Sunday, September 13, 2009

Zipper Tutorial

Making small purses and pouches from T-shirt yarn I encountered two problems:
1. How to machine sew a zipper in at all.
2. How to make stoppers on re-used zippers from bags or re-used zippers cut to size.

1. Problem with my t-yarn work is I could only do it by hand. The items are too small and rigid to work under the machine.

Not being happy with the results, especially when using a contrasting colour I came up with the following solution.

In fact it was simple. When the flat pouch or purse (crocheted in the round) is finished I add two separate rows of single crochet on each side. I now have two open sides and I can bend the opposite flap away and easily machine sew the zipper in.

2. Zippers from manufactured bags often don’t have stoppers at all because of the way they’re sewed in. Then again if they do or when I use zippers from reclaimed clothing I often have to cut them to fit my project so I either loose the front or back lock. In my old model I tried to tuck them away in my work the same way as in the manufactured bags using the end of the purse to lock the zipper puller.

But it’s a clumsy process, causing lumpy folds and it just doesn’t look professional. But with my added rows, before fitting the zipper in I can sew on a stopper from a piece of strong fabric, like from an old jeans.

I cut the zipper at about 1’’ longer than the project on each side or on one side if I have one stopper already. Cut one or two rectangular pieces from the fabric slightly wider than the zipper that folded make about a square. Seam all around then fold around the zipper end and sew the sides together all around. Sew a cross from corner to corner for extra strength.

And voilĂ , the zipper end(s) hang(s) outside the purse like you see sometimes in manufactured pieces.

On top you can ‘play’ with the stoppers, using matching fabric, fancy fabric, embroider them, print your logo on or whatever!

You can purchase the green purse showed here.

5 comments:

Arteth said...

How clever! Thank you for posting this. I have been struggling with zippers and your advice will be very useful.

RecycleCindy said...

Excellent information and great ideas on putting in a zipper with a end. I just completed a felted purse and tucked in the zipper but it's as you say, it's a bit lumpy and doesn't lay down smoothly. I will have to try your method next time.

Le-Chat said...

Thank you Arteth. Love your rag purse too!
Hey Cindy, did you see I joined the t-yarn group on Ravelry? Hope to finally post some projects soon. When you felt make sure the flaps are tall enough. Otherwise you may end up with too little space and to much thickness to sew the zipper on because the edges may curl up especially in the corners.

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Leela said...

Thank you for sharing this! Very nice.