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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > How to install zipper on "purse" top w/curves ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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How to install zipper on "purse" top w/curves
Laptop bag top has up/down curve w/zipper
Arline

Arline
Advanced Beginner
CA USA
Member since 5/1/05
Posts: 109
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Date: 2/5/11 7:01 PM

I'm going to try and copy a laptop bag I like with an unusual installation of a zipper (see pic). As you can see, the top has two gentle curves to follow the top line of the bag and handle. So the zipper is to follow the same "mountain range" profile and it seems like it might be tricky. I'm assuming I would sew in the zipper first before sewing the sides and bottom. I guess I would open up and lay flat the front and back and then pin the zipper in a slightly curved pattern and stitch down? Or, is there a better/easier way? The two main curves are at the beginning and the end; in between is a very slight dip and then back up for the last curve. To clarify: the zipper does not climb up into the hand openings - just stays fairly level with the two small curves and goes straight across, per se. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!!

arline

-- Edited on 2/5/11 7:04 PM --
-- Edited on 2/5/11 7:06 PM --

TiffXJ
TiffXJ
Member since 2/7/11
Posts: 3
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Date: 2/7/11 3:48 PM

That is a tricky one, but I think you've got the right idea. Have you considered hand sewing the zipper on? Sewing the handbag on manually will take longer than using a machine, but will give you more flexibility when working with the design.

solosmocker
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solosmocker
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Subject: How to install zipper on purse top w/curves Date: 2/8/11 7:47 PM

I did a bag with a similar situation not long ago. My suggestion would be to install the zipper on to two straight strips of fabric. Then sew the fabric into the seams as needed.

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Arline

Arline
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Date: 2/10/11 3:52 AM

Thank you both. Solo, that makes a lot of sense to me, as it would make the fabric more flexible to attach than the stiff zipper bands. Otherwise, would you say my suggested "method" of sewing this bag make sense or is there a better order of sewing it?

solosmocker
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solosmocker
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In reply to Arline


Date: 2/16/11 2:24 PM

That is pretty much what I would do. You definitely want to install the zipper "in the flat." I would install the zip to each fabric strip before installing it to the flat sides. I find the trickiest part of this type of zip installation is getting a nice transition at the ends of the zips when you go to sew up the side seams of the bag. The ends of the zips are rectangular and often the patterns are simply the end of a seam, like a slit. Sometimes I put a small folded piece of fabric at the ends of the zip to finish it off and then sew that into the bag. Let us know how you make out...Bunny

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susandf
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susandf
Expert/Couture
AZ USA
Member since 4/30/11
Posts: 132
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Date: 6/17/11 3:11 AM

Here is a tutorial for putting a zipper in a bag - a tear and frustration-free method:
Destashification Make-Up Bag

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The Destashification Project - Stash Couture!

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