I have made two pouches for a little girl.
Naturally, I made them small and the zippers I have on hand are too long. If this happens to you too, it’s not necessary to shop for new zippers, because shortening a zipper is easy task!
The zippers can be shorten in different ways and it depends on the technique used for inserting the zipper.
One of the easiest way to insert the zipper is when you insert it into this opening; this technique is used for zippered pockets on bags and I used the same technique on one of my pouch patterns; this is my favorite technique, easy and quick too, as it doesn’t require tabs.
So I want to show you how I manage this long zipper and I will tell you what’s the cool part!
So I place the zipper under the opening, keeping the bottom stop at the corner, as shown below. The teeth must be centered into the window.
You could keep the zipper in place with a little glue or double adhesive tape or just baste it with thread (woops, I am good at theory, I did not use any on these zippers!).
I start sewing at 1/2” from the corner, see the yellow dot- important.
I continue sewing until I reach the corner then I sew on the short side (3); I triple this stitching (sew forward, backward and again forward); this strong stitching makes for an easy zipper opening.
In the same way, I sew along the other long side, short side…
…then I finish the stitching, being careful to meet it with the starting stitching (6).
What’s the cool part?
You stitch only once over the teeth! Stitching #5 (above) is done on the zipper tape- easy sewing.
You could position the top zipper stop at the corner and you will also sew only once over the teeth; I do that sometimes, but I find that it is not as easy to open the zipper as it is with the technique described above.
The last step – trim off the excess.
Here is, the easiest way to insert a zipper – of any size!
I fused the last scrap of Thermolam Plus to the fabric; at first, I thought it is too heavy for the small size of the pouches, now I like the padded look a lot!
Now, this is the smaller part of my gift for a little girl. She will be happy to discover it, inside of a bigger gift! I will show you soon!
I hope zippers don’t scare you anymore!
This tutorial is included in the SEW BETTER BAGS ebook.
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Jeanne Vogel says
How did you make the hole to place the zipper? I’m missing the instructions for that part.
Geta Grama says
Tutorial for a zippered pocket here, it shows how to make the opening.
Martina Odenthal says
you really explain things so clear that it makes me want to sew some pouches immediately! Yours are so pretty – happy little girl 🙂
Geta Grama says
Hi Martina! With these beautiful fabrics, no wonder the pouches are wonderful!
How do you sew over metal zippers? I was hoping to see a way to shorten a metal zipper.
Geta Grama says
With much care! Do not use the foot pedal, use the hand wheel. If the needle hits the metal, move a little the work until you find a safe point. It’s easier to sew with nylon coil zippers. I avoid using plastic molded zippers(big teeth!), when I have to shorten the zipper.
Do you use a zipper foot to attach the zipper or an ordinary foot?
Thanks, love the pouches
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Kim Blower says
Hi, do you have a pattern for this pouch. I love the way the zipper is put in it.
Glenda Bell says
Do you tape your zippers down to hold them into place prior to sewing? I bought the little wonders pouch pattern and saw at the end to add the 4 inch strip in the middle for the beautiful contrast. Is the seam allowance 3/8 inch for joining the strips? I plan on making several more. I did quilt the fabric on the fusible fleece and the pouch turned out beautiful. I would like to add the strip to enhance the design.