Zipping about with monkeys!

27Oct14

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Hello! For a change I’ve been busy doing some crafty stuff over the last week, as I’ve had some time off – and it’s been brilliant. A proper chance to get the sewing machine(s) out and take a little ‘me time’. I really needed it actually, and I feel almost like a human being again.

Anyway, enough of that – LOOK AT THAT ZIP! I’ve been terrified of putting a zip in anything ever since Googling for zip tutorials and finding a hundred usually titled ‘don’t be afraid of zips’. Don’t be afraid? Well… I wasn’t. Should I be? At that point I realised zips were clearly impossible and I shouldn’t even bother.

About a year later I bought this pattern, which has three different patterns for zipped-bags. A weekend or two ago I had a quick chat with my Mum, who convinced me that my hand cranked Singer probably had a zipper foot, and so I thought this week was the time to get on with it.

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Turns out that the Singer *doesn’t* have a zipper foot, a fact I discovered after cutting out the pieces and setting everything up. So, obviously I Googled ‘inserting a zip without a zipper foot’.

In brief: open the zip half way, when you hit the zipper pull, lift up the sewing machine foot, zip the pull past the foot and carry on. That’s it.

The pattern was really good, and well explained. I have no idea why, but it’s the only one I’ve seen where you’re able to see what you’re sewing as you stitch down the side of the zipper. All the other tutorials seem to cover up the zip with lining fabric. (Like this one, for example). I also like the neat fabric ends on the zipper – which you can see in the first photo up there.

I took extra care with the corners and managed to get my seams to match up. I did this by cutting out a square at the bottom corners, like this. I decided to try this as there are three layers of fabric in this pouch – outer fabric / lining / inner fabric and I was worried that the ‘pinching corners’ method wouldn’t catch each layer. I also have a problem with the pinching corners method leaving me with different sized corners. I’m happy to report that the new method worked much better for me.

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And just look at this fabric! I was a gift and it makes me smile every time I look at it. I did have a little worry as I started that if I messed it up then I’d’ve wasted the fabric, but in the end, I thought perhaps it would bring me luck and make me take extra care. I’m happy to report that it worked out well and I love it! What a relief! My first zip.

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I’ve also been working on my quilt, that I started so long ago. I think I’ve finished the quilt top now (on the John Lewis Mini Sewing machine) – but that’s for another post. And I’ve been knitting. I’m properly into this pattern now and at last am able to use my sock monkey stitch markers! Another gift that I’ve been waiting patiently to use.

Not only that, but I baked some biscuits and a cake. (A new habit I need to get out of.) And I did some tatting. A relaxed week, but busy with all the right things.

Hope you’re all doing well out there.

(PS: Congrats to Night’s Watch for completing her first half marathon. Amazing!)

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4 Responses to “Zipping about with monkeys!”

  1. Very cute pouch, those are some fun monkeys lol

  2. 2 janed

    You have been busy!

    Glad to hear that the monkeys behaved themselves 🙂 Nice cornering method – will take a proper look. And you realise that my zip problem is entirely related to your zip problem don’t you? I mean if you found them scary then they must be terrifying because you’re amazing!

    Glad to see that the stitch marker monkey looks reassuring and pleased with your work 🙂

    • The zip problem isn’t me! It’s the internet! And if I can, you definitely can. I think it should be ok on the mini, but I haven’t tried it yet.. And yes – the stitch markers, at last!

  3. Your zip turned out great. I love the little end tabs; I wonder if they’d work on clothing…not that I’ve had ANY time to sew. There’s a dress sitting on my sewing table that has been almost done for more than six months. It’s a little sad.
    And thanks for the shout out. 🙂


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