Thursday, 21 March 2013

All Around Zip Tutorial

I've just finished making a travel wallet with an all-around zip as part of a custom order and I thought you might like to know how to add this kind of zip.  What do you think?  Shall we give it a's not as difficult as you might think...fiddly, yes, difficult no.

So here is what you will need (this tutorial only refers to how to add the zip and not how to make the wallet.)

- The lining of your project all made up and ready to go
- Outer fabric
- 1 x zip long enough to go all around your project (plus a few inches extra)
- Bias binding
- Your usual sewing kit

OK, here we go....find the centre line of your project either by measuring or iron a light crease down the centre.  Take one side of your fully opened zip and starting at the top of your lining, pin the zip along the edge so that the teeth are facing inwards.  Fold under the end of the zip and leave a gap between each side of the zip, this helps to get a neat finish.

(Ignore my overhanging lining - I was adjusting the length of my finished wallet!). 

Corners can be tricky.  Clip a notch into the zip tape to make it bend around the curve.

Pin your zip around both sides; when you reach the centre bottom, fold your extra length of zip into your lining and pin it to keep it out of the way.  It's worth taking the time to get this step right so that things look even.

With your zipper foot attached, sew all around your zip starting at the top.  

I sewed close to the outer edge as I wanted to create some width in the wallet to hold several passports; you can adjust this depending on the needs of your project.

Take your time with this step - especially around the corners, pivot your lining around whilst the needle is down to sew around the corners.

Once you've sewn around both sides of the zip, check that your project closes!

Now to attach the bias binding to your lining.  Open out the top fold and sew down the crease onto your zip (again, go slow!  Make sure your zipper teeth are out of the way!)  I started the binding at the bottom of lining and overlapped the ends for a neater finish.

Now flip your lining and the binding over to the other side; slot your outer fabric on top (right side up) - you may need to trim the fabric or cut the corners slightly to get it to fit.  I found it useful to have a little (teeny tiny!) overhang to make sure that the stitches caught the fabric.

Fold your binding into a nice neat edge and sew all around.  I found it useful to add a couple of basting stitches to the zip corners to keep the teeth down and out of the way.  Again, go super slow and keep checking that you're not sewing the zip teeth.  Take your time with the corners.

And there you have it...fold in half and you have an all around zip. 

Are you going to give this a go?  Let me know how your projects went!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Kathryn.. it's prety clear and easy tutorial.. If I have time, I will trying to make 1 wallet for me too :)

Stephanie Fietek said...

Fantastic tutorial! I don't know why I didn't think to sew it this way :) I have been pondering this in my mind for some time as there is a project I am trying to complete that I would ideally like to have a full around zip. I haven't even tried because my fabric was very expensive and I wanted to be sure to have it right in my mind before starting. This has helped so much. Thank you for sharing on your blog!

I want to be able to gusset my zipper though - so my project is deep and can fit quite a bit in it...would you recommend the same procedure for the gusset? First sew, then add bias tape?

And you said the outer and the lining were finished first, yes? Were they also sewn together as well?

Thank you again for sharing. :)


Kathryn L said...

Hi Stephanie, thanks for your comment. I think I would add the gusset to the completed lining and perhaps sew the zip into place and once you're happy with the placement of the zip, finally add the bias binding.

I sewed the project by not sewing the outer and the lining together - this worked better than sewing them both together prior to adding the bias tape but it was using oilcloth - perhaps it might make a difference with fabric.

I'd love to know how you get on - good luck!