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Practical Things

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

Holidays are coming up soon and its time to think of gift bags. I use zippered pouches for that.

fabric and zipper for creating a zippered fabric pouch

My supply is running low so I decided to work on that. Before sewing the pouches I needed to collect the supplies. Zippers and fabrics. I like to create zipper extensions it makes it easy to then sit down and create a bunch of pouches in one sitting.

I spent a while batch sewing zippers between 2 strips of fabrics which I then cut apart.

Took out boxes of upcycled zippers. All sorts of colors and sizes. I chose a selection of neutrals, most of them metal zippers upcycled from pants and jeans and spent today adding zipper extensions to about 50 zippers.

I work in a production line system, placing the zippers on a strip of fabric one after the other and sewing the edges down

Sewing zippers onto fabric strips
Sewing zippers on to fabric strips

I need to do this 3 more times. I normally sandwich the edge of the zipper between 2 layers of fabric but because these zippers are upcycled the extensions beyond the metal teeth are all kinds of different sizes and I don't want to sew over the metal teeth. So today I need to see where the teeth are when I place the zipper down on the fabric.

Zippers on a fabric strip before separating

I cut the fabric strip between each zipper and one extension out of the 4 needed is attached.

Cutting between each zipper

One fabric strip sewn on the edge of the zipper
One fabric strip sewn

I sew the second piece down and the top extension is done on one side of each zipper

One zipper extension done
One zipper extension done

I then sew the extension fabrics on the other end of the zipper

Sewing the second side
Sewing the second side

Almost done one more side to go

Production line zipper extension on a fabric strip
Production line zipper extensions

When I finish I will have about 50 zippers with a fabric extension on each one waiting to be sewn into lined fabric pouches.

The zipper ends are sandwiched between 2 layers of fabric

Zipper ends sandwiched between 2 fabrics
Zipper ends sandwiched between 2 fabrics

After cutting between the fabric pieces this is what a zipper with fabric extensions looks like

Zipper with fabric extensions
Zipper with fabric extensions

Now the zipper is the same size as the fabric pieces for the pouch

zipper with extensions same size as the fabric for the pouch

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I’ve been following you on Facebook for some time, just seen this and would love to follow your blog.


Excellent idea. Minimizes the tedium by a significant factor, I bet. Have you found a production line system for unpicking the zippers? 🙂

Sharon Prigan
Sharon Prigan

My students do that and then they get to keep some of the zippers😃

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