Thursday, July 30, 2015

7. Stash and Dash - Prepare the Zippers

free sewing tutorial

Prepare the Zippers

We will need:

For this step we will use one 30" double-slide handbag zipper and an extra zipper pull. If you are using three 10" (or longer zippers), you can skip this step.

We will also use these tools:

  • Sewing machine with ¼" foot
  • Marking pen or pencil
  • Quilter's ruler - a 6" x 12" ruler is perfect for this step but a larger ruler will also work
  • Rotary cutter or scissors


There are three zippered mesh pockets on the inside of the Stash and Dash organizer. We prefer to install handbag zippers in these pockets because of their durability and ease of installation (not to mention their extra-long pulls!). The good news: We can make all three pockets using just ONE double-slide zipper and an extra zipper pull.

Let's get started:

1. Measuring from the OUTSIDE edge of the zipper stop on one end of the zipper, make a mark across the zipper tape 10" from the stop. 

NOTE: The ruler in the picture could be moved down just a bit so that the 10" line is at the outside edge of the ruler. Cutting the zippers at 10" leaves plenty of extra, though, so if you put the 10" mark on the inside edge as shown, that is OK. Your last zipper might be a bit shorter than 10" but it will still be more than enough.

make more zippers from one

make a zipper

2. Make another mark 10" away from that mark. This will divide the 30" zipper into three 10" zippers.

Make zippers from one

3. Being careful to have only ONE zipper pull in each section, stitch across the zipper tape (through the teeth, too) about 1/8" away from each marked line. 

Pivot and stitch again across the zipper tape about 1/8" to the other side of each line. 

NOTE: There will be one 10" section of zipper tape without a zipper pull. We will add a pull to that section later.

add pull to zipper

how to create zippers

4. Cut along the marked lines using a rotary cutter or scissors.

how to add pull to zipper
5. You will now have three 10" zippers, two will pulls and one without. There will be a line of stitching at the cut end of each of the zippers to prevent the pulls from coming off. 

Remove the stitching on the end of zipper without the pull so that you can attach a pull in the next step.

6. Refer to the Using Leftover Zipper Tape video tutorial on our website for instructions for adding a zipper pull to the last 10" zipper.

Next Up: 

8. Bind the Inner Mesh Pockets

Click here for the full schedule of postings for ByAnnie's Summer Sew Along - Stash and Dash.


  1. I get the first side of the zipper into the pull but cannot get the 2nd side in. Any tips. I've been trying for 15 minutes now. Thanks

    1. Be sure that you are inserting each side of the tape into the zipper slide at an angle. And don't let the slide come down too far. It's helpful if you have someone else help you. You can get the slide started on the tape and then securely hold both sides of the zipper tape while they pull down on the slide-- just like they are zipping a zipper. If you don't have anyone around to help, use your mouth to grab and pull the zipper slide down while you hold onto the tape. Did you check out my video tutorial, too? FInd it here:

      Keep at it! It takes a bit of practice but gets easier and easier. You can do it!


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