"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

Thomas Moore

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Simple Zipper Tutorial...



True story. I am a zipper-phobic designer.
That's why you don't see zippers in an Elefantz design. 
However, during my season as a teacher's aide in the Home Ec Dept of a boarding school (2009-11) I watched the Home Ec teacher, Jodie, use a very simple technique for inserting zippers across the bottom of bean bags.
When I was near the finish of my new cushion design this week I thought I might just jump in and use Jodie's zipper insertion method for the back closure, instead of my usual button approach. 
And then I thought, "why not share it with my sweet readers too?"
So here it is...no measurements, though, as you can use this method on any size cushion.

For the back of my cushion I have two rectangles of fabric the same size. 
I drew a 3/4" pencilled seam line along the width edge of one piece, then lay it right-side down onto the other piece of fabric....


Sew the two pieces of fabric together along that line. 
Press the seam open.
Fold both sides of the seam under by half, and press flat with a hot iron (Jodie didn't do this step as she'd used a serger/overlocker along the edge to prevent fraying, but I think this is a neater finish)...


Pin your zipper face down along the seam, lining up the seam line with the middle of the zipper...


Sew down both sides of the zipper...


Turn the fabric over and the zipper should be hidden neatly under the seam...


Using a seam ripper remove the stitching from the seam...


Voila! A very neatly finished cushion back with the zipper sitting smartly in place...


I can't show you the new cushion design yet as I have not finished writing my ezine, and it's one of the patterns inside this next issue, but you can have a look at the zippered back...


Well, I suppose I can show a tiny peek of the front; just a tiny one...


The big reveal of all three Elefantz e-zine projects will be in a few days. l think hope you'll love them.

In the meantime, will you be playing with zippers?

hugs


29 comments:

  1. Wow, Jenny that is a great tutorial on inserting zippers. I think I will give that one a go...I Really don't like putting in zippers either.
    Thank you so much .
    Hugs Sue
    WA

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  2. Thanks Jenny... that's the best (easiest) method I've seen. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  3. Your tut makes it look easy enough that I just might give it a try.

    Thanks

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  4. Oh yeah. I had forgotten that. Many dress patterns tell you to insert zips this way.
    Thanks for the memory & I love the 'back view' of the cushion.

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  5. Wow, thanks Jenny. How clever is that? I might even be able to tackle that.

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  6. This is the way I sew all of my zippers... it is truly very, very easy :) mari

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  7. Fabulous Jenny, I will be using that in future! xx

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  8. One of several ways I insert my zippers - though I don't normally turn the seams under again ... will have to try!!

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  9. Hi Jenny, I had forgotten about this method, have used it in the past and it's fail safe, thanks for the memory! This message is from me in sunny Suffolk in the UK!

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  10. Hai, I know this method, I used it before, but I use for the first stitch line a big stitch and I change the pressure. At the end you can pull out the first thread very easy and you don't have to use the seamripper.

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  11. Thank you Jenny, that is a great tutorial. I cant wait to try it. It could be goodbye to zipless cushions.

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  12. This is exactly the method of sewing in zippers that I learned in Home Ec class back in the late 60's. I have NEVER had a fear of sewing in zippers in any application. Back then I had two years of sewing and I think it's really sad that schools don't offer that today. Usually there is a 6 week course incorporated with other domestic education and usually in junior high. Most girls I know today are more interested on what is on FB than learning domestic skills. Too sad.

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  13. I often stop on your site I really appreciate it allows me to escape and think of other things .... What happiness ! thank you .

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  14. That is the way I learned to put in zippers. I still do it that way. I baste my seams together so it isn't as hard to get the stitches out. Love your blog.

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  15. I avoid zippers like no body's business…..but this looks like something I can handle. Thank you for posting - I'm going to put my Big Girl Panties on and give it a go! HA!

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  16. Perfect timing. I'm starting a purse for my sister's birthday & ther is no zipper in the pattern but she wants one! Thanks Jenny

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  17. What a wonderful technique! Thank you for sharing!!

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  18. Jenny--my home-ec teacher back in the 60's taught us this method, but I had never heard of folding under the edges to prevent fraying. I am going to try that. Love the dresden plate quilt in the background.

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    1. Margaret, I don't have an overlocker (serger) so I thought turning the edge under would be a much neater finish, as well as preventing fraying after washing. :-)

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    2. Forgot to mention that the Dresden quilt in the background is very old...an op shop find years ago for just $2 as it had been cut right through the middle. I love it.

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  19. Hurrah hurrah hurrah!!! I was taught some dreadful way with tacking and all sorts of rubbish that youcould never get a great finish!!
    You are my Hero Jenny!! Thank you!!

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  20. Hello Jenny - this is the way I was taught by my Mum to put in zippers so I know it is a great method. The only difference is that I machine th zip in place from the right side ( so it does mean tacking) to be sure that I get my stitching equal on either side of the seam line. xx

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  21. Of course I want to go try now. Hmm what can I put a zipper in. :)

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  22. Спасибо! Очень полезная информация!

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  23. A great tutorial Jenny the method is a good one.

    I use a similar method but I usually just hand sew the seam with fairly small stitches with a fine needle & thread. This works really well with delicate fabrics which machine stitching could mark.

    Love those handbags.

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  24. Thank you for the tutorial, you made it look easy. Will have to give it a go , I'm sure I have a few UFO's stitched blocks I could make into cushions. Thanks

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  25. I must admit I was always scared putting zips into skirts, dresses etc but over the years I believe I am quite good at it now. That sure is an interesting take on "inserting a zipper" Jenny, I have never seen anything like it before. I am definitely going to give it a go the next time I need to use a zip. Thank you for this very interesting tutorial.

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  26. Olá amei esse post ,tenho muita dificuldade para colocar ziper e assim me pareceu bem fácil.
    Também estou amando seu blog não consigo sair dele, é tudo tão lindo!

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  27. buen dia sra. jenny mil gracias por este maravilloso tutorial
    una fiel seguidora
    carmendefernandez

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It's always nice to receive feedback on a blog post, so *thank you* for taking time to comment!
I will try to reply via email unless you are a 'no reply blogger' which means you'll have to check for my reply in the comments. Of course, life is a rather hazardous activity, isn't it? So if I don't respond to your comment that's the reason why - life simply stepped in...
hugs
Jenny
x