The mere mention of the word zipper sends some people into a panic. How do I put one in? How do I choose a zipper? How many kinds of zippers are there etc. I know I never wanted to put on in when I first learned to sew. I avoided them like the plague. I have memories of me pulling my hair out in frustration. How about you? Stories to share? I am sure you do.
So, when I first started putting zippers in garments, I was told that there is only one zipper company, YKK. Well, that turned out to be not true. Then I was told there is only 3 ways to put in a zipper. Also not true. So, as you can imagine I began to wonder why I was being told these things if they were not true. Turns out it is because that is all they knew. Now, I would like to educate you some on zippers. In a later blog I will show you the many ways to put zippers in things such as clothing, cushions and bags.
I discovered a wonderful place called The Zipper Lady.
I found out that they carry well over 100 different colors and 10 different weights or gauges of zippers. If zippers are what you are looking for, then you’re in the right place! They can provide you with the best zipper for your project — from replacing a zipper in your jacket or wedding gown, to making purses or a new sail cover. The Zipper Lady has so many heads and pulls for the zippers also. Going to the warehouse is like going to a candy store. I was beyond excited to find this place. There are so many choices for any project you can think up. If you are confused by so many zippers to choose from The Zipper Lady will help you figure it out. Most of the business done here is online. The Zipper Lady has even made it easy for you with videos. She shows you how to put zipper pulls back on the zipper tape. Who knew? I ran right out and bought a vice for my table and now I need to get the clip and a fork, and I am set.
Today I was doing an alteration. it was a broken zipper in the back of a dress. At first I thought that this would be a simple fix. Turns out the zipper was an invisible zipper and the problem was the teeth of the zipper pulled completely out of the zipper tape. I had never experienced this before. I also had never heard of this brand of zipper. Granted I am not the most knowledgeable on zippers.
Now for some education from The Zipper Lady. There are toothed #3, #5, #8, #10, #15, #20. Who knew there were so many sizes? Then I find out that the zippers teeth are metal (aluminum, brass, titanium) , molded tooth and my newest favorite is rhinestone.
So, by now my mind is blown that there are so many to choose from and she adds more to her website. Such as Coil: #3, #5, #7, #8, #9, #10. Now I am beginning to swoon at the fact that I actually have so many sizes to choose from. To add to the mind boggling number of sizes that are available to me here is more.. Invisible Zippers: #2, #4, #6 and I learned that PSI is something I had never even considered when buying a zipper. Now I understand why many invisible zippers split.
Separating Zippers or Jacket Zippers can be found at The Zipper Lady also. So many times, I went looking for separating and jacket zippers and came home frustrated I could not find what I needed at the local sewing store.
I created a 9-patch quilt for The Zipper Lady at her request. I made it entirely out of zippers and zipper pulls. The zippers were scraps from the end of the roll of zippers. The stabilizer used was a fusible stabilizer. It was cut into 19 X 19 squares. Each zipper was sewn to the next one onto the stabilizer and fused. This was the only way to keep the zippers from rippling. Once the zippers were sewn down, in between each zipper I stitched decorative stitches in different colors of thread. This was difficult because I had to search my decorative stitches to find ones that were not too busy or too big. Once I found at least 3 I liked then I used those 3 repeatedly and never side by side.
I also tried to use contrasting colored thread to the zippers. Before assembling the 9 squares I put on a bunch of zipper pulls in various colors and sizes. The pulls had to be put on at this point because once the squares are sewn together you won’t be able to put them on. The backing that was used is a black twill fabric that was 54” wide. For the binding I made a 3.5” edge. At the start of this project I thought it would be a quick quilt. Let me tell you, this is time consuming and tedious but, I believe well worth the effort. Having done one for The Zipper Lady I will now want to do one for myself. Be forewarned once this project is done, it is heavy. So, if you intend to hang it the best way would be for you to sew in a pocket across the top so you can slide a dowel through it for hanging.