the idea of zippers can be downright scary. but who wants to carry a purse without a zippered pocket, right? i won't claim any magic answers here, but hopefully this tutorial will help you overcome your zipper trepidation. once you get started, it's just practice, practice, practice (and a little patience) until you'll be sewing in zippers like a pro.
1. you'll need one piece of your purse lining fabric, a 7" zipper, your pocket fabric (for this size purse, i typically cut out a piece of fabric about 9x12" for the pocket), zipper foot for your machine, and your typical sewing staples (pins, thread, etc.).
2. start by pinning your pocket fabric to the lining fabric, right sides together. to get the right placement, line up the top center of the pocket fabric about 2" below the top center of the lining. after pinning in the center, measure out 3.5" from either side of the center and pin (these pins will be your start and stop marks for your stitches).
instructions continue after the jump....
3. about 1" away from edge of pocket fabric edge, stitch between start and stop pins. repeat 1/2" beneath that stitch. (you can see in the picture above what that will look like.)
4. cut (carefully!) between the stitched lines, leaving about 1/2" uncut on either side. cut both of these ends in a V shape (see red line illustrated in photo above).
5. turn pocket to the inside of lining (wrong sides together) and press.
6. turn over so the lining right side is facing up and place so that the opening is directly over the zipper. pin as shown above. also, take care that your pocket fabric is lying flat so that the bottom edge of the pocket fabric doesn't get caught in this seam.... not that this has ever happened to me or anything ;) but if it had, it might look like this photo below. you'll want to avoid that.
7. with zipper foot attached, stitch zipper into opening. start by pulling the zipper pull to the middle of the opening. start your stitching on the left side of the opening, taking care to catch both ends of the zipper (pinning as shown above will help with this).
8. when you reach the first turn, make sure your needle is down, lift up presser foot, turn your fabric, release presser foot, and resume stitching. as you approach the zipper head, again making sure the needle is down, lift up the presser foot and slide zipper pull away from you (so zipper is fully "zipped"), under the presser foot. this way your presser foot won't hit the zipper head and knock your stitching off track.
10. when you finish, the back should look like this (above).
11. fold up the pocket fabric so that the top and bottom edges align and pin as shown.
12. stitch around the two sides and top of the pocket, making sure to backtack at both beginning and end. also, make sure that you stitch close enough to the raw edge to avoid catching the zipper opening. your pocket is complete!
below is an example of what the lining with zipper pocket looks like inside a completed madeleine bag.
as always... if you have comments, questions, or helpful hints, speak up! and check out these other madeleine mini tutorials:
number.three * magnetic closure
number.one * pleated pouch pocket