Hey bag makers! I’m so excited to share this hack with you because I LOVE ZIPPERS! The great thing about adding a zipper to the top of your Sew Compleat Shoulder Tote is that it keeps everything contained inside!
What you will need:
- Sew Compleat Shoulder Tote Pattern
- The assembled outer of your tote
- Your linings with zipper pocket added & lining gusset
- 1 chunky/long pull zipper – 13.5″ (34.5cm) long (Only have a dress zipper? No problem, I’ll tell you later how to make it work!)
- 4 pieces of fabric 2.5″ x 10.5″ (6.3cm x 26.7cm) for the Zipper Gusset
- Piece of fabric that is 3 1/4” x 2” (8.3cm x 5cm) for the Zipper Tab
- 2 pieces of of interfacing 2.5″ x 10.5″ (6.3cm x 26.7cm)
Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the two outer pieces of fabric for your gusset Take your zipper gusset pieces and fold the short ends in 1/2” (1.3cm) to the wrong side.
Mark 3/4” (1.9cm) in from the start of your zipper teeth and fold it as shown. Place a little hand stitch, or use glue, to hold it in place.
With your zipper open, place the folded corner 1/4” (0.6cm) in from the end of your gusset piece, right sides together with an interfaced piece. Place a non-interfaced gusset piece on top, so it is right sides together with the interfaced piece, sandwiching the zipper inside.
Stitch to join using a 1/4″ (0.6cm) seam allowance and trim the excess zipper tape off at the open end only.
Press the gusset panels away from the zipper and repeat to attach the remaining gusset panels to the remaining side of the zipper.
Trim your zipper gusset panels so that they are 1.5 ” (3.8cm) for chunky zippers (1.75″ (4.5cm) for dress zippers). Topstitch around each piece using a 1/8” (0.3cm) seam allowance.
At the closed end of your zipper, mark 2.5” and 3” (6.4cm and 7.6cm) out from the end of your sewn gusset. Cut the excess zipper tape off at the 3 1/2″ mark.
Take your zipper tab fabric and fold it in half matching short sides. Stitch using a 1/4″ (0.6cm) seam allowance for chunky zippers and a 1/2” (1.3cm) seam allowance for a dress zipper.
Slide the tab onto the end of your zipper, ensuring the seam is centred underneath on the ‘wrong side’ of the zipper tape, and the outer raw edge of the zipper tab is level with the end of the zipper. Stitch in place 1/2” (1.3cm) away from the end of the zipper/zipper tab.
Fold the tab off the zipper and tuck the raw edge in 1/2” (1.3cm).
Press well and top stitch around all 4 sides with a 1/8” (0.3cm) seam allowance to finish.
Find the middle of your zipper gusset along the long edge, as well as the top of the lining piece you just sewed. Place your zipper gusset right side UP matching center marks and baste in place using a 1/4” (0.6cm) seam allowance.
Find the middle of the other lining piece. Place the other side of the Zipper Gusset right side UP, matching center marks and baste in place using a 1/4” (0.6cm) seam allowance.
Open up your zipper and sew the other side of your Lining Gusset into place as per Step 27: Assembling Your Lining in the pattern.
Your lining is now complete! Attach your lining to your exterior as per Step 28: Putting It All Together in the pattern and turn. To topstitch your bag, push the zipper gusset towards the lining. I find pinning it or clipping it into place helps it from moving as you sew.
Topstitch around the top of your bag!
And that’s it! How sweet does that look?!
We hope you have a blast when you sew your next Sew Compleat Shoulder Tote! I cannot wait to make many many more!