Well, I’ve had to admit… I underestimated it a little bit. The design of the structured zipper pull was easy, the cutting and skiving were oké (did you miss those steps check out the post before) but the sewing part… It is just so tiny but eventually I succeed. It was also for me a first time so this time a little fewer tricks but a lot of tips for you and my future self.
A review of the previous steps
Before we continue, let’s review our previous steps. First, we designed the structured zipper pull. I eventually chose for the rectangular shape with a 45 degrees trimmed edge on the middle part. The top and bottom part were trimmed with a safety skiver (see this post for much more about tools). Now it is time to continue with step 3 to 5…
Step 3 – Glue
In the previous images, you see the little writings of the top and the bottom part. I mixed them up. The bottom is the top part and the top is the bottom part. Do you still follow me… yes? Great, so it was all the other way around. The glueing still had to be done on the ‘furry side’ of the leather so I was fine.
But now we need to pay some attention. The filler needs to be glued to the ‘new’ bottom part with the 45 degrees skived part facing upwards. The top part will cover it completely and also needs a touch of glue. So the filler is glued all the way around.
Step 4 – Shape
When the glue isn’t sticky anymore it is time to assemble it. Place the filler on the bottom part and fold the top part over it. You can add your loop for the zipper at this stage or if you’ve got a split ring you can add it later with some jewellery pliers. Shape the top part so it will also get the same shape of the filler, for example with a bone folder. Trim the edges and crease a little stitching line.
Step 5 – Sew
Since the zipper pull is so tiny I chose to make some little marks with my pricking iron but pierce them individually with my diamond shaped pricking awl. Measure about 3 or 4 times the circumference of the structured zipper pull. This will give you enough thread to sew the whole piece once. Make sure you in a calm state of mind since this is a teeny tiny piece to sew together.
Now it is time to finish it off with a little edge paint or to burnish it all. But that is beyond the scope of this post. But what about some tips? Well… I’ve got a few!!
TIPS & TRICKS
- Skive the top piece even thinner: I’ve skived it down quite a bit but to realise a sharp shaped structured zipper pull I could have used a much thinner top piece.
- Use a firm filler: I’ve used the same type of leather as the top and the bottom piece. I thought let’s make some use of all the little scrap pieces but in this case, the thickness was perfect but it was not firm enough to hold its shape to create sharp edges.
- Get the right tools: I’m starting to outgrow my toolbox so I might need to be thinking of other solutions. I didn’t do my usual preparation with searching and gathering all the tools before I start. So it took me quite some frustration, totally not in a calm state of mind, to search for the right tools and making the structured zipper pull at the same time…
- Try to make a few before you make your final structured zipper pull: the first one is never that pretty and once you get the hang of it, it will make it a lot more refined!
- Do it anyways! Even though it takes time and maybe even some frustration, in the end, it’s all worth it. It is that extra little touch of love you put in your products. “The devil is in the details”, you will experience it yourself. But yet, here comes another idiom, “practice makes perfect” and that is what you want, right?
I hope you’ve learned as much as I did while making this post. I look forward to hearing your experiences and maybe you’ve got also some tips & tricks for me!