Zipper de do da: The Tutorial Version!

From Natalie of Cinderberry Stitches;

A little while ago now The Oz Material Girls invited me to write a guest blog post and share some tips. I guess that is how the zip tutorial came about - I was one person who would avoid zips at all costs.

So here it is, a tutorial on how to insert the zips featured in the latest Cinderberry design Me & My Shadow. They are not nearly as difficult as I had remembered back in those high school sewing classes and I hope the tutorial will help you discover something new.

The original zip tutorial idea I had evolved into a little zip pouch tutorial - something that you could make any size you like to fit any number of things...sewing stuff, nappy & wipes or maybe travel documents.

There will be two parts to the tutorial so don't forget to take another peek tomorrow for "Part Two" making it into a simple pouch.

Things you will need:
  • One 7 inch zip
  • One 5½ in x 8½ in rectangle (front)
  • One 5½ in x 2 in strip (front)
  • One 7 in x 8½ in rectangle (back)
  • One 2 in x 11 in strip (handle)
  • A zipper foot for your sewing machine
Finished pouch measures approx: 5¼ in x 7¼ in (pouch is not lined)

Step 1:

Lay the 5½ in x 8½ in rectangle on a flat surface with right side facing up, open your zip and place onto the long side of the rectangle (make sure the zip is facing down toward the fabric). Pin together the zipper tape and fabric like below -
Step 2:

The best way to sew close to the zipper teeth is by using a zipper foot like the one below.

Leave the zip in the open position when you begin to sew. If you can adjust the position of your needle (to the left or right) use this feature on your sewing machine - it will help you stitch nice and close to the zip. Sew as close as you can to the zipper teeth and don't forget to breathe, I think I forgot to the first time - it's an invaluable tool.
Step 3:

Now when you get close to the end of the zip (near the slider & pull tab part) put your needle in the down postition and lift the machine foot. Pull the zipper closed so it removes the bulk from the slider and pull tab, position the machine foot back down and continue sewing toward the end of the zip - believe me, this tip alone will help prevent your stitching going wonky.

Remove from the machine, trim your loose threads and press.

Step 4:

Lay the 5½ in x 2 in strip on a flat surface with right side facing up, open your zip and place onto the long side of the strip (make sure the zip is facing down toward the fabric). Pin zipper tape and fabric together like below -

Sew together using the same techniques shown in STEP 2 - once pressed your zip should look something like this one below.
Step 5:

The final step is to topstitch the zip so you have a nice finished edge.

Close the zip and use the same zipper foot on the sewing machine. If you can, move the needle position to the left toward the fabric edge and stitch. If the zip slider and pull tab gets in the way near the end of the seam, leave your needle in the down position on the machine, lift the foot and pull the slider out of the way opening the zip - then complete the seam.


This is exactly how I sewed the zip pockets together in the pattern Me & My Shadow (just using an 8 inch zip instead)
Let your imagination run free and have a play around...I think you'll be singing "zipper de do dah" in no time.

Till then (Part 2 tomorrow!)

Natalie x