An easy, step by step guide to putting a zipper into that purse you've been meaning to sew. This is for those of you new to sewing. This tutorial originally appeared on my blog.

I am a self taught sewer, so I apologize in advance because I do not know a lot of the proper terminology for a lot of stuff. Hang in there, I'll explain things to the best of my ability and use lots of pictures.

For this purse, I used a really basic pattern (because it is fast), that you can find here. I recommend that you read through the tutorial a few times, and maybe make a bag or two without a zipper if you haven't made one like this before because I won't be going into the "how to" of making the actual bag. I'm just going to detail how to get the zipper into it. I also think this method will work with a gusseted bag with a few modifications.

Here is a picture of the finished purse so you can get an idea of how it will look when you are all done. I prefer to have my zipper about an inch down into the bag lining because that way it doesn't bubble up the way it does when you put the zipper right on top.

Step 1: Step #1 - Zipper Length and Taking It Apart

Choose a zipper that is slightly shorter than the width of your pattern piece. You'll have to take into account the size of the width allowance you use. I like to make my width allowance 3/8 of an inch. So, I choose a zipper that will give me about 3/4 inch of room on each side when I lay it out on the pattern piece. This will give me enough clearance for the seam, and a bit of wiggle room to put the zipper together at the end. You can shorten the zipper if you need to. A plastic zipper is easy to cut and modify.

Ignore the ruler. It is just holding the zipper down flat.

At this point, you can take the zipper apart. Don't lose any pieces (like I did). You should put the zipper pull and the little metal u-clip from the bottom of the zipper in a safe place.

Cut out the pieces for your purse as per the original Jordy Tutorial.
great !! I'll put a zipper in my handbag ! Thank you !!
I have to ask, what in the name of Baal is on your... zipper pull? Despite the confusion at that pic, this is a well made instructable. Four stars.
A wire wrapped vintage glass bead. It is really quite nice! LOL
installing zippers is a mysterious black art that I fear!
HA HA!! I read "Put a zapper into a purse" and thought; -Yeah, get those purse-snatchers!
I like it though, good instructable and well planned out sewing.
Great instructable, I really liked the fabric you used on the purse.

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