap approximately 2" x 7" for outer zipper facing
  • Fabric scrap same size as outer zipper facing for inner zipper facing
  • 2 fabric scraps approximately 1" x 2" or more to cover the end of the zipper

Sew your fabric scraps 1"x 2"+ to each end of your zipper with right sides together using your zipper foot. Avoid the metal areas that may damage your needle. Get as close as possible to the metal ends. *This stitching is very important as you will be trimming off the excess parts of the zipper when squaring up, and it will keep your zipper teeth together.

Split your 2" x 7" contrasting fabric in half lengthwise. If you have a large pattern like above, pay attention to which side of the zipper each will go on to not interrupt the pattern. It doesn't make a difference in function, but will look more polished.

Center each piece beside your zipper, and stitch on using a zipper foot. Stay to each side of the zipper at least 3/8" to allow the zipper to move freely. As you approach the zipper tab with the zipper foot, stop with your needle down to unzip or zip up to avoid colliding with the foot. 

Make sure the zipper functions well, but do not press the fabric back from the zipper yet.

Do the same with the zipper facings, working from the under side of the zipper. Try to gauge your sewing seam on top of the first seam. 

Again, check that the zipper will function well, and it does not catch on the facings.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.


Unknown said...

Great images. But a four part series? I like reading the end of the novel to see how they turn out. How Charles dickens of you. Kidding with sew much love Wanda

Eliot syr said...

Looking forward to the following parts. I have never sewn a zipperbag this way, I have to try. Thank you.

Sandra Walker said...

This looks interesting! I've never seen a zipper faced like this. How's your owie? Had a "awww, I remember that!" moment when I saw your hand. Sniff.

Stitchin At Home said...

This is a different method of doing a zipper facing for sure.

evaj said...

Tack för din länkning denna veckan Julie och den inspiration du ger oss alla på Visa och Berätta måndag!!Bambikram

Home Ec. Mel said...

Thanks for linking up to Fiber Tuesday!