the one where i cried over a zipper.

27 June 2013

the one where i cried over a zipper.
i have this little tradition.
on the first day of school, my kiddos take a little gift for their new teachers.
each of their teachers receive a friendship bag with blank index cards, a sharpie marker and some candy.
it's my way of kicking off the school year with a "thanks for teaching my kid. sorry if they end up being the class clown."

because i'm me, i wanted to top their first day of school gift.
sometimes i'm my own worst enemy.
what's up with that?

so, i made grand plans.
i wanted to make them all a zippered pouch.
enter a girl that has never put a zipper on/in anything in her entire life.

don't get me wrong, i buy zippers.
and they just sit here. looking pretty.
lame, i know.

well, here's what happened.
i picked out some delicious fabrics and matching zippers.
easy peasy.

i picked out a tutorial to follow, cut my fabrics and then i tried.
i really tried.
but i just couldn't do it.

was it the tutorial's fault?
no. well, maybe.
was it my zipper foot's fault?
no. well, maybe.
was it my own darn fault?
more than likely.

either way, i was so extremely frustrated, that i was in tears.
over a flipping zipper.
a woman that has been through birthing 4 babies.
and one of those babies was an ounce short of 10 pounds!!!

so, my kids didn't have awesome zippy pouches for their teachers on the last day of school.
because i'm a procrastinator of epic proportions, the teachers got hugs and a "i'll see you around, maybe."
way to go me.

stupid zippers.
i'll tackle you soon enough.
just watch and see and find out.

xo, rachel

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Jen said...

This is a GREAT place to start!

Gale, Ky quilter said...

This is a great tutorial. After making a couple of these earlier this year, I am not putting zippered pockets in bags & on the exterior, too! You can do this!!!!

And, this is perfect for the top of a completed tote . . . you could even add this to the Friendship Bag.

Good luck!!!!

Gale, Ky quilter said...

For some reason this didn't paste to the comment above. Add to any tote.

suemac said...

You should try SewSweetness zipper pouch tutorial. She has you sew the outside to the zipper then the lining to the zipper. It was a lot easier.

Michael said...

I almost flunked 7th grade home ec. because I couldn't get my zipper in my stupid skirt that I never was going to wear any way. I took the skirt and zipper home to finish. My Mom (bless her heart) said "give me that d"%# thing" and she put the zipper in, without needing the instructions. That was a little over 40 years ago... I still haven't attempted another zipper! I do drool over the patterns for pouches.... maybe some day! ;)

Michael said...

The above comment was made by Michael's wife, not Michael!

Susan said...

I have a love hate relationship with zippers - I have this great enthusiasm and awesome ideas and result? we won't go there.

How about making some friendship bags for them instead.

I know what you're going through, although in saying that I made my friend a zippered purse recently, yes she is still my friend, but only a friend would be happy with it. There is a photo on my blog.

Cari said...

Aww, don't be so hard on yourself! I have to say this trend toward making teachers homemade gifts for every occasion freaks me out just a bit. I mean, it's also very sweet -- but imho shouldn't EVER make you feel bad if you don't do it!! You and zippers will definitely work it out sometime in the future.

Christina said...

Isn't it humbling to hit a wall at the sewing machine? I know you'll get through this one someday. You are a good woman for telling it like it is!!

Carla said...

Oh dear. They can be tricky. I've heard the open wide pouch by noodle head is great. Don't give up ; )

Julie said...

I have just done my first zippered pouch - using the Noodle-head tutorial. No where near as stressful as I thought. It has only taken me about 2 years to get enough courage to do it. Goodluck next effort.


Nicky said...

Better maybe to practice when there is no stress! Why not do it now, today! From a fellow procrastinator of epic proportions!

I believe you can!

Bárbara said...

simplemente no era el día para hacerlo !
la próxima seguro te saldrá y te sorprenderá lo bonito que te quedara :)

Mary Ann said...

Try a free Craftsy class: Mastering Zipper Techniques. I have loved all the classes they have and you can access them anytime you need a bit of help. Mary Ann

Valerie the Pumpkin Patch Quilter said...

Awww - we all have been there - and zippers are a pain. My first zippers were awful. The next time you go to put in a zipper you will be a pro! Honestly, the best zipper instructions I have found are the ones actually on the zipper package. You can do it!!!

Hazel Raison said...

I feel your pain. I remember attempting a quilted zipped make-up bag, with the idea of using them for Xmas presents. After being really pleased with my free motion quilted patchwork body bit, I then had to add the zipper only to discover that I couldn't figure out how to get the thing under my machine foot for the second side. After multiple attempts I chucked it in the bin. I realised about a week later that the key was opening the zipper DUH!

Jacqueline said...

LOL you will master that zipper one of these days when you aren't under pressure to get the project done.

Kristin Hajny said...

It will happen. I just started sewing a couple of years ago. The first time I put a zipper took me about 3 hours. Now I can add one in a split second and w/o even pinning. Just sit back take a deep breath and say I WILL DO IT!!!

sweetbaby said...

