Saturday, June 01, 2013

Week 5 - Making the Zip Pockets

I know there are a lot of people who have never put in zips before, and are quite anxious about this week of the sew-along.  But I am here to tell you that there is no need to panic.  The technique that Elizabeth recommends for the zipper install, is NOTHING like putting a zip in clothes.  It is very easy to do, and once you have read through and got the idea of it, you will be amazed how quickly they are to do.  Have a look over her instructions and close up photos of the zip in place, and you will see that she has put "tabs" at the each end of the zipper, this is probably the most fiddly part of the whole process.

 The photo at left shows folding the tab piece in half, then unfolding, and then folding each side to meet in the middle. (Just like the straps for those remembering four long weeks ago). This piece is then cut in half, to give you two tabs to put in place at the each end of the zippers.

If you have ever made bags with Nicole Mallalieu, you will know that she is a BIG fan of Vliesofix Tape.  If you are a newbie, please let me tell you how wonderful Vliesofix tape is for applications just like this.  It is an iron on, double sided tape.  In the picture at right, you might be able to see some white translucent tape pieces over the tab.  You peel off one side of the tape, iron it down on to the surface you want to stick.  Then peel of the other side, and press and iron the fabric together, enclosing the zipper in between.

For fiddly small things like zipper tabs, where pins are going to distort everything, this tape is a dream to use. Iron it together, and then you can take it to your machine to sew in place without pins everywhere.

Note that the zippers have been trimmed to give the right pocket size.

From here you start putting the sides of the pockets in place.  For Elizabeth's technique, you fold down the end of the pocket (where it will attach to the zip), by the required amount and iron.  This folded down edge is then pinned close to the zipper on the right side of the zipper foot. As shown below, the pocket top (white with red text) is in place on the zipper, with the inside of the pocket underneath (the red fabric).

This is then sewn in place, using a zipper foot, as close the edge as you feel comfortable. I used about 1/8" or less.  You will then have a pocket top and inside, fold both fabrics to the same side, as shown below.

You are then essentially repeating this process for the other side of the inner pocket, attaching to the other side of the zipper.  Read and follow Elizabeth's instructions carefully, for the correct fabric placement.

The picture at left shows the previously sewn seam, and now matching up with the other side of the inner pocket.

Pin in place carefully, and once again sew closely to the folded edge.  At right, you can see the left sewn seam, the right seam about to be sewn, and the tab in between the fabric (at the top of the picture right beside the needle).

The final part of the pocket, is to sew the base of the pocket together.  You might also have to neaten up some edges to give a neat finish.  I then stay-stitched at 1/4" down the side of the pocket, to hold all the fabric pieces in place.  

It is a fairly simple and elegant technique for putting a zipper in, and just requires a bit of ironing and folding back and forth.  I am sure you can all handle that!

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