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  • Irina

How to sew zipper by hand

Welcome to the last week of the Spring Mystery Project Sew Along for Sip Tea and EPP with Larisa @stitchingnotes and me @nordiccrafter. It has been a true pleasure to see all your beautiful projects grow. The creativity and inspiration in our sewing community never cease to amaze. This week we will be assembling the pouch and attaching a zipper. We know that many sewists feel intimidated or simply dread that stage. But believe us, it is not that difficult if you know how to do that. Attaching zipper on a curve might seem tricky but the easiest way to conquer it is to sew it by hand. We prepared a tutorial that hopefully helps you to go through this stage smoothly. As you might have noticed Larisa and I do some of the things slightly differently. We decided to keep it this way as it might be helpful for you to see two different approaches when working on the same task. Please make sure to visit Larisa's blog and Instagram account to see her

way of completing this step. Let´s start!

You will need: a 10" (25cm) zipper, water/heat erasable fabric marker, thread in color matching your zipper, needle, lots of sewing pins and a thimble.

1. Fold the zipper in half lengthwise and mark the half point on the Wrong Side of zipper tape.

2. Mark the mid points on the binding on the Lining side on both curves.

3. Open the zipper fully. With the pouch lining facing you (arch is at the bottom) and the zipper end on the right, align the mark on the zipper tape with the mid point mark on the binding, the zipper teeth right above the binding edge. Pin the zipper in place.

4. Starting from the top and moving towards the beginning of the zipper, pin the zipper to the binding. Make sure that the zipper teeth are just above the binding. At the end, fold the zipper tape and pin the beginning of the zipper slightly inwards towards the center.

5. Repeat for the other part of the zipper.

6. Starting from the end of the zipper, hand stitch the zipper to the binding using back stitch (the same stitch we used for the letters). In the beginning, close the zipper just a bit that the zipper slider is approx. 1" (2.5cm) away from the zipper end. It will make it easier to start stitching.

Once you get close to the slider, open zipper fully again. Stitch only through the binding approximately at 1/4” (0.6cm) from the top of the zipper teeth. Your stitching shouldn´t be visible from the front. Use matching thread colour and make small stitches. You can find the video in my IG post here.

7. Hand stitch the zipper tape to the lining using either Herringbone stitch or whip stitch. If you are a beginner, use whip stitch. For more experienced sewists I would recommend a Herringbone stitch as it adds a decorative element to the interior and gives the required flexibility to the zipper tape. No matter what stitch you use, stitch only through the zipper tape and lining fabric. Tuck the zipper ends under the zipper tape. You can slightly trim the ends of zipper tape with pinking shears if needed. You can find the Herringbone stitch video in my IG feed (second video).

8. Repeat steps 3-7 for the other side. Pinning the end of the zipper might be tricky. I recommend to close the zipper slightly and then pin. Then open the zipper fully and check if the zipper is pinned correctly. Check my IG post to see a video to help you with this step.

We hope this tutorial has eliminated your "fear of zippers" and inspired you to try this technique.

We are looking forward to seeing your progress. Be to sure post your photos under the #springmysteryproject hashtag on Instagram and check out the posts of others. There is so much inspiration and creativity there!

Another friendly reminder - please tag Larisa @stitchingnotes and Irina @nordiccrafter in your posts so we can easily see them and leave a comment.

Happy Stitching!❤

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Oct 13, 2023

I am new to sewing, so I cannot figure out what I'm doing wrong. But I crochet my own purses/bags and I've recently started adding a zipper closure to them. (I sew through the fabric lining, interfacing, zipper tape, and the "inside of my crochet stitch" so I don't sew completely to the outside of the crochet bag). But I've noticed a few times, when I'm done and zip the zipper close, I can see the thread going from the crochet to the zipper tape. Why is this happening? Sewing into the crochet at an upward or downward angle? Stitches too tight? Too loose? Stitches too close to zipper teeth? Too far from zipper teeth?

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