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Installing Zipper - Tutorial

Installing Zipper - Tutorial

When I was just learning to sew and didn't understand how to install a zipper at all, I looked for tutorials on Pinterest and Youtube, many posts mentioned that sewing zippers is something scary for crafters, sometimes even avoided because it is often wrong or not neat, the term installing zippers is something that makes us frustrated, especially if we are beginners.

    But, fear not, it's only natural to be wrong or sloppy because over time we will find the "in between" that will make us comfortable and proficient without realizing it, this is what is called the learning process, in my opinion.

So, for friends who don't feel tired of trying until they are neat, here I will describe a tutorial for installing a zipper, this is basically if you want to make a zipper pouch, for example a boxy pouch which is usually used as a container for storing daily makeup supplies, making a pocket in a bag, or a half-square triangle pouch.

Basic sewing - Zipper tab

Zipper tabs are the additional "wings" at either end of a zipper.

This wing is needed if we want to lengthen or tidy up the zipper. If you're familiar with zippers, there's usually an end of the zipper that has unraveled threads, which can be distracting, so this zipper tab can be used to tidy up. And if the length of the zipper we have doesn't match the length of the fabric, we need some kind of extension [like on hair, hehe] or wings to make it the right length.

There are various ways to make zipper tabs, what I will describe here is the method that I think is the neatest of all, and I have mastered it so I can share the "in between".

    This is why we learn so hard, so we can pass it on to others. Who's with me?

Steps to make and sew a zipper tab:

    We need a piece of fabric, iron folded in half, then folded inward on both sides so that we get 2 folds 1 cm wide. The size of the fabric can be adjusted according to the difference in the required zipper length [if the zipper length is less], and if it is to trim the ends of the zipper, I usually use the length x width = 4 x 2 cm. Make two pieces for both ends of the zipper. *The folds can be seen in the photo below.

Sewing tip #1. To make it easier to sew the zipper tab [using a sewing machine], I usually increase the width [> 2 cm]. The length remains the same [1 cm, if folded].

Now we have our future "wings", there are 2 of them. Cut the two ends of the zipper to trim it, about 1/2 cm from the clamp-button border. Place the zipper in the middle of the crease. Secure the position with a safety pin.

Installing Zipper - Tutorial

Installing Zipper - Tutorial

Installing Zipper - Tutorial

Cut off the excess fabric width at both ends of the zipper, adjust to the width of the zipper. And zipper tab done!

Installing Zipper - Tutorial

Installing Zipper - Tutorial

Basic sewing - Installing Zipper

 Place the zipper in a position where the zipper head is facing towards the good side of the fabric. Make sure the edge of the fabric is aligned with the edge of the zipper. Secure the position with a wonder clip or needle or baste stitch.

Installing Zipper - Tutorial

Sew on the machine, using a zipper foot. Please note that, the zipper foot in my photo is the default zipper foot from the Janome sewing machine, please use the zipper foot provided by your sewing machine, it doesn't have to be the same model like this because there are several types of zipper foot models.

    Sewing tip #2. Make sure the edge of the zipper foot is parallel to the edge of the fabric and zipper. This is the standard distance that I often use, to make sure that the zipper is in a straight position and neatly sewn.

Make sure the stitches are straight. And done, the result can be seen below. Close with overlock stitching, if the lining fabric has been attached as well. Do this step again for the other side of the zipper.

Sewing tip #3. If you want to affix a D ring or other hook, it can be done after both sides of the fabric are attached and have been overlapped with the lining fabric.

Installing Zipper - Tutorial

Happy sewing

Installing Zipper - Tutorial


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