You know when everyone's doing something and you just have to join in... well it seems like buying crazy amounts of cute coloured zips is the new thing. Isn't that right Had, Ceri, SusieQ?
I sooo want in on it, not least so I can organize them into cute little rainbow patterns, but until last night I had a slight zip phobia. I say slight in that I have actually sewn a zip with some success before, but this was about 8 years ago, during my GCSE Textiles. I need to know if I can sew zips again, and if it would be worth my while buying into the zip craze! I want to be able to stick them in pillows and pouches and bags and other thingymabobs. But I needed a small project to dip my toe in, without the fear of mucking up something I'd worked hard on... you know.
Enter Ceri with her perfect timing. Amongst the beautiful bee blocks she returned to me this week (you'll get a full reveal when ALL the blocks are back!!), she also included a few zips.
Enter this tutorial, which I got stuck into last night and made this little number:
I used medium weight fusible interfacing on top of plain quilters cotton. I think I should have used lightweight, as it is a little to stiff for my liking (there aren't many times you will hear me say that), and the corners were a complete bulk-a-rama. And I hate the way it always crinkles up really bad when you are turning it through the right way. But. Its cute. And sturdy. And I'm fairly impressed with how close I got the zip to the edge of the fabric. And I didn't break anything. And its a good size, useful even.
|All these photos were taken with my iPhone, impressive huh?|
I had to cut down the zip an inch or so to fit the tutorial, which was nerve wracking to say the least! But I coped, eventually.
Then I sorta freestyled it a little bit, using the tutorial's directions but changing the measurements to fit the zip I had. On this one, because it was smaller, I didn't use any interfacing, and its a lot more...poofy.
Probs should have used lightweight interfacing in this one too really.
I like it, I LOVE the colour of the zip, but I'm not entirely sure of its purpose yet. It could be a cute little change purse. Or a card purse for all those loyalty cards you need to carry but don't want cluttering up your normal wallet. Or a miniature sewing kit. I'll have to give it a bit more thought. Or gift it to an unsuspecting relative for Christmas... problem solved!
I learnt quite a few important things about zips last night.
- The length of the zip is the length of the whole thing, flappy bits at the top and bottom included. It is not, as I originally thought, just the length of the teeth. This may seem obvious but I couldn't find it described in detail anywhere and it got me worried. *EDIT* A few have suggested this isn't right... And that the length is just the teeth. My reasoning behind this point is from the tutorial above. It shows a zip lying perfectly aligned with an 8" piece of fabric, it also says you MUST have an 8" zip. Ergo, the whole thing including the flappy bits is 8" long. I will happily stand corrected if anyone knows any different! *EDIT AGAIN* Helen has set me right. Turns out the industry standard for measuring a zip is from closed end to the top of the teeth. You can read more about this here.
- You can sew through a zip. Mental.
- To cut a zip down to size, always cut from the bottom. If you cut off the little metal bar, you will need to sew another one in. just go back and forth across the zip a few times.
- If you are using little covered end pieces like in the tutorial above, you don't need to do the bar thing. Ask me how I know.
- Zips are not that bad. Tricky to get your head around, but easy to sew. It took me about half an hour to make these 2 purses. And that includes a certain amount of faffing over fabric, cutting the zip and committing the tutorial to memory.
- I'm buying in. I believe everyone uses zipit? Any other suggestions welcomed :-)