UFO busting: It’s all about the zippers

It's all about the zippers bagThe starting point for this bag was my huge stash of zippers. I wanted to create a bag that had zippers as the main feature and all of the zippers in the bag should be functional. After much deliberating I finally came up with a combination of red zippers, black canvas and red cotton fabric that matched the zippers. I must have changed my mind at least a dozen times on the exact design of the bag and which parts should be red and which should be black. This is why it took me more than a year to complete it. My original plan featured much more red fabric on the outside but as I was constructing it I found that it detracted from the zippers. In the end I even had to buy more black fabric because I didn’t have enough left to make the strap that was originally supposed to be completely red. On the inside I added a grey zipper and some grey quilting cotton for the lining of the pockets and I also used it to cover up a stupid cutting mistake.

It's all about the zippers bag

Front (left) and back of bag.

The fashion fabric and lining are both interfaced with medium weight woven fusible interfacing. It gives the bag a lot of structure and as a result it can stand upright on its own and I quite like that.

140221_bag_topThe finished dimensions (l x w x h) are 20 x 7 x 35 cm (8” x 2 4/5” x 14”). It opens with a top zipper.

The front features 3 small zipper pockets and the back one large zipper pocket. (I love pockets!)

The lining has a zipper pocket on one side and a divided patch pocket on the other side. These are great for holding my phone, wallet and keys.

pockets in bag lining

Lining pulled to the outside.

The adjustable shoulder strap is attached asymmetrically to the front and back. I really like this detail because it is a bit quirky. The D-rings that hold the strap are attached to the bag via fabric tabs. I took some pictures during the construction of the shoulder strap so a tutorial on how to make an adjustable strap is coming soon!

Adjustable shoulder strapThis bag is very much me and I suspect that I will use it often. If I want to bring a book or a newspaper on the train I can easily fit it in this bag. In my old bag I can only fit a small paperback. During the year it took me to construct it I often thought that it would have been nice if this bag had already been finished when my other bags were too small or way too big for what I wanted to take with me. I am happy this UFO is finally busted and I call the result a great success!

it's all about the zippers

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13 comments on “UFO busting: It’s all about the zippers

  1. Ali says:

    Love it! Glad you added a picture of you with it, as in the other photos it looks much smaller.
    Looking forward to your tutorial – can you include how you inserted the inside zip – it’s so neat!! I’ve not attempted one like that yet.

  2. onedabbles says:

    This is just great! What a very cool looking bag and so functional. As always, I’m in awe of the finish you achieve – so neat and professional. You do inspire!

  3. Beth P says:

    Love it! Ahhh, zippers… ummm they are not my friend! LOL! The bag turned out lovely though!
    Hugs,
    Beth P

    • Emmely says:

      Thank you! I used to be scared of zippers but with some practice and little tricks, like taping the zipper in place with Prym wonder tape prior to sewing, I find them not so difficult anymore.

  4. KerryCan says:

    This is very impressive–the whole plan to use up what you have and the implementation. That looks like a bag that will serve you well for a long time!

  5. Deborah says:

    What a great bag. I like your decision to go more with black and just have the red as more of an accent. The size is wonderful! So attractive and so functional. Great finish! :-)

    • Emmely says:

      Thank you! I was a bit hesitant at first when I realised I needed more black because I didn’t have enough fabric left but I am very glad I bought some extra black in the end. The visual impact would definitely have been less strong with more red.

  6. Lori B. says:

    What a great bag! Nice work!

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