Learning to install a zipper

Shortly after Christmas I found myself at a nearby Barnes & Noble.

After picking up a puzzle that caught my eye, I found an excellent assortment of colorful notebooks, reading glasses, and bags of varying sizes and designs made made from candy wrappers.

The candy wrapper bags were made using a folding technique that I had mastered when I was in the ninth grade as the result of an English assignment that required each student in class to give a speech on how to do something.

At the time, I had not yet learned to crochet (which, no doubt, would have been the topic of my speech had I known how), but I had recently learned how to make a chain from gum wrappers, and by the time it was my turn to give a speech, I had a 29-foot gum wrapper chain that I had worked on relentlessly for weeks.

I don’t know whatever became of that gum wrapper chain, but after looking over the candy wrapper purses longer than was necessary, I settled on this small coin purse:

zippered coin purse
Zippered candy wrapper coin purse

What I found most interesting was the manner in which the zipper had been installed:

zippered coin purse
A look the details of the zipper in the candy wrapper coin purse

I had struggled with my own efforts to install a zipper in an unfinished bag I now call “flight of fancy,” and hoped that I could use the technique that had been used in this candy wrapper coin purse to reinstall the zipper on my own bag which has been languishing for years.

Once I purchased this zippered candy wrapper delight, I went to see my neighbor who teaches in the textiles department at a nearby university and is the person I go to with my textile questions. As it happened, she was able to look at the coin purse and tell me exactly what I needed to do in order to replicate the result (a zipper that glides open and shut and does not look hideous when examined closely).

As this photo of my second attempt to install a zipper, there is lots of room for improvement:

installing a zipper
My second attempt at installing a zipper

Armed with a visual example and additional knowledge of how to install the zipper, I searched out the pieces of the bag. Based on the measurements of a vintage airline travel bag, as of last May, I had gotten this far with my assembly efforts:

Bauhaus block crochet travel bag
My mini Bauhaus block crochet travel bag

In the interim, I have misplaced the 4 x 10 array that will form the bottom of the bag, but I decided to move forward anyhow and use the pieces I had within easy reach. Over the weekend, I added two more rows to the 6 x 10 that will form one of the two 10 x 12 panels:

Bauhaus block crochet travel bag
I continue work on the flight of fancy crochet bag with the pieces I have found so far

This project has turned out to be more of a challenge than I envisioned when I first began working on, but I suspect that when I am done, my craft will benefit from everything I have learned along the way.

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2 thoughts on “Learning to install a zipper

  1. perplexed and so looking forward to this project’s ta-da moment.
    I too made gum wrapper chains many decades ago… though mine were fashioned into a curtain of stripes I hung across the entryway to my room!

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