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Tips & Techniques > How to Make a Purse from a Zipper

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Posted by: SewVeryTall

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Member since: 3/2/04
Reviews: 161 (tips: 68)
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Posted on: 5/13/05 5:36 AM
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 2 people   
Web site/URL: photo
The above link is my idea of how a purse is made from a zipper.

When I read the previous tip yesterday, I was stumped as to how this is possible. I went to google it, as I'm sure many people here did, and found zip [pun intended, hehe].

Then my brain finally kicked into gear, and the lightbulb lit above my head!

I hope my drawing and instructions help others understand how this bag is made :)

Edited to add: the part about the last few inches of the zipper isn't stated correctly. The zipper should be sewn all the way to the beginning of the zipper in the manner shown. The bag will be open at the top. Then sew the other side of the zipper tape to the other side of the bag [you'll have another U-turn like at the bottom of the bag]. This will close the top of the bag.

Edit #2...added a second image to the link above, to show a shoulder strap bag.

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Acely said... (7/26/10 1:27 AM) Reply
Sew Very Tall, I am a new member to Pattern Review and I am not real sure how it all works. I am trying to pull up your link for the zipper purse tips and techniques. I have been wanting to make one of those for a long time. Can you help me with your link? Thanks
TamTam13 said... (6/18/10 11:03 AM) Reply
I'll try to find the directions for the zipper purse. If it's okay with Sew Very Tall, I can try to download them after scanning them for those of you that still want to make the z-purse and don't have directions/photos.
SewVeryTall said... (11/28/08 9:58 AM) Reply
Sorry, the drawings were lost in the transfer to Shutterfly, ugh!
lyndsayb said... (9/30/08 11:05 AM) Reply
Add me to the list, I'm dying to see the instructions!!
mfcalahan said... (8/26/07 5:47 PM) Reply
Can't find photo and instructions. I am really interested in seeing the instructions. I've seen one of the purses.
strose said... (8/24/07 12:29 PM) Reply
I would also love to have access to your drawing and instructions, but the link says your stuff has been moved to Shutterfly. Could you post a new link? Thanks!
ellbee said... (7/30/07 8:45 PM) Reply
I am interested in seeing your instructions or pattern to evaluate. The link for the photo does not open the the pattern or directions. Thank you
Jayme girl said... (5/20/05 1:27 PM) Reply
always great tips, keep them coming .thanks again
KitKat said... (5/14/05 8:14 AM) Reply
When The Sew and Quilt Expo was in Mass., I saw a man at the Vogue Fabrics booth wearing a vest from zippers. They were selling bags of 50 assorted zippers for just $7 a bag. He said it took 2 bags to make the vest. It was very inspiring. I bought a couple of bags. Some zippers I set aside for sewing projects, some had decorative pulls, some were metal, some were outerwear....a great value. I went to their website, and they have lots of other great things like that on the site, and the bag of zippers too!
SewVeryTall said... (5/14/05 3:35 AM) Reply
I added a second image to the link above, to show how a strap could be added into the equation, and still have the bag open and close at the top.

Ok, smvite, I understand the dimension you mean about the purse being one-zipper-width wide [lol, I'd call that depth]. Isn't it amazing how one word can make such a difference?

This bag makes me think of the Clotilde's notion magazine, where zipper tape is sold by the spool [yards of tape, then zipper pull and stop are attached by the consumer].

Honestly, if I had already found the digital camera I want, I would have made one of these bags, JUST so I could take a pic of it!!

SewVeryTall said... (5/14/05 2:09 AM) Reply
appleC...yes, because the zipper tab is at the top of the bag, so unzipping a little will open the top. And no, I've never seen a bias tape should review it!

smvite..."the purse was only as wide as the width of the zipper" inch or so wide? Yikes, I don't understand that! lol [maybe we're thinking of different definitions of the word width?]

You're all welcome :)

appleC said... (5/13/05 3:49 PM) Reply
I have a question. Does the zipper still functions, I mean, as a zipper?
appleC said... (5/13/05 3:46 PM) Reply
Thank you for the info. It reminds me of a hat made of an extemely long coiled bias tape. I guess you all saw hats like that.
SueV said... (5/13/05 12:42 PM) Reply
Yes, your edited finishing part is perfect. Or, you can leave the top open; continue the zipper, from the side of the purse, like a handle up and over and tack down on the other side and it formed a long shoulder strap. For that purse, the zipper must have been 50"+ long. Because that purse was about 8x10xzipper width. Gosh, IHTH and doesn't add more confusion. :)
SueV said... (5/13/05 12:40 PM) Reply
And thanks for the great drawing and explanation!
SueV said... (5/13/05 12:39 PM) Reply
Yea, that is very very close. the one I saw, the purse was only as wide as the width of the zipper. The length of the purse was as long as you wanted, and the depth of the purse was as long as the zipper took to coil to the top. The ends of the zipper were "sealed/held together" with a metal stud (you know one of those metal "thingys"); and the top of the purse was finished the same way as the bottom. the zipper just ended and enclosed the top edges. I will put one together this weekend for sure AND I will go to the store and, hopefully, they will let me take a photo. Although it was a boutique type fancy store, and they may not let me photo it.
els said... (5/13/05 6:24 AM) Reply
Wow that looks amazingly easy with the help of your diagram. Thanks a lot.
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