Tag Archives: do-it-yourself

SKIVING

Screenshot 2015-06-10 14.11.57

Leather can be a very forgiving material to work with in bag-making projects. It is supple yet durable and hard-wearing. However it does required a different approach than that of sewing cloth. Depending on what type of leather you use and how thick the sample is, it may be a task to manipulate it into the right size and shape for your needs. For the most part, smaller animal skins means the leather is thinner, making it appropriate for sewing with a conventional home sewing machine yet it also means the square area is often not large enough to cut out one solid piece for big projects and joining is required to make the final size required for your design. This is particularly true when trying to create bag strapping.

Skiving is the process used in bag-making to reduce the thickness of leather, especially in areas that are to be bent or folded and which must be pliable without becoming weakened. It is usually performed on the “flesh” side of a piece of leather rather than the “finished” side, and results as a “bevel” on the leather’s thickness to thin it out and reduce bulk.

Generally it is most often done along the edges of the leather where joins are formed, at the end of straps to allow for a better fitting of buckles or where handles are to be sewn into place and if done carefully, can even thin a very small area of leather around a punched hole to allow for a depressed hidden rivet. The latter can also be used to allow a secure set-up for a snap fastener or a bag clasp that would otherwise be slightly too thick for the length of the snap post.

skive angle

Safety first:

  • Be careful when working with extremely sharp blades.
  • Use new blades with each project; a razor sharp edge on your knife is essential.
  • Granite slab or glass works best for a hard smooth cutting surface
  • Work on an uncluttered solid flat surface that is well-lit.
  • Use woodworker’s safety tape on your fingers if desired.
  • This is not a process to engage in when you are distracted or tired.

Choose the appropriate tool for the job. For skiving an edge along which a stitched or riveted join will be done it is probably most easily achieved with a straight skiving knife (aka a skife) or a Mackay knife. You will find that a sharp utility blade will work as well. Whatever type of blade you use, make sure it is extremely sharp. Place the leather face down, with the fleshy side up. Bevel your edges by holding your skiving blade at the angle you need for your bevel – for shallower bevels, hold the knife more horizontal to the surface of the leather, for a deeper bevel, hold it more perpendicular. Slide the blade along the edge while placing tension on the hide with the fingers of your non-cutting hand. Push the back of the blade with the index finger of the same hand for a smooth edge.

skiving tools

“skife (above); Mackay knife (below)”

With the skife, simply place the leather on a flat work surface and hold firmly in place. Hold the leather firmly down on a hard and clean surface such as granite. Choose a work surface that is smooth and cannot be damaged if your blade slips and cuts into it.

Hold the blade at a low angle with the tip against the edge of the leather. Slice in a fluid motion to bevel the edge of the leather. The tool should be towards one end of the leather, protruding over the edge and resting at a slight angle as illustrated.

skiving2_Fotor

Apply enough pressure for the blade to bite into the leather and carefully draw the tool towards you, trimming the edge as you go. The depth of the cut (and therefore the thickness of the leather remaining) is dictated both by the amount of downward pressure exerted and by the angle at which you hold the knife itself; usually between 30 and 45 degrees.

To use a Mackay knife or utility blade, skive mckaythe action is pretty much the same as the skife except you are pushing the blade away from you rather than drawing towards you. Also there is no guard or other guiding fence on how deep you cut; it is purely down to your own control over the blade itself and holding the leather firmly. One slip and it could easily ruin your leather piece and possibly your fingers. Little and often is the key here. You can always keep going over the leather, removing thin strips each time. Remember, you can always take it away but you can’t add it back on. Repeat the skiving motions all over the surface of your leather until you have thinned your piece down to the thickness you wish.

There you have it. Bevel those edges and keep a steady hand.

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PATTERN TESTING

loewe

Photo Credit: CRFashionbook

Recently a fellow designer sent out a call for pattern-testers ( http://moonbags.co.uk/pattern-testers-needed/ ). Designers do this often for research & development and quality-assurance of a new product.

