Hi, my name is Laurie and I have all the zippers.
This whole thing happened because I wanted to start sewing again. The most promising-looking dress patterns all require a zipper up the back and practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to zippers. However I am about a decade out of practice. That’s when I decided to make a few cute little zipper pouches — they are perfect for holding chargers and cables when traveling, or zipping up makeup for every day use. they are also small, easy-to-achieve projects that offer a LOT of zipper practice.
At the local fabric store, zippers can be anywhere from $3.99 each all the way to $18! But I have a theory that almost anything you want can be delivered to your doorstep thanks to the Internet, and that was how I found someone on Amazon selling one hundred 9-inch colorful zippers for $10. TEN BUCKS for ONE HUNDRED zippers. That is insane in the membrane. Now I have all the zippers and I could not be happier. See? Way cheaper than therapy.
The fabric I’m using is a collection of prints from my stash (mostly outdated clothes/fabric items I’ve cut up) and fat quarters or small yardages I found at Joann’s. Last week they had all the small packets of quilter’s cotton known as “fat quarters” on sale for $0.62 each. The fun part is figuring out which patterns and colors go together best. I plopped myself down on the floor with my cutting mat and I had an enormous amount of help:
The cats LOVE project days. They enjoy inspecting all the supplies and helping me with every step. The cutting mat is obviously the only place to take a little wash-up break.
My inspiration for this entire new wave of sewing enthusiasm came when I was traveling in Helsinki, Finland back in June. I was in a shop full of beautiful handmade things and I found a rack of simple and lovely handmade zipper bags. They were all bright and well-made, with a nice heft to the fabric. And wow were they expensive. The tiny one I bought was about 20 euros (!!). I think the maker of these items is more of a textiles artist, and the fabric is very special, but the bag itself was a sweet reminder of my trip and also an inspiration to start sewing again.
My original plan for the weekend had been to whip up a few zippered bags and then move on to dressmaking, but I got really in to cutting and sizing up and trying different fabrics for my zipper bags. Plus I can be a bit of a perfectionist, so I started trying new zipper options to see what worked best.
However, I did manage to get several dress and skirt PDF patterns stuck together with glue stick and trimmed down, though the only one I traced out and cut was the little miniskirt. I probably won’t get another sewing day for two more weeks, insert sad-emoji-face emotion, but it’s all there waiting for me when I’m ready.
And I made some cute little practice bags with lots of zipper action! Plus I have several sets of fabric cut and waiting for round two.
This may seem like an intimidating project if you are new to zippers, but it is really easy. Also, if you buy ONE HUNDRED ZIPPERS you will have plenty to practice on! With your $10 investment and some fabric scraps from your old clothes pile or stash, you can be making all the bags in no time flat while simultaneously practicing your sewing skills.
It’s honestly no harder than sewing a straight seam, you just have to do it next to the teeth of the zipper. The hardest part of the bag is being a perfectionist who wants everything to have perfectly crisp corners so you start making tabs out of contrasting color bits and suddenly it’s midnight and you’re covered in thread.
There are tons of great YouTube tutorials on how to make a zippered bag with a lining, but I really like this one:
See? It’s actually pretty easy!
I love to watch YouTube videos of literally all the crafty things, but right now I’m extra into sewing channels. While I was folding laundry on Saturday morning I watched sewing videos to get me inspired and ready to craft for the apocalypse.
These bags turned out so cute and were so much fun to make that I’m going to sew up a little set of zippered travel bags for all my friends for Christmas. There are endless possibilities of fabric, and you can add fringe and pom poms and iron-on patches. I bought some fusible fleece to line a few of the bags, but the others I plan to keep simple so they are easy to wash and feel soft in your handbag or backpack.
Last night I looked up at the clock and suddenly I realized it was Sunday and it was already 10 PM! The house was a mess, but I was happy and the cats were both asleep on piles of pretty things. I really loved my weekend of mess-making and sewing. Crafting is good for the brain and the soul 🙂