A friend asked me about my little bags and I realized I had never done a tutorial even though I had previously posted a photo of one of them. Oh and I guess there are some here as well.
Anyhow, she was specifically interested in how I did the zipper. So here is a tutorial for it. I wish I had more time (it being the holidays and all) to do a nicer job, but this should give the right idea.
Get your fabrics. I’m not giving any size. This is all proportional. You should make this whatever size you want! This is fabric leftover from cutting “squares” for a crazy quilt that I will some day post. The green is the outside. The white is the inside.
Basically what we’re going to do is add tabs that will effectively act as the stops for either side of the zipper. So the two little pieces you have should be about 3 inches long and at least as wide as the zipper.
My zipper is so long because I get them from the bargain bin and then cut them to size. You should feel free to use a zipper that is already the size you need.
Let’s get started with the zipper. You’ll want to to sandwich each end of the zipper between two little pieces, right sides together. I put a pin the zipper to keep the two ends together on the open end.
A yummy sandwich. Line up the ends of the zipper with the edges of the fabric.
And pin. The perpendicular pin is to mark where the metal stopper of the zipper is so that I don’t sew over it and crunch my needle.
After it’s sewn (I know the white stitching is hard to see there) . . .
. . .you can fold it back and see that it will make a new stopper. You could sew on the other size of the metal stop and you really would be creating a new stop. In this case I chose to sew on the outside so that it would still use the metal as the stop which I think is more durable.
Now it’s time to do the other size. First we’ll need to cut our zipper to size. Lay it out on the main fabric.
Cut it to a size you like. I want it a bit smaller than the actual sewn edge so that you’ll see my stopper fabric on either size. Now we’re going to make our sandwich again.
And here is the sandwich sewn on the other side. Yeah, you’ll see I didn’t quite get that straight. We’ll fix that when we press it.
So press that bad boy open. I like to overlap the stopper just a bit.
Both sides pressed open. Look how nice and straight they are!
Yeah, I just realigned it. We’re going to sew over it to hold it down so just make sure it’s pressed straight and you’re good to go.
Now we’re going to sew the real bag. Start by laying the zipper right side down along the top edge of the main fabric, right side up (so effectively right sides together). Be sure to center it. We’ll cut off the extra from the tabs later. And stitch along that edge.
Note: You will probably need to move the zipper foot at some point during this line of stitching.
And there’s the finished stitching, folded back.
Now let’s add the lining. Lay your lining along that edge, but this time right sides to the bottom of the zipper. And stitch.
I like to stitch along the same stitch line. This is also a good chance to clean up that line if you were funny about it before. Again, you’ll probably need to play with the zipper food to be able to sew the whole way.
And there is one side of the lining as well! Now repeat on the other side of the zipper.
I guess I forgot to take a picture of the main fabric, but here’s the linng for the other side.
So now we’ve sewn both sides. Here’s a photo of them both spread out. Time to tidy this up a bit.
You’ll notice that my sides are kinda a mess. Well, let’s press that!
Magic! Pressing makes everything look so pretty. Also, you’ll notice I cut the tabs to align with the edge of the bag.
Don’t forget to press the inside as well. If you wanted to topstitch around the zipper opening, now we would be the time to do it. I normally do it, but I forgot this time.
First let’s cut off some more tab extra.
Repeat on both sides. Now it’s time to actually make the bag. Put the lining sides together and the outside sides together. Sew around that edge, leaving and opening in the lining (I do that part at the bottom).
Note: Where the zipper tabs are, you can either fold towards main fabric or towards the lining. I prefer to fold towards the lining. That is, the tabs are actually between the lining sides as opposed to the main fabric sides.
Note: It’s easier if you open the zipper before sewing the sides together. Makes turning easier later.
Here’s a better picture after it’s sewn so you can see what I mean. This means you’ll have a nicer corner when you open out the bag.
Press your seams after you sew the bag together.
Optional part: I decided to put little corners on my bag.
To do that, press the corners with seams together. Then stitch across. It doesn’t really matter where you stitch across, so long as you do it the same for all 4 corners (2 main fabric, 2 lining fabric). I just chose a spot on my sewing machine that I lined up the corner with.
Here they are, all 4 sewn. You can see my opening on the right and how I stitch the whole bag together.
Then clip your corners and press them open.
Finally, turn your bag inside out and enjoy it!
I like how the inside looks green because of the light showing through.
A close up of the zipper and inside.
And a close up of the corner and the tab.