Have you thought of being a pattern tester? It is just as it sounds, it means you test new patterns to ensure their accuracy before they are released to the public.  Testing patterns can be done for many items including handbags, children’s clothing, felt toys and quilt blocks to name just a few.

When you first start testing patterns, that entrepreneurial spirit kicks in and asks, “how much do I get paid?” Well, that’s the thing about most pattern testing. You do it for free.

Yes, you are “compensated” by receiving a copy of the pattern before it’s released, and sometimes you might be given fabulous fabric to work with as well. And you just might have your workmanship showcased on the company’s website once the pattern goes live. But in general, pattern testers are just helping out the designer, just for the love of it.

Back when I started, I was always looking to try new things, but without a large budget to invest in research & development, I relied on bartering skills and buying overstock of fellow designers’ sampling inventory at give-away prices. You see manufacturers are required to buy 10 yards of fabric to sample with when they order from wholesalers. If a dress takes up 3 yards to make, what do you do with the remaining seven? How else could I afford luxurious silks and cashmeres! And, that’s where the pattern testing part caught my interest.  I looked for talented sewers and cutters who shared my passion for fashion design. They often came from the local school of fashion…kind of an internship, you might say. It is an opportunity to learn something new about writing patterns, marketing and other things that go into patterns and designing a collection. It’s also exciting to be involved in something that is still in the works.

I’ve heard some discussion about people doing sewing or testing work for free, claiming it undervalues good skills. And while I see both sides of the argument, I can only add my experience to the mix. You gain a lot from being a pattern tester and sharing your ideas. Besides networking and making connections, your work may be featured online and in print, and you may learn to make things that you probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise. I know that it’s not cold hard cash, but that’s not always the motivation with creativity.

How do I become a pattern tester? 

What works best is to simply to follow designers whose work you enjoy and answer any calls for help. Social networks are a good place to watch for these opportunities. If there are designers you’d really love to work with, send them a message to let them know. If you have adorable kids to model clothing, or if you’re an amazing photographer, let them know.

Do I have to be super experienced?

Not necessarily. Be honest about your abilities – most designers want people with sewing skills from beginner to advanced trying their patterns. This will help them determine how difficult to rate their final patterns, or they may edit them to add in more detailed instructions. It is best, though, to have a basic knowledge of how to read a pattern and how to follow the instructions.

How does it work?

Designers put out calls for testers on social networks or their blogs. Once you’ve been selected, you usually receive a digital or PDF copy of the pattern. You’ll be given a deadline, and sometimes there will be an evaluation form to complete. You’ll probably be asked to include several photos of the finished project as well.

Do I have to use my own supplies?

That is often the case. Designers like to see their creation in a multitude of different fabrics and they are interested in how you might interpret their look. Other times, a specific material is needed. So if it requires special fabric or hardware, make sure you can get your hands on some and still have enough time to complete the test before agreeing to help. Sometimes the company may provide fabric and hardware to make up the prototype.

What if I find a mistake?

If you do come across something that’s not clear, or that seems incorrect, make note of it. Double-check yourself first, and if there still is a problem, let the designer know as soon as possible. He or she can then make changes and let the other testers know, which saves everyone time in the long run.

You might find spelling or grammar errors, so be sure to point those out as well. No one wants to go public with something only to find mistakes afterward. Be honest, but be kind as well. Keep your criticism constructive.

One last thing: You need to be a good communicator. Be sure to let the designer know if something comes up and you can’t make a deadline.

Ever wanted to be in on the cutting edge of something new? You may want to add pattern tester to your list of skills!

