Last weekend all three of our girls were at my parents for the night (a first for us!) and I had some time in the sewing room while DH had time in his workshop. Armed with cute fabric and a seven inch zipper I dove in head first. I tackled my first zipper and it was scary, but good.
I'm really happy with the tutorial I chose. It was well written, clear and seemed to be free from what I consider "unnecessary" or "fussy" steps (pinning, basting, etc.). Yes, I know that these are very important, and probably underrated, facets of the sewing art, but with a limited amount of time - and a steep learning curve - I was going for rapidity and results, not quality, my first time around.
I say the experience was scary because I did wind up sewing over the zipper teeth. As the tutorial pointed out I was careful to avoid the metal parts of the zipper, but my needle still made a scary sound as it passed over (thru?) the zipper teeth and I saw the needle bend dangerously. I've had a few close calls with breaking needles while sewing with my machine. I've even considered wearing safety glasses after a sharp needle point flew at my face after breaking. Next time I put in a zipper I'll think twice about the glasses, and probably wear them. Anyone have advice on this? Was I doing the correct thing by just going right over the zipper teeth? Is there a way to make this a more enjoyable experience for my machine next time? Anyone else have problems with flying metal when their needles break?
I followed the tutorial as best I could and am amazed that I wound up with this cute little pouch. It's sized perfectly for my knitting dpn's and has found a cozy home in my knitting basket. I've already got my eye on three other zipper projects! The next time I'd like to find something that turns out nice crisp top corners or has a rounded look overall.
Skip To My Lou also has a great tutorial on cloth napkins - I've fabric laundered and ready to go for that project too.