I thought I would follow up my Cargo Duffle post with the zipper tutorial I promised. Especially since Kim asked for it – she wants to make a cargo duffle as well! This bag, by the way, performed beautifully on it’s maiden voyage via 3 differently sized airplanes. It is the perfect size to fit under the seat and leaves just enough space to rest your feet beside it. Letting you use whatever leg room you can get!
When I was buying supplies for the duffle cargo I was disappointed that I could not find a zipper that closed into the middle. Instead, all my local fabric shop had were zippers that met in the centre and opened at each end. I’ve been experimenting with zippers lately and have found that I am shortening a lot of them to fit my projects. So I thought, maybe I could flip the zipper slider around to open the zipper teeth in the opposite direction. I was pretty excited when it worked!
The only negative I can find to this process is that it won’t work on a metal zipper – at least not as far as I can tell. I was unwilling to pull my metal zipper apart because the teeth seem to be different on each side. If you take a look at the teeth on a plastic zipper (below) – they are symmetrical and will fit into the zipper slider in any direction – making the whole process of turning the slider around possible. I’d love to know if you’ve tried this and what your conclusions are.
What you need:
- plastic two way zipper
- craft scissors
- craft knife
- sewing machine
- small fabric scraps to match your project
- Cut 4 pieces of fabric wider than your zipper tape and long enough to reach from the end of the zipper to 1/2″ past where the teeth start. This length will be different for each end. You can also pick the longest length and make them both match.
- (7a) Place the pieces right sides facing at the edge of the teeth/bar tack.
- (7b) Stitch using a 1/2″ seam – be careful when stitching over the teeth. I usually turn the hand wheel and move the fabric around to avoid breaking my needle.
- (7c) Fold the fabric down over the end of the zipper and top stitch close to the folded edge of the fabric.
- (7d) Cut the edges from the fabric so it matches the width of the zipper tape.
All finished – now you can install it in your bag project!