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5-STAR REVIEWS

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5-STAR reviews….thanks everyone! Always nice to hear…

http://www.craftsy.com/class/making-leather-bags/272?_ct=sbqii-sqjuweho-qbb&_ctp=272,55

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CREATING PROTECTIVE LININGS

quilted lining_incase
Credit: photo by Incase

Designing a protective bag collection needs to be produced with three things in mind – conveyance, organization and co-ordination. Begin with a super durable fashion fabric for the exterior so that the bag will take you through your travels and beyond. It should be spacious and the perfect size for urban commutes and easy air travel. Remember some airlines have weight and size restrictions for carry-on baggage. Leather, suede, vinyls, waxed canvas are ideal choices as they are rugged and durable.

For the inside of the bag, the interior layer should be a soft-textured, moisture-resistant bonded fabric for easy sliding and ensures good protection against water and dust. Waterproof fabric make it suitable for swimwear, sun creams and conventional shopping. While, a padded interior made with a soft-textured quilted lining fabric or reinforced middle padded layer will provide superior protection against impact and leakage. Typically, the middle layer is foam or batting of 1/4 inch (6 mm). Between the exterior and interior layers (lining), this middle layer has a dual purpose: to protect the item(s) from scratches, bumps and smudges; and, in order to add structural body to the bag and its outward appearance.

On the practical side, you want to guard sensitive electronics with anti-scratch, smudge-free surfaces such as sueded microfibre polyester or neoprene as a smart addition. Use  high-quality nylon Riri® zippers to ensure a smooth operating yet scratch-free closure. You may want to include dedicated compartments for storing travel adaptors, cables and wires, as well.

When creating a bag style for carrying or storing fragile items, try to design a dedicated tote for that item, meaning that the dimensions of the bag is based upon the dimensions of the item being stored or carried, such as bag shapes found for laptop bags or casserole carriers.inserts In other cases, you might consider a padded lining or a flexible padded insert for the interior. Removable padded linings will allow you to customize the shape and division of the interior compartments to hold different or odd shapes, such as found in styles for gadget bags and keepsake storage, while keeping the exterior portion of the bag fixed yet roomy-in-scale.

Construction seams should be doubled for extra strength and durability, yet hidden for aesthetics and easy access. I often like to add adjustable and detachable carrying straps to the bag styling. This provides the flexibility of transporting your belongings truly “hands free” while en route.

When selecting fabrics for bag interiors, you may want to choose napped fabrics as their textures are characteristically a soft hand textile and will prevent scratching and make sliding of the item, easy. There are many upholstery napped fabrics with bonded foam backings to provide a cushioned surface, as well.

Pre-quilted fabrics are ideal for protective handbag making. They are conventionally fabricated in cotton and cotton blends with 100% polyester batting. They make perfect padded bag interiors while adding body to the exterior of the bag. Many pre-quilted patterns are offered in double-sided or reversible styles, and thermal or reflective styles making them perfect for simplifying bag construction and keeping it lightweight.

needle_punching

Batting is often constructed of different types of fibers held together using a variety of methods, so that it does not clump within the lining or break apart. Batting comes is different thicknesses: Low loft is thin (most popular for quilting), and High loft which is thick (commonly used in upholstered furnishings).

Manufacturers use these most common methods for holding the fibers together:

  • Fusible Batting: This is the fibre-fill that most quilters use in their projects. It can be used doubled over for a high loft, or pull it apart into a thin low-loft batting. It’s popular with the construct-as-you-go techniques and I have only ever used it for small projects. You can buy batting that already has the fusible applied so that just by using the iron it temporarily attaches the top, batting, and backing together, rather than having to baste or pin the layers. This is especially convenient for smaller projects (since you use a steam iron to fuse the layered “sandwich”).
  • Needle-punched: The fibres in the batting are mechanically felted together by punching them with thousands of tiny needles. This causes the batting to be stronger and denser while being lower loft. Because of the denseness of this batting it isn’t generally good for hand stitching. These types of batting will tend to migrate but will not bunch and shift if machine-stitched to the lining material.
  • Reflective Batting: Keep it hot or keep it cold with needled insulated/reflective lining (common brand names are Insul Bright and 3M Thinsulate). Manufacturers offer an easy-to-cut-and-sew form and the option to choose between waterproof/windproof and breathable/wind-resistant. Use in wine totes, casserole warmers, lunch bags and picnic totes. The hollow fibers resist conduction while the reflective metallic poly film resists radiant energy. The energy, hot or cold, is reflected back to its source.
  • Scrim: A thin stabilizer that is needle-punched into the batting to add strength, loft, and to prevent stretching and distorting. Most battings have a scrim backing.

