This post really got everyone's attention! I figured I probably wasn't alone in wanting to improve the corners of my zip pouches, and yes indeed, a lot of you expressed interest in learning how to make yours better too.
One person mentioned wanting to see a photo of the problem, so the photos above and below show two pouches--the one the left has dented corners, and the one on the right was made using the method I'm going to show you below.
This zipper technique does require hand sewing, but it is worth the extra effort. The corners look a lot better, and the zipper will open nice and wide.
Some general info/tips:
- Stitch the zipper into the corners BEFORE closing the opening for turning. It can be helpful to be able to reach inside to reposition the zipper ends. You might also want to trim the ends of the zipper, so leave closing the opening as the very last step.
- The info below assumes you know how to sew a zip pouch. This is just an idea for how to handle the zipper, so all the steps for sewing a pouch aren't included.
- I'm using the edge of the presser foot as the allowance. My presser foot is almost 3/8" wide, so these instructions are basically for a 3/8" allowance. If you use a 1/4" allowance you can sew closer to the edges (about 0.75"). See steps 2 & 3 for more info.
- The topstitching next to the zipper won't extend all the way to the side seam. I tried folding the zipper out of the way for the first 1" of topstitching, but it wasn't a success. I always suggest using topstitching for a finished look, and with zip pouches it will keep the fabric from getting caught in the zipper. So unless this really bugs you, don't skip the topstitching. An alternative might be to just topstitch on the lining side. The lining seems to be more troublesome for catching in the zipper. If anyone comes up with a good solution for this, come back and tell us how in the comments what you did to make it work.
- If your zipper has a fold from the packaging, press it out before installing the zipper. Place a press cloth (fabric scrap is ok) on top of the zipper and press with a hot iron.
Your fabric pieces can be as wide as your zipper is long. So if you have a 9" zipper, your fabric pieces can be 9" wide, or less. The zipper in the photos is 9" and the fabric pieces are 8.5" wide x 4.5" high.
2. Sew Pieces to Zipper
Ok, here is the main trick to making this work...sew the fabric pieces to the zipper begining and ending sewing 1" (2.5 cm) from the sides.
Press the pieces away from the zipper, making a firm crease along the unsewn edges at the sides. You can use an iron & press cloth, or finger press them in place.
Again, begin and end stitching 1" (2.5 cm) from the sides.
When you are sewing your exterior & lining pieces together, unfold the creased fabric at each corner and match up the creases on each side. Push the zipper out of the way, and sew right off each end. In this photo I'm squeezing this open to show how I've sewn all the way to the ends of the side seams, but did not sew through the zipper.
5. Hand Sew Corners in Place
On the separating end of the zipper, tuck each end into the seam about 0.25" (6 mm) from the side seam:
Slip stitch the ends in place.
At the other end of the zipper, begin sewing on one side of the coils. Go underneath the coils and come out on the other side of them, pulling the zipper into the corner:
Slip stitch this end in place.
That's it! I hope you'll give it a try at some point.
Have a great weekend!