The Sew Together Bag pattern tells you to put the binding on the bag, then sew the zipper tabs over it. With a little effort, you can hide the ends of the zipper tabs under the binding, which is what I did with my recent Sew Together Bags. My hack takes place after you sew the binding on to the sides.
First, I sew the side bindings on to the exterior. The pattern says to sew it to the interior, but trust me. This will work.
Second, I mark where to stop sewing. The goal is to leave that section of the binding under the middle fold open so I can insert the zipper tab. My regular practice is to use 2 pins. That is a sign to me that I need to stop sewing. use whatever method works for you. A Chakoner** or a Sewline Air Erase** pen can also work.
Next, I wrap the binding around to the top. In this case, I have to switch to WonderClips to mark where to stop sewing. because that whole area is WAY TOO thick. Ask me how I know. Note: my clips are in the same place as the two pins and I deliberately used pink only to mark the stopping point. The clips on the rest of that edge were different colors. Do whatever you need to do to mark your stopping point.
Finally, I sew. I stop halfway between the folds of the bag’s side on each side of the center fold.
After following the directions in the pattern to sew the binding to the long, top zipper, I sew the zipper tabs to the ends of the zipper.
It occurred to me while I was doing this that next time I would cut the zipper tabs the same size as the binding. It would make wrapping the zipper tabs around the zipper ends a little easier.
Once the zipper tabs are sewn to the end of the zipper, I insert the end of the zipper tab into the space in the binding. Then I connect the stitching lines from where I stopped sewing to where I started sewing.
After that I sink the threads and the side bindings are done. I suppose you can backstitch, but I don’t like the look. It takes more time to tie knots, but I think it looks more finished.
Here is the first Sew Together Bag I made according to the directions (left). See how the zipper tab is just sewn to the top of the binding after the fact? One from the most recent batch is on the right. See how much better the end of the zipper looks tucked in? Is it a pain to sew it this way? Yes, it is an extra step, but it looks so much better.
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