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custom size zip opening

I’m thrifty. I like to save as much as possible, so I can also spend a lot.
Throwing away good stuff does not feels right to me.
So when I sew and need a zipper that needs to be shortened, I don’t throw away the ends. Well if they are smaller than 5″ I do, because I have not yet found a way to actually use a zipper that is shorter than 5″.
But if it is 5 ½ or longer, no way will I throw it away.

So when you need to make a little zipper pocket in a wallet or bag, you just make the zipper opening accordingly to the zipper size you have in your zipper scrap basket.

This is a tutorial of how I make sure my zipper and the ‘hole’ in the wallet or bag fit perfectly.

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I found this little piece of zipper in my  basket. I keep every piece of zipper that is at least 5 1/2″, because you can fit your hand in a pocket opening that is 5″. Of course not a pocket in a bag, but excellent for a little coin pocket in a wallet.
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Add a spare zipper pull. You can buy them separately. It’s important that your zipper pull is the same brand as your zipper tape.
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Measure your zipper piece. In this case it is exactly 5 ½”.
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Mark ⅜” on the zipper tape, at both ends.
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The part that is ‘outside’ the middle part of the zipper will not be visible. ⅜” is just enough to sew the zipper comfortably.
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Since you don’t have zipper stops on this scrap piece, the chances are high that while you are working with this zipper, you will end up pulling the zipper pull off. We don’t want that to happen, so hand sew the two ends together with a few stitches to close them.
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Do this on both ends.
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Measure again what the final opening will be. Measure between the lines you drew on the zipper tape. In this case it is 4 ⅝”.
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I always use a zipper facing when I add a pocket in a bag or wallet. This way you will have hidden zipper tape on the inside of the pocket.  I never follow what a designer says in the pattern for placing a zipper, I just do it this way.  With 180 bags plus under my belt, this make me that confident!  A zipper facing is always 1″ height and I begin with the width that the designer says.  In this case it was for a zipper pocket that was to be 6″ wide. I cut a zipper facing to 7″ x 1″.  It’s also important that you interface this little piece.
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Draw a line down the centre of the longest length.
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Fold the fabric in half along the width and mark this line too.
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I found that an opening that is ⅜ heigh is excellent for my taste. I don’t like a lot of zipper tape, but a little bit can’t hurt.
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So draw a line ¼” from the raw edges along the length at the top and bottom.
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The visible part of the zipper will be 4 ⅝”, so measure a box that will be 4 ⅝” centred over the first line drawn.
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I drew the box that will be the final box here in dark black.  All other lines were just to help drawing this box.
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You know that every zipperbox also has little triangles. Those still need to be drawn.
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A triangle is always ½” with the top on the middle line. So I measured ½” and set a point. I used the wrong pen for doing that and taking pictures with 1 hand-made that the point is a little bit bigger then needed. ;-). You can see clearly on the right side that the dot is in the correct place 1/2″ in from the side of the rectangle on the centre line.
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Et voila. A complete zipper box exactly what our little zipper will need.

rozy-pinpicture

One thought on “custom size zip opening

  1. Another great tutorial, and one I plan to use immediately. Thank you.

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