Monday, September 7, 2009

Professional Tote Zipper Panel Instructions

A few days ago, I sent Laura Martell, creator of the Professional Tote pattern, an email with a link to my blog so she could see what I had done with the tote pattern. I also mentioned that I had done a modification to the pattern, replacing the regular zipper on top with a separating zipper. She really liked that, and asked that I post the instructions on my blog so others could take advantage of the idea.

Ready?

These instructions replace "Section 10" of the instruction pages.
The only real "modification" is replacing the 18" zipper to match main fabric with a 16" sport separating zipper. The one I used is made by Coats. The zipper panels are cut and interfaced following the pattern instructions.




Separate the zipper. Mark the center point of the long sides of all four panel pieces, and the center point of the zipper. NOTE: The center point of the zipper is NOT the center of the zipper tape; measure between the ends of the zipper teeth (it should be 16").




Lay the side of the zipper with the zipper pull on it FACE-UP on the lining piece, matching the center marks. Lay a main fabric piece face down over the zipper, matching the center mark.




The end of the zipper tape really isn't too attractive, so fold it up over the raw edge before sewing.


Position the zipper pull a little ways down the zipper tape before you start sewing. Using a zipper foot, stitch a 1/4" seam. When you get close to the zipper pull, stop the machine with the needle down. Raise the presser foot and slide the zipper pull back to the top. Sew the rest of the seam.



Fold the two layers back so the wrong sides meet and press lightly. Now you're ready to do the other panel.



The most important part of this process is to make sure you are putting the zipper tape in the same direction as the first panel... Otherwise you will end up with mis-matched zipper panels! Fold the end up as before, and match the center marks. Sew the second zipper tape.



Here are the two halves of the zipper panel, zipped together, ready for the next step.



Open up each panel and match the short edges of the main fabric and the lining fabric. Make sure the zipper seams are pressed open. Stitch the two sides with a 1/2" seam.



Finger-press the side seams open.



Turn the assembly right-side out and open the zipper.



Topstitch around the upper edge of the assembly. No zipper foot is necessary; you won't be stitching near the zipper.


The zipper panels is now ready to be attached to the body of the Professional Tote!


As you can see in this finished bag, the separating zipper allows the opening to lay flat against the inside of the bag, making access to the interior a lot easier.



A Special Surprise!


Laura Martell has generously offered a FREE PROFESSIONAL TOTE PATTERN to one lucky blog visitor!! Just leave a comment on this post; I will choose a winner at random from all the comments at 8:00pm on Friday, September 11. Good luck!!



37 comments:

  1. Welmoed-

    You do a great job at tweaking patterns to make them better for an individual application! :)

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  2. I like the separating zipper application on this tote. Nice job on the tutorial too. Thanks!

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  3. Thanks for that tutorial. Beautifully done! Your earlier post today piqued my interest in that pattern. Almost ordered it, but I'll wait until your giveaway is over :-)

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  4. That's a good idea to use a separating zipper on a tote bag. I like the fact you can see and have better access into the bag. I love bags; I may have to give this one a try. Nice blog.

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  5. I like the tutorial for the separating zipper. I'll have to give it a try. Thanks!

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  6. I'd never seen this pattern before. How unique and could be a real workhorse of a tote!

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  7. What a great idea for a diaper bag! Just because we have a child does not mean we instantly lose our own sense of style. I congratulate you for choosing to make the bag to fit the mom's personality! =)

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  8. What a great mod, and what good instructions! Thanks!

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  9. I really want to try this technique.
    Linda

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  10. That's a really beautiful bag! I really like your separating zipper a lot - it looks so professional.

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  11. Thanks for such a detailed tutorial! I hadn't seen this pattern before checking your recent blog post.

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  12. Girl, you are so clever and inventive but then I have know that since I first met you. The separating zipper is brillant and makes access to the inside so much better. Wish I still lived close to you sometimes but don't miss the snow and ice. You are amazing and so talented.

    Tracy Russin
    St Petersburg, FL

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  13. wow, that is really neat that she wasn't bother by you altering her pattern! The bag is great, I intend to make it for my great gran nephew who will be arriving in Oct. Thanks

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  14. Wow! What a great idea for the zipper. And thanks for the opportunity to win one of the patterns.

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  15. Thanls Welmoed for posting the very clear tutorial on the pattern change. And thanks to Laura for the free bag pattern offer!

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  16. You are always full of surprises! I also had never seen this particular pattern but after seeing you feature it, I think I'd like to make one too. So, if I'm not the winner let me know where I can order it from because I'd like to make one of these as a project bag!
    -Megan

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  17. Love the bag and the way you chnged the zipper makes a lot of sense and ease of getting into the bag. After seeing this I now know what my niece is getting for her baby shower.

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  18. Thanks so much for the tutorial. Your instructions and pictures really give a clear picture of what you've created. I'm one of the lucky ones who have seen your original with this treatment and it really does the job! Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Every time you make one of these bags I tell myself I need to get that pattern! I promise I will, soon!

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  20. What a cool, useful bag pattern!

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  21. Your sewing is inspirational! I always enjoy reading your blog! Marilyn Lefholz

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  22. You are so clever! I love the separating zipper and your instructions could not be easier to follow. Thanks!

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  23. Am I SO glad to see this!!! I am exactly at this step in finishing up my tote.
    Thank you so much for sharing this.
    Lourdes

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  24. Great idea to use a separating zipper and you explained it clearly with the photos. Thank you!

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  25. I haven't made the Professional Tote yet, but have purchased 5 contrasting quilt fabrics for it, and am itching to get started! I love the idea of the separating zipper, so I will try it. Thanks for your creativity!

    Linda

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  26. Thanks for this tutorial. Next time I'm doing it YOUR way. Thanks for your help.

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  27. I was looking to sew this type of tote bag instruction online. Glad I found this site . Thank you

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  28. I just made this bag and love your idea of the separating zipper. BUT, how hard is it to zip it closed? That would be my concern.

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  29. Separating zippers are perfect for bags and totes, eliminating awkward ends. Thanks.

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  30. I am making this bag right now and LOVE it. I plan to have it done for Christmas for my secret sister in my small quilt group. I am so glad I found your tutorial - I just bought a separating zipper and plan to do step 10 tonight. Thanks for a great blog and for a wonderful pattern, Laura!

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  31. Thanks for such clear instructions and photos for the zipper application. I just finished my first Professional Tote and I know that I will enjoy using it.

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  32. I'm making this tote now and will by trying your zipper method. Thanks

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  33. Thanks for these instructions -- makes it look as though I can actually succeed.

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  34. HI I have made 6 of these in the past. I have also put in a 2 way purse zipper. It depends how you want to use the bag. I frequently use a micro suede or ultra suede if you can get it for the bottom panel and sometimes the side pockets(with the pull cords). I find it makes the bag more durable than using cotton. I also sometimes quilt the main bag over the decor bond. And I generally use webbing for handles...I use these bags everyday for work and lug large quantities of stuff so I tried to make the incredible design most durable for my needs.

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  35. Great zipper instructions, thank you for free tutorial. I don't have your tote pattern and would love to have it. Thanks again.....

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  36. Love the tutorial. Thank you for the free tutorial on the zipper insertion. I do not have your tote pattern and would love to have it. Thanks again.....

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  37. I did this method for the bag that I made and really like the idea. However, the next bag I make I will use a 14-inch zipper because there is so little room to maneuver the zipper to get it started to close.

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