Using a Zipper Foot

In a previous post I had written about how I have never used a zipper foot while making zippered bags. I make A LOT of zippered bags. Which is why it’s so frustrating that I didn’t start using a zipper foot sooner! I always felt they were confusing and cumbersome.  After using one to make a cosmetic bag, I stand corrected. They are amazing.

The only reason I had convinced myself to use the zipper foot was because I am making seven cosmetic bags for a friend’s bridal party.  I thought I’d try it out.  When I make a lot of the same bag in a day I like to sew in all zippers at once, then sew all the sides, the bottoms…you get the idea.  It’s like a little assembly line.  I tried it out and it is a life saver! Not only is it easy to change from the regular sewing foot but it enables you to get a straight seam that’s perfectly close to the zipper’s teeth.

Here’s a quick tutorial so you can become a master of zippers as well.

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I’m using a Brother  machine in this tutorial but the techniques should be universal with all machines. The zipper foot will allow you to sew as close to the zipper teeth as possible.  The first picture below shows a zipper foot on the left and a regular quilting foot on the right. The other two pictures show each foot attached the machine and where the needle is compared to the edge of the foot. You can see that the zipper foot allows you to stitch along the left side of the foot or the right. On my machine changing the foot  pressing a lever behind the foot and replacing it with the a different foot (aligning it to whichever side you want the stitch to be closest to).

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Step 1) Set up your zippered project as usual. I am making a boxy pouch.  I have place the zipper face down onto the right side of the fabric and placed the lining fabric on top.  This creates a zipper sandwich. Pin in place.

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2) You want to sew as close to the zipper teeth as you can.  Attach the zipper foot so that the stitches you will make will be on the left side of the foot’s edge. Sew by lining up the edge of the foot  with the teeth of the zipper.

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3) Press the fabric away from the zipper teeth. DSC_1043

4) Topstitch the fabric down, along the zipper teeth.  To do this, switch your zipper foot so it now makes a stitch towards the right edge of the zipper foot.  Align the right edge of the foot with the zipper teeth and sew.DSC_1047

You’re almost done, repeat these steps for the other side of the zipper, adjusting the zipper foot accordingly.

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To make this bag, refer to my previous post here but change the measurements of the fabric. You will cut two pieces of fabric (one exterior, one lining) to measure 12″ by 18″ each.  Use a 12-14″ zipper.  The final bag measures 4.5″ tall, 4.5″ wide and 7.5″ long. It’s the perfect sized cosmetic bag! Have fun!

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