Heat n Bond Ultrahold Iron-On adhesive is a paper-backed sheet of solid heat activated adhesive. It uses a low temperature & short pressing time so it allows for a wider range of materials that can be bonded. Use with fabric, foil, lame, denim, felt, suede, leather, wood and cardboard. It is machine washable. There is no steam or pressing cloth needed. It will not lift or pucker after washing. It’s no-sew bond is three times stronger than any other traditional fusible web. I find this product helpful in creating my own fusible fabrics.

wine toteUrethane foam is the material commonly known as foam rubber, which is produced by blowing gas into a heated, liquid chemical mixture. When it dries, the foam rubber is porous and spongy, and the gas trapped within the urethane foam gives it great insulative properties. This same material is used as cushioning for upholstered trunks, gig bags for musical instruments, and soft-sided luggage.

For handbags, a thin film of polyurethane finish is added to a polyester weave to create polyurethane laminate (PUL), which is used for its waterproof and windproof properties in wardrobe bags, camera bags, wine totes, and so forth.

MICHAEL-KORS-Neoprene-Ipad-Case-TANGERINE_92779_957f61af9db4f9f815dadb468640e1c3Neoprene has become a favourite material for lifestyle and other home accessories including padded handbags. In this market, it sometimes competes with LRPs (low-resilience polyurethane), which is a sturdier (more impact-resistant) but less-used material. LRPs are often molded to the shape of the item.

Neoprene resists degradation more than natural or synthetic rubber. This relative inertness makes it well suited for demanding applications such as a base for protective inserts and as padding in external metal cases to protect the contents while allowing a snug fit. This is ideal for laptop bags, tablet carriers, and mobile phones.

You should know the difference between a protective sleeve and a padded bag, as well as the variations, accessories, materials, and design choices. Essentially, bags are larger cases that offer more protection and more storage space than sleeves. Sleeves offer minimal protection, but are sleek and lightweight. Since most laptop devices are standard sizes, you should be able to create a sleeve or a bag with ease.

Still, designing a protective tote bag is a creative endeavour and has just as much to do with your lifestyle and the way you use your items, as it does with the size and shape of its fragile contents. Whether it is a tablet, casserole dish, bottle of wine, or any other breakable item, you will need the dimensions of that particular item to make a dedicated carrier. Length or height for the vertical measurements and width or circumference for the horizontal measurements are required to draft the pattern. To account for the depth or thickness of the item, plus the thickness of the type of padding being used, you must add ease into your pattern. This added ease will allow the item to slip into the carrier easily yet be snug enough to provide protection against impact or scratching. The thickness or loft of the padding used is usually determined by the degree of protection needed. Therefore, bag measurements will appear as such:

Height = length of item + depth of item + thickness of padding + 2 seam allowances

 

Width = width of item + depth of item + thickness of padding + 2 seam allowances

 

Depth = thickness of item + (2 x thickness of padding)

Storage compartments to hold auxiliary items such as chargers and cables, may be added to the exterior without compromising on the fit of the carrier. They can be designed as pockets with flaps or as pouch-style sleeves. The size of the bag will not affected.

