After the storm

Zippered bag tutorial

I am late with today's post as I have been teaching all weekend and have more classes this week.  I tried to come up with a different way of putting a zipper and lining into a small bag and as I had a bundle of lace zippers decided to use one of these.  Lace zippers are more delicate than your normal zip  so don't pull to hard or they will rip.  I am sure there are other tutorials like mine as this type of zippered bag is quite common. 

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You can vary the size to suit your zipper length by moving the centre line right or left.  I don't think I would make it any smaller than about an 8" zip but you could make it bigger.  (This drawing would fit on an A4 piece of paper.)

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When I ordered these zippers I thought I would get pretty colours like I had received before.  This time they were dark maroons and browns.  I thought of throwing them away but just couldn't do that.  So I have had to change my approach.

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I went to my stash and found 2 fat quarters that I didn't know what to do with.    The main fabric was very light so I ironed some interfacing to this, then cut out my pieces.  There is a bit of wastage after I had cut out the bag but I striped these and added them to my box of strips.

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With right sides together  sew the upper edges of the lining and main fabric together with 1/4" seam and then trimmed it back to 1/8" .

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Take a bit of time to do this next bit.  Open the seam flat and iron seam allowance towards the main fabric.

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Then re-iron the edges so they sit together.  You are going to add your zipper over this so taking time to get it right makes inserting the zipper easier.

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Position the opening end of your zipper with the edge of the fabric.  (I find these little clips great for this job.)  My zipper is longer than the opening so I will have to shorten it.

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Sew the zipper to this upper edge using your zipper foot..  Now that is easier said than done.  If you sew it too close it gets stuck in the teeth.   I position the edge of my fabric so that I can see through the top line of holes in the lace.

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Open the top ends of your zipper to make getting around the pull easier.  Once you have done this close the zip again.

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Iron flat using an ironing cloth, those plastic teeth can melt.

The next step is to sew the side seams of the main fabric and lining together but first make sure you zipper teeth are sitting high.

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Once your have these in position join your side seams using a 1/4" seam..

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 11.21.58 am Make sure you have opened your zipper before sewing the bottom seam.

Sew the bottom seam on both the bag and lining.  Leave an opening in the lining to turn your bag through.

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Opening the lining seam and press open this will make stitching it closed easier.

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Next step is to box the corners.  Now you might find that all the corners look like this.

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But sometimes you get one that looks like this.

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Just cut it so the both side are the same. (2" each side)

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Match you seams and sew across using a 1/4" seam.  On the main fabric put the thickness each side of the seam.
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On the lining open the seam and sew across.

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Now we are ready to turn the bag through.  I would do this next to my iron.  As you turn it to the right side iron those boxed corners flat before you sit the lining in place. You can now ladder stitch the opening in the lining closed.  You have nice sharp edges to make this easier.

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Then iron the triangle in the ends in place and along the bottom edge.  Get inside your bag with your iron and make sure that the fabric sits flat.  (Sometimes a little spray starch can make a big difference to your finish.)

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And there you have it.

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I quite like that dark zipper now.


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Very clear. And the bag looks lovely!

GREAT tutorial!
The zipper was made for that fabric!

Carolyn Foley

Thanks. It is an easy little bag.

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