Felt Bag with Zipper

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Today I tried to give myself a sewing lesson on including a zipper using the Zip-Up Bag project from Chris Jefferys’ Learn to Sew. This was a lot tricker than I expected. First of all, I don’t have this thing called a “zipper foot,” and secondly, I could not understand the directions for sewing the zipper. I re-read it twice and then looked it up in three other books: Sew Basic, Sewing 101, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Sewing. Even after all that reading I remained baffled.

Finally, I thought screw it! and just tried to sew it on in a way that made sense, even if it didn’t quite turn out right. I’ll be going to Colorado over Christmas to visit the In-laws and ask for a real lesson then. For now, my “faking it” method worked out.

Excluding the zipper portion, the rest of the directions were easy. I used grey craft felt and red polka-dot fabric for the liner. I almost skipped the extra diagonal bottom seam and the liner, but decided to do them so I could understand those skills for next time.

I really like things made of felt, but there is a lot I don’t know about it. Is it washable? Is there a right and wrong side? At what temperature do you iron felt? Things like that.

I almost forgot to mention my near fatal mistake. When sewing a zipper make sure it is partly open. Mine was closed and I barely remembered it with only two inches to go. Just enough to stop, pull the project out and wiggle the zipperhead down so that it could be turned right-side out once I was finished. Whew!

Postscript: Special thanks to Nicolette who kindly sent this link to a really great zipper tutorial.

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6 thoughts on “Felt Bag with Zipper

  1. That was a close call! And thanks for the tip. I’m going to try my first zipper this weekend, and I probably would have forgotten.

  2. Oooh, I adore the polka-dot liner and your cute cacti in the first picture, my cactus always develops weird growths or long cactus appendages, blah.

  3. You can best sew the zipper before sewing the parts together.
    When you have the two parts of the pouch you lay them down on the left and right side of the zipper. You pin the zipper to both sides, then you can string and sew the zipper on both sides. Then you turn the fabrics with the right sides on top of each other and sew the sides together. Leave the zipper open so you can turn the pouch inside out. I hope this makes any sense! (or did you do it this way?)

  4. oh, your felt bag looks marvelous.
    i am adding felt to my list.
    of thing to buy soon.

  5. You have nothing to worry about. That looks fantastic well done!!!!

  6. Nicely done. You sure look’s like a pro 🙂

    Cheers,
    Supplies Plastic zipper

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