Thursday, July 14, 2016

6 Tips for Making Zipper Pouches Easier and Neater

While making the zipper pouches for my recent Metal Zips 3 Ways post, I took note of several methods that I find help me make pouches easier and neater. Unfortunately, I took photos quite randomly through the process, so ignore the mismatched pouch pieces - just note all linen pieces are exteriors; all prints are linings.


1. This first tip I already shared in my metal zip post, but thought it worth sharing again here for reference. And that's to open the zipper and stitch the two open ends together to keep them aligned. It's not necessary at the zipper stop end, just the 'open' end.



2.  Placing wonder tape along the top edges of the exterior and lining pieces eliminates the need for any pins or clips (shown before and after the 2nd strip of protective paper is removed).


Simply place your prepared zipper down along the tape on the first piece of fabric ....


Then place the second piece of fabric on top of that. Finger-press well and sew!


3.  I have always found stitching past the zipper-pull messy, and more often than not, end up with crooked lines at that spot. Now I stop stitching when I reach the zipper pull, and completely remove my pouch from my machine. I move the pull past the area where I stopped, then start stitching again, overlapping when I ended by several stitches. Works wonders for a neater finish.

4.  To avoid a "baggy" lining, after the zipper installation, when you place exteriors right-sides together, trim 1/4" off the bottom of both lining pieces, then proceed as normal.

5. After the perimeter of the pouch is sewn together, but before turning to the right-side out, press the seam allowance of the opening back 1/4". This makes it much easier to get that area neat when you go to sew it together later.


6. A detail I never seem to see in zipper pouch tutorials is what to do with the seam allowances at the side seams when you are doing the final sew around the exterior. So this time I consciously chose to fold the seam allowances towards the linings and the tabs towards the exteriors, and that seemed to work well.


Well there are my little secrets! If you have some zipper pouch tips to share, we'd love to hear them!


22 comments:

  1. Great tips! Thanks! I pinned your post to keep it handy.

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  2. Good tips! Regarding #3, have you tried just lifting your presser foot (with the needle down) and unzipping when you get to the pull rather than taking everything out of the machine?

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    1. I have! Sometimes it works for me, but most often not so well, so when it doesn't....

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    2. I take it completely out too. I think it depends on the machine and the foot, but sometimes it takes a lot of wrestling to move the zip out of the way. When I started taking it out, I never looked back!

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  3. Thanks. Some Useful tips here.

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  4. These are great tips (and adorable pouches)! Thanks for sharing.
    Amanda

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  5. Hi Debbie, I have a good tip for you, it has to do with shortening a metal zipper; you can remove the extra teeth by pulling on them with a pair of pliers. I've been wanting to tell you this since I read your tutorial, thanks for asking!!

    My apologies for the deleted comment, I misspelled your name. :-(

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  6. Great ideas! Thanks for the helpful tips! I agree with your comment about the side where the lining and the pouch front meet...seems like I play with it to see what looks like it will lay flatter. I will try your approach next time!

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  7. A tip I recently implemented with non-metal zippers: Use a zipper larger than is needed. That way you can have the zipper pull completely off the work as you sew.

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  8. Thanks so much for the great tips! Besides using the wonder tape, I've also had good luck using my fabric glue stick. It really depends on what I have on hand. I always looked for that bit of instruction on handling seam allowances too. This seems to follow a tip that I saw years ago on Sewing with Nancy. Whichever way you want the finished seam to eventually roll towards (either the front or the lining) is the way to handle the seam allowances. In the case of a decorative lining on a non-zip tote, you may want the lining to peek out so you'd do the opposite. Your photo makes this concept very understandable.

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  9. LOve the idea of the wonder tape. So simple so important. wow.

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  10. Your tips sound great! I have made many zippered pouches but have very inconsistent finishes! Looking forward to trying your tips next time!

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  11. Great tips! I have been preparing to make my first zipper pouch, and these tips are enlightening! Appreciate it! -Angela,HappyHarperQuilts

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  12. I love sharing tips just like these with my students and readers too, everyone's always amazed how easy zippers can be :D

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  13. A very good video for Zips thank you for sharing.


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  14. Awesome tips Debbie - especially the one with the seam allowances when sewing all around. I never know where to put them. Next time, I'll definitely try to push them toward the lining.

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  15. I would love to make these into traveling pouches, thanks for these tips.

    Sam from
    http://eclecticelite.com

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  16. These are great! especially 3 and 4. I try to remember to do 3, but I rarely take it all the way out!

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  17. Many thanks. These are so helpful. In particular item 6. I agree I've never found it explained and now I have a fighting chance of not getting the usual 'hump'!

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  18. I made my first zipper pouch years ago in a class. The teacher insisted that we use some kind of adhesive basting tape. It gummed up my sewing machine and the thread broke. I just threw the pouch away---after a few years, the adhesive had "bled" to the outside of the bag, even though I had quilted it, and left a dark stripe that was very visible. To make a short story really long---I run from those basting tapes---whatever that teacher forced us to use ruined my project.

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