In the case of photography or musical equipment, where the padding is loftier and denser, you may need a liner for the interior of the carrier bag as its exterior is often larger in volume to accommodate the individual inserts and various flexible configurations for transport. The contents should not jostle while being transported.

vony toteIn the case of wine totes and casserole/picnic thermal carriers, temperature is a factor to be considered, as well as protection. Keep it hot or keep it cold with an insulated/reflective protective lining. The hollow fibers resist conduction, meaning the fabric is breathable or wicks to keep interiors dry, while the reflective metallic layer resists radiant energy. The energy, hot or cold, is reflected back to its source.

In all cases, have durable carrier handles/straps to protect the contents and your hands, and make transporting your belongings easier.

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HIGH OCTANE STYLE

high octane010

Courtesy: Threads Magazine

“High Octane Clutch”

Check out my latest quick-to-make project for Threads magazine and create a clutch with clean lines and a contrast zipper like a racing stripe across the body. Available options include detachable wrist or shoulder straps, and an interior divider. You can take this streamlined concept and make it travel with interesting zippers, hardware, and eye-­catching textured fabrics or faux leathers. It’s a great stash-buster project, because you can use fusible interfacing to change the fabric’s hand and weight and make a wide variety of textiles work for this accessory.

The construction is speedy for a few reasons. The bag exterior and lining are each single, folded pieces. threads009The layers are sewn as one unit and finished later, to halve the num­ber of bag elements you make and handle. The finished bags have folds at top and bottom, curved side seams, and 1/2-inch wide seam allowances throughout. The samples shown are 10 inches wide, 7 inches high, and feature a 10-inch exposed zipper. The wrist strap clips onto to the zipper pull or D-rings sewn into the side seams. And for a final boost, the seams are straight or gentle curves, so you can finish this project in record time.

Look for my streamlined steps to make a fast and easy handbag in the Quick-To-Make project in the November 2013 issue of THREADS Magazine (#169) pg. 28-31. (www.threadsmagazine.com)

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FIVE STAR REVIEWS

gold-stars

 

Five stars reviews for my online design class…

www.craftsy.com/leatherbags20

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HANDBAG ZIPPERS & THEIR APPLICATIONS

zipper coil

In the fashion industry, handbag manufacturers cut and make their own zippers to length. There are a number of reasons why you would want to make your own zipper using continuous zipper chain.

  • While handbag and luggage zippers are available at your sewing notion retailer, the supply is limited and may not be to the length that you may require for your prototype. By making your own, you can customize the length and style of the zipper you want ie: one way non-separating, two-way non-separating or one-end-closed. [NOTE: The only style of zipper you cannot make with continuous chain is a one-way or a two-way separating zipper, such as a jacket style zipper].
  • When you make your own zipper you can select the style of zipper slider you desire: non-locking, locking, key locking or double reversible.
  • Often times it is more economical to make your own. To determine how much to cut for a custom zipper, add 2″ [5 cm] to the desired length you want the final zipper length to be (1″ [2.5 cm] extra for each end) of continuous zipper chain.

ZIPPER TERMINOLOGY

PARTS OF A ZIPPERTOP STOP – Two permanent stays affixed to the top most end of a zipper, to prevent the slider from coming off the chain.

SLIDER HEAD – The device that moves up and down the chain to open or close the zipper.

PULL TAB – The part of the slider that is held to move the slider up or down.

ZIPPER CHAIN (CONTINUOUS) – a length of zipper tape, either coil or tooth style, sold by the yard. Allows you to make and customize your own zippers. At least one end must be sewn closed. It cannot be used to make separating jacket zippers.

ZIPPER TAPE – The fabric part of the zipper.

BOTTOM STOP – A permanent stay similar to a large staple, used at the bottom end of a zipper to prevent each half of the zipper from separating.

INSERTION PIN – A device used on a separating (jacket type) zipper whose function is to allow the joining of the two zipper halves.

RETAINER BOX – A device used on a separating (jacket type) zipper whose function is to correctly align the pin.

