Wednesday, April 18, 2012

No zipper love

12Apr18bag Well, that was an unexpected blog holiday. Sometimes my long work days extend into the evening with meetings or activities – more activities now that the temperatures are rising.

But I’ve been busy at my machine, too. And I made a new bag, zipper and all. It’s from a free pattern at here at Sew Sweetness, and I chose it because of the zipper, the straps and the darts. There were some tough moments with the zipper, and a fair bit of unstitching, but it wasn’t as bad as the last bag I made. Maybe I’m getting better?

Again, it’s all practice material except for the Pellon 987F, which I bought at my local quilt shop. This is the second time I’ve used the Pellon and the second time my needle has repeatedly gotten stuck in it. I think I’ll be trying something else next time. But 12Apr18straps I was very happy with the way this bag turned out. Mostly. The straps are sewn inside the bag. Took me two tries, but I got ‘em right.

I did the inside divided pocket the right way this time – only took one try! That’s why we practise. As frustrating as it seems at the time, we’re always getting better. I love pockets, and there is such a variety of them to 12Apr18pockets pick and choose from.

This pattern has darts, too. Haven’t tried darts on a bag before. Easy. They don’t thrill me the way that boxed corners do, but you can’t put square corners on a rounded bottom.

The zipper was a pain. I spent the most time on it, trying to figure out what the instructions were telling me. After taking it apart a couple of times I finally went surfing the ‘net, looking for more zipper instructions, 12Apr18darts figuring that if I read a whole pile of them, something would sink in. I found out two things: this pattern seems to have a unique combination of strap placement as well as a zipper; and the majority of zipper tutorials out there spend a lot of time telling you how easy it is. Easy if it’s a simple zipper installment, but as I mentioned, the straps combined with the zipper and the lining made it a challenge. A challenge made a lot easier by Steam-A-Seam 2 quarter-inch double sided fusible tape. The first attempt I made at sewing the zipper resulted in scrunched up zipper material. This tape is wonderful and holds everything nicely in place while you sew. It even comes back off if you’ve sewn the zipper down wrong and have to move it around. Then you can fasten it down again by re-ironing it and it will stay in place while you sew.

12Apr18zipper But it won’t help you install the zipper right side up if you’re intent on putting it upside down. The zipper went in beautifully. Just upside down. *Sigh.* I can see more zipper practise in my future. Good thing I can get them for 10 cents apiece at the thrift store.

Until next time,


  1. Oh my Wendy... your bag is lovely. I really enjoyed your zipper story. Mastering zipper installation is like everything else, it takes practice. I think your upside down zipper gives the bag a cool funky look. Bravo well done!

  2. Wendy...I have chosen your blog for the Liebster Blog Award (because your blog is lovely and your bag making in particular is impressive). Check out my blog for info. Congrats!

    Karin at

  3. oppsies! Regardless of the zipper, your bag looks great!

  4. What? It wasn't a design choice to put the zipper in that way? :) First rule of crafting, if anything goes's either a deliberate design decision or else it's one of those deliberate mistakes because everything-human-made-has-a-mistake-in-it. Just for the record? I have never, ever had to make a deliberate mistake, in my life. :) I like your bag!