Tutorial: Sewing Zippers on Crochet
Sewing zippers on crochet can enhance a wide range of projects. You can attach zippers to a vest or jacket, as in the Vined Vest from Interweave Crochet, or sew them into a pouch to create a fun project bag. To practice zipper sewing, I’m using the tapestry crochet swatches from the Spring issue and turning them into small notions bags. This technique will work on the Vined Vest as well. Here is a quick tutorial for sewing zippers on crochet.
The first step is to buy the correct zipper. You’ll want a zipper in a similar color to your project and in the appropriate size. For a project like the Vined Vest, the zipper size should match the length of the finished piece exactly and the zipper must separate completely. For a pouch, you can shorten a zipper if you need to (just don’t buy one that’s too short), and it can separate or be attached at the bottom—either will work.
Next, gather your supplies. In addition to the zipper, you’ll need sewing pins, a sewing needle, and thread in a matching color.
Follow these steps to attach your zipper:
1. Try the zipper out a few times by zipping it open and closed. Make sure it zips and unzips easily and separates at the bottom if you need it to.
2. Close the zipper and pin one side of the zipper to one side of your crocheted fabric. You will want the crochet to come right up to the edge of the zipper but not so close that it gets in the way of the zipper’s teeth. Make sure the zipper’s side tabs are on the inside/wrong side of the project. Align the zipper with the crochet so that it starts and ends in the correct space.
3. As you pin the zipper, be sure you’re not stretching the crochet to reach the length of the zipper; sewing the zipper into stretched crochet fabric will cause your zipper to buckle and warp.
4. With the zipper closed, begin pinning the opposite side of the zipper in the same way you did the first side. (Don’t start pinning with the zipper unzipped or the two parts of the zipper may not align.) Once you have the first few pins in for the second side, you can unzip the zipper to allow your fingers better access.
5. As you are pinning the second side of the zipper, periodically pause and close the zipper to make sure it matches up with the first side.
6. Once both sides are pinned, pin the zipper’s end tabs inside the project to hide them.
7. Thread your needle and, sewing along the edge of the crochet, use backstitch to sew the zipper in place. Remove the pins as you go.
8. Once the zipper is sewn in place, tack down the end tabs with your needle and thread so they are hidden inside the project. Give the tabs a little trim if necessary.
9. Finally, lay the project down so you can examine the zipper and make sure everything aligns. Try the zipper a few times once again to ensure no thread or yarn is in its way.
Happy stitching to you!
Editor, Interweave Crochet