I am a very impulsive crafter. I'm all about the endgame. I get an idea in my head, want it done immediately and dive in without really thinking all of the steps through. I sew without patterns, cook without recipes and create on the fly. Of course, that method has many obvious pitfalls and I often find myself at a creative impasse. When that happens, I either cheat to make it all work out or I walk away. I leave it alone and deal with it when I have more patience.
Well, today was a more patience kind of day. I decided it was time to fix a mess I made a long time ago and I added a zipper to a pillow after I had already sewn most of it.
Yup. It was a major crafting blunder and it has been bothering me for over a year. I just had no desire to go in and tackle it, but I am so glad that I did. You see, I was living a creative lie. Last week, when I showed you all of my pretty pillows, I bet you didn't know that one of them was really very incomplete.
The big red one was supposed to be an envelope style cover, but the pattern was such that the pheasants needed to be center stage and I didn't have enough yardage to do that. That fact was not apparent to me until after my first cut.
Uh-oh. Great planning, huh?
The open bottom has been a sore point for far to long, but zippers have always intimidated me. I din't know where to begin. Installation is a technical process and I'm a novice, a self taught seamstress. I basically wing it every time I pick up a needle and thread.
It always amazes me that a sewing tutorial is my most popular post.
I'm also lazy.
I don't know what the different feet do (and I don't want to know), I only change the bobbin if I absolutely can't get away with using the white thread that lives in there and my seams are never straight.
And if they are, it's luck. Not skill.
But today, I decided that I would read the package instructions and figure this zipper thing out, because I am tired of looking at pillows like this...
And it would be nice to have another option beside the trusted envelope method or the stitch it up by hand style.
Turns out, adding a zipper after the fact was easier than I thought and if I can do it, anyone can. Trust me.
Oh and by the way, if you have a garment or a piece of upholstery with a broken zipper, this method would work to replace it. You just need to rip out the old before installing the new.
Here's how to put in a zipper.
I began by sewing up the ends of my pillow, to create an opening that was just large enough for my zipper. I placed the zipper on the open seam of the pillow and then marked the ends with pins.
Then I stitched from the corners of the pillows in to the pin. It created an opening just large enough for the zipper to fit.
Then, with the zipper closed up, I placed it face down on the inside (wrong side) of the fabric and pinned it in place. I only pinned it to ONE SIDE of the open seam.
Then I stitched the zipper to the seam. Like I said, no fancy footwork or machine feet here. I used my basic foot and sewed the zipper in place. The needle was placed as close to the zipper metal as I could get it and the foot just rode happily on top of the zipper itself.
This is how it looked from the right side of the pillow when I was done stitching it in place. It is closed.
Ok, now in order to sew the other side, I had to unzip or open the zipper up. Then I pinned it to the finished seam in exactly the same way I had just done it on the first side.
Then I repeated the stitching process on this side.
And my zipper was in place. I turned the cover back, right side out, stuffed the pillow inside and zipped it up!
Easy peasy. I honestly don't know why I waited so long to do this and why I was so afraid in the first place. I think I'm going to be adding zippers to everything now.
And...having seen the "right" way to make a pillow with a zipper, which involves all that proper foot talk and basting requirements, I think I'll stick with my cheating ways.
Even though I stumbled my way through.
It had a happy ending.
I cheat a lot. Check these out!