Monday, September 10, 2012

How NOT to sew a zipper

3 hours before I was supposed to be at my parent's house for my sister's birthday get together I decided I should start sewing the little zipper pouch I was going to give her. (I would have started earlier but was dealing with a toddler who did not want to sleep in his new big boy bed....) This was my first time sewing a zipper EVER!!! I figured how hard could it be, I could figure it out by myself.....

My how NOT to sew a zipper!!!!

1. Don't try to teach yourself how to sew a zipper 3 hours before you need the item finished.

2. Don't try and teach yourself how to sew a zipper when you are already slightly stressed.... (taking 3 hours to get a toddler to take a nap....)

3. READ the directions on your sewing machine, the instructions that came with your zipper and maybe a few tutorials online!!!!
Don't ignore these directions!!! They are ACTUALLY useful!
4. Maybe an Invisible Zipper is not the place to start? It's were I started and it was a PAIN in the a$$!!!! Having only sewed one zipper I don't know if a regular zipper is easier, but it would have to be!!!!

5. When sewing an invisible zipper and using your invisible zipper foot, UNZIP the zipper. If you put the zipped up zipper through the foot bad things will happen.... (broken needle, jammed machine, lots of extra thread and just a whole big mess) Worst part, I think I tried this like 5 times and could not figure out why it would not work!!! Then I had a DUH moment.... I unzipped the zipper and it worked a whole lot better!!!!

Unzip your zipper!!! Or you will have a mess!!

Opps, I broke a needle, because I didn't unzip the zipper!
6. Even though at this point it might look pretty, when you have one side of your zipper sewed in place, its probably a good idea to test the zipper and make sure it zips... or you will be back at step 3 like I was.
Looks good, but does it work? NOPE!
7. READ the directions or you will be using your seam ripper a lot!! This was the first time I ripped the seam out on what I thought was a completed side only to have to get out my iron. I failed to read the step on the zipper directions telling me to iron my zipper..... 
My seam ripper was my friend.... or enemy, either way it was used too much!

Started over again!
8. Re-pin and PRAY PRAY PRAY that this time it will work!!!! And again test the side to make sure it actually zips!!! When it does, do a happy dance!!!!!! Sewing a zipper is easy right???
Sewed over the zipper, this time the seam ripper fixed it!

9. NOPE! Side two does not cooperate, and then its time to trouble shoot again.... 

I finally sewed my zipper, and man was in a pain!!! I wasted so much thread, broke one needle, had the needle pop out several times, used my seam ripper way too many times.... but I did it!!!
My mess!

I am confidant the next time can't be as bad!!!! BUT if I had read the directions and not just tried to figure it out myself I think I might have saved myself a bit of stress, (plus the unrealistic timeline for how long it would take and already being stressed)

I would love to share an actual tutorial on how to sew a zipper, but trust me Google it and find an expert on the subject :) 

And my finished product ACTUALLY looks pretty good!!! I will save that post for another day!! And with all of my hard work I kind of don't want to give it away... or I could make myself a second one, for practice of course!


  1. You made me laugh, every time I start to sew a zipper I spend so much time making sure I'm doing it right, so I feel your pain! :)

    1. Thanks Erin!!! Next time I give it a shot, I am going to plan for four hours to get it done!!!

  2. Hahaha, oh I do that kind of stuff all the time, I could write daily blog updated at least 3 times a day of all the things not to do. There is no learning without mistakes!

  3. I still get worried over zippers too. Hang in there. Stopping by from Tip Junkie's linky party and your newest follower.

    Here is what I shared:

  4. Hahaha Story of my LIFE! Zippers are the devil!
    Jacque @ theDIYvillage

  5. I have yet to be brave enough to attempt a zipper, but that was going to be my next step in teaching myself how to sew. Not anymore! Your post has me running to my friend's house where I will let that expert sewer teach me first hand. Thanks for the warnings!
    Bonny @

  6. I just love this... I don't know how many times I think, Wow - this is how not to do this! Hilarious yet honest post! Crazy but I continue to mess things up simply because I'm a "figure it out" kinda girl. New follower too!