ZIPPER SLIDER & PULL: the sliding head on the zipper. The actual pull is the articulated lever attached to the slider. [Note:the zipper sliders from one brand (ie: YKK brand) are usually not interchangeable with other zipper brands (ie: Riri brand zippers, etc.)]

slider

  1.  single slider-a zipper slider with only one pull
  2. double-reversible slider – a zipper slider with a pull tab on both sides of the slider. Uses: reversible totebags
  3. non-locking slider – a zipper slider which slides easily and has no internal locking mechanism to hold it inplace. Uses: purse pockets, handbags, luggage
  4. auto-locking slider – a zipper slider which has an internal locking mechanism to hold the slider in place. Uses: handbag openings
  5. key locking slider – a zipper slider which locks and unlocks with a removable key. Uses: security envelopes, portfolios, luggage

HAND BAG ZIPPER CONFRIGURATIONS

A. One-way Non-separating Bag Zipper

one way non separating coil zipper1

Uses: Purse Openings, Inset zip pockets

B. Two-way Non-separating Bag Zipper (head-to-head)

 2 way non separating coil zipper2

Uses: Totebags, Portfolios, Luggage

C. Reversible Non-separating Bag Zipper (flip pull tab)

reversible zip

Uses: Reversible Totes

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TOOTH & COIL STYLE ZIPPERS?

For many bag projects it is your preference which style you choose:zip chain

TOOTH STYLE: have individual teeth in metal or plastic set on a cloth tape. Metal colour and finish are usually matched to bag fittings. Plastic zippers are ideal for marine and saltwater uses.

COIL STYLE: often called self-repairing, has a continuous spiral of nylon filament set on a cloth tape. It is more flexible and smoother running than toothed zippers. As a general rule, typically the #5 is for small evening bag styles and the #7 & #8 are used for handbags and luggage.

TOOTH/COIL SIZE: the smaller the number the smaller the gauge size of the chain: ie. #5 is smaller than #10 and thus not as strong.

 

SHOULD YOU USE TOP & BOTTOM STOPS?

The purpose of zipper stops is to keep the zipper sliders from derailing when the zipper is in use. In handbag construction, use of top and bottom stops can be optional. If the ends of the zipper chain are sewn into a seam, you may choose not to attach top/bottom stops because the seam will act as the “stops”.  I often use what is known as a “wedge” instead of a stop.

tabAnother option is to attach a grip tab to each end of the zipper chain. It is often made from the fashion fabric used in the prototype. This finish will prevent the zipper slider from dislodging while the tab itself can be gripped in the hand when operating the zipper.

When using zipper stops, bottom stops are attached to one end of a one end closed zipper and both ends of a one or two-way non-separating zipper. Bag manufacturers tend to use the latter method. Top stops are used at the top end (the “open” end) of a one-end closed zipper and usually are not very practical in handbag design.

WHAT SIZE TOP & BOTTOM STOPS SHOULD YOU USE:

For #5 and #8 coil and #5 tooth zipper use #8 stops. For #10 coil and #10 tooth zipper use #10 stops.

HOW TO ATTACH A ZIPPER SLIDER ONTO ZIP CHAIN

1). Cut the zip chain to length plus 2” [5 cm].

2). On one end of the zipper chain (tape), part the zipper teeth about 2″ [5 cm].

fig 13). fig 2Insert one side of the zipper about 1/4 ” [6 mm] into the curved end of the zipper slider.

[NOTE: On double pull sliders place the slider so that the angled portion of the flange is up],

4). Insert the other end of the zipper into the slider. To prevent misalignment on the other end of the zipper line up the short ends of the zipper tape evenly.

fig 3

5). Firmly holding both zipper halves slide the slider onto the zipper teeth. It may take several attempts to line up the zipper teeth and to prevent a bulge on one side of the zipper tape if the teeth are misaligned.

6). Apply stops to each end of the zipper. Trim away any excess at zipper ends with pinking shears to neaten.

fig4

[NOTE: When putting two zipper sliders on the same zipper tape, attach the second slider on the opposite end of the zipper tape using the same method as above so that the sliders are facing head-to-head].