I just learned how to make the cutest Ziooer pouches that is super easy and you don't have to use your Ipoer foot!! I have made so many of them and now made wet bags for my young mom friends (using that PUL waterproof lining)!!! It is awesome. I could try to write it out for you if you want. You will die at how easy it is!!! Let me know. Hugs, Ruth.

Anonymous said...

Damn zippers, scaring you so bad! Bad zippers, bad! Don't worry, you'll get it. I've been doing zippers for over 40 years. I learned from my mom when I was VERY young. Probably too young and stupid to be afraid. There are lots of good tutorials out there now. Just walk away and take a lot of deep breaths. It will get better.

xo Linda

Patricia Lessell said...

My favorite analogy of me was 'I tried to put in a zipper when I was 15, couldn't do it, and have never tried again!' This year, at the grand old age of 66, I decided I was going to try again. I bought a load of pretty zippers, intending to make the 3 zipper pouch. The pretty zippers are somewhere, the pretty fabric is somewhere else and have I tried again? Have I heck but watch this space.

Marilyn said...

You know, don't want to echo everyone else but...try again!! The first time I tried to make a pouch with a zipper it was a disaster. but now, I am so thankful I learned!! Its a valuable skill, and after the first 10 zippers its second nature!!

Malinda said...

You can do this!! A long time ago, you were kind enough to send me a pdf of your friendship bag tutorial, which I have made and shared many times, including switching out the handles for a ZIPPER! I used Flossie Teacakes' Lined Zippered Pouch Tutorial for the zipper directions, your measurements for the bag. The only tip I would add is to trim the ends of the zipper inside the little fabric ends you added. This will reduce bulk and allow the corners to be pushed out a little more. The little fabric ends on the zippers look SO classy, extra work, but definitely worth it! I have also used upholstery sample fabrics (free from interior designers) to make great little makeup and sewing kit bags. These bags are adorable and just the right size!!

jenni said...

I wish you lived close by, I would help you. It just takes lots of practice. A long time ago I bought a bunch of zippers and just started putting them in fabric I had laying around. I found my own way of doing zippers, totally unconventional, but they look great!

Mimi said...

You are too funny!!! Did you use a zipper foot on your sewing machine?

Qltr89 said...

Hilarious! Your children's teachers must be so lucky to get gifts from you. Now, about the zipper. The first time I put on a zipper was to repair my favorite corduroy jacket. It was a birthday gift for my son years ago from his godparents. He didn't like it because it had a hoodie. I tried it on, it fit me perfectly, plus it is reversible. I've been wearing this jacket for over a decade and a half now. The zipper broke on me last fall and I actually replaced the zipper. I started at the top of the jacket and worked my way down, sewing the zipper. When I finished, one side had leftover jacket fabric. So I sewed the excess into the hem. No one is the wiser. Only I know I messed up the zipper, but hey I got to wear my jacket again. Its perfect for outdoor concerts.

Kelly O. said...

not to worry. I too have cried over a zipper. Many zippers have made me swear in fact. I feel your pain.

Molly said...

Oh Dear, don't cry! It's okay, you will get it- promise. A few months ago I was in the same boat, finding myself a month before quilt market having promised the gal I was helping that I could totally handle zipper pouches and a purse and pillows with zipper closures... sure- no sweat- GULP. But- I was hell bent and determined to learn zippers and in the past 2 months I have totally conquered them. It can be learned- and you can do it... just breath, watch a few tutorial videos, give it a go, and make sure it is with ugly fabric first...I promise- you can do it! :)

Amy DeCesare said...

I agree that you should try again sometime, making only ONE zipper, whenever you don't HAVE to make anything at all. I also agree that you would love the Noodlehead Open Wide Pouch tutorial. Also, though...I'm pretty good at making zippered pouches, but I bought a pattern with a new way to do it, and it was a mess. I wonder if that's the one you used. Just use an old free tutorial and sew right over the zipper sides. Your zipper photo is so pretty it's making ME cry!!!

Jodi @ Tickle and Hide said...

I just want to say that you made my day saying that you buy zippers but have never sewn one! me too! Sorry it made you cry. I would have too, I think. Now to make something you know you're great at so you can remind yourself how talented you are. :)

CathyK said...

You can do it!!! And once you do, I'll try!! :) I have not done any type of sewing other than quilting, which I only just learned. I love the stuff you make but am chicken to try! I just know you can tackle that zipper when you are not pushed for time...then watch out!!!!!

Kim Feather said...

I'm right there with Cathy K in both respects. Just taught myself to quilt with the help of youtube and all of you wonderful bloggers out there. I tackled my first zipper last week and it turned out perfect. I did just go to and I'm going to use Robie's method. She did such an easy tutorial to follow. Thank you to everyone that shares their talent!

Donna said...

This just to funny of a story and all to familiar! Glad I'm not alone!

Thimbleanna said...

Awwww, Rachel. I wish you lived closer and I'd walk you through them. Find someone local so they can help you with whatever is causing you problems. Once you get the hang of them, you'll be putting them in everywhere!

Lea said...

I totally relate to you about zippers! I am sure all of the gifts you have given in the past more than make up for not having one this time!

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