ZIPPER FAILURE

Zipper failures are usually the result of the zipper slider wearing out, especially if no apparent damage is noticeable to the zipper teeth. For zippers where the teeth separate after the zipper is closed, a possible solution (though at times only a temporary one) is to pinch the slider from the top of the slider to the bottom of the slider with a pair of pliers to seat the slider closer to the zipper teeth (not too tight though). If this does not work, try replacing the slider before replacing the entire zipper.

Coil zipper are a bit more forgiving as they are often called “self-repairing” zippers. Should the coil break open, carefully pull the slider to the “open” position at the bottom of the zipper then re-zip the fastener to correct the problem. Otherwise, if there is a kink or break in the spiral filament, the whole zipper will need to be replaced.

ZIPPER WEDGES

The following construction method works well to clear the teeth in the path of the machine-stitching and eliminate the bulk when installing zippers in a seam.

  1. wedgeCut the length of zipper needed for the project minus 2″ [5 cm] (ie. for a 25″ zipper cut a 23″ length of zipper. Install zipper slider(s).
  2. Cut 2 strips for wedges out of the project fabric (I often use the selvedge edge as it is waste), 2″ [5 cm] long by width of the zipper tape.
  3. On each end of zipper, pin each zipper wedge face side down to right side of zipper matching short raw edges.
  4. Using a zipper foot, stitch 1/2″ [12 mm] from raw edge.
  5. Fold zipper wedge out flat & top stitch 1/4″ [6 mm] from edge with zipper foot.
  6. Install into bag project and trim excess of wedge in seam allowance.

HOW TO SHORTEN A ZIPPER

At times if you are designing a single bag, it may be easier to purchase a ready-made zipper if it meets your design specifications. In such a case, purchase a separating zipper (aka jacket zip) which is longer in length than what you require for the prototype. For example, if the finished bag opening is 18” [46 cm] long, buy a separating zipper that is 20”+ [51 cm+] in length, plus 2 zipper stops.)

TOOTH STYLE ZIPPER:

1. Determine the final length you want the bag zipper to be. Measure this amount plus 2” [5 cm], from the stops at the top end of the separating zipper when the zipper is closed. Mark this length with chalk on the zipper tape. (see A)

2. Cut across the zipper tape at the chalk mark. Discard the bottom end of the zipper. (see B)

3. Attach the new zipper stop over the teeth channel on the face side of the zipper. Ensure the prongs of the zipper stop insert through the zipper tape completely. Bend the prongs flat against the back of the zipper teeth using pinch-nose pliers.

4. Pull apart the zipper teeth on the cut end up to the stop.

5. Using bull-nose pliers, carefully remove the excess teeth from the tape. (see C)

6. Neaten the zipper end by trimming it with pinking shears. Allow the same seam allowance from the stop as the amount at the top end of the zipper. This is usually 5/8 of an inch [15 mm].

7. You may add the second stop to the top end of the zipper to close both ends or use the existing original zipper stops. (optional – see D)

8. The zipper is ready to install in the bag.

shortening a zip

COIL STYLE ZIPPER:

1. Determine the final length you want the bag zipper to be. Measure this amount from the stops at the top end of the separating zipper when the zipper is closed. Mark this length with chalk on the zipper tape.

2. Attach a new zipper stop over the zipper coil on the face side of the zipper. Ensure the prongs of the zipper stop insert through the zipper tape completely. Bend the prongs flat against the back of the coil using pinch-nose pliers.

3. Repeat step #2 at the open end of the zipper.

4. Once the stops are in place, measure from the end stop an amount equal to the top end of the zipper and mark its location on the tape with chalk. Cut through the coil and discard the retainer box end of the separating zipper.

5. Using a match or candle, sear the raw edges of the nylon coil to prevent raveling.

6. The zipper is now ready to install.

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