Are you looking to add a zipper and lining to your hot-off-the-hook crocheted bag? You are in luck, friend! In this tutorial you will learn how to add a lining and a zipper to your crocheted purses.
How to Add a Zipper and Lining to Crochet
In my opinion the sewing of the actual zipper with the lining, through the crochet fabric really should be done by hand.
While the process of preparing the lining will go quicker if you use a sewing machine, I find that by the time I lug mine out, set it up, thread the machine, and actually do the sewing, I could have been done already. If you use your sewing machine frequently enough that it does not get put away, chances are you’re already a pro! Which, incidentally, I am not. I am no seamstress or professional sewist, but I do make a nice looking lining on my purses if I do say so myself.
I also enjoy a spot of sewing every once in a while and I feel like these little projects are able to appease that desire with minimal effort on my end. Winning!
Before you start, you’ll need to gather all of your supplies.
To sew a lining and zipper you will need:
Crocheted bag (here is the pattern for the bag pictured)
Fabric (a Fat Quarter will work perfectly for most sizes)
All Purpose or Invisible Zipper – (at least as long as your project is wide, can be shortened)
Thread in corresponding color
Iron and ironing board
I prefer (especially when hand sewing a lining) to use one solid piece of fabric if at all possible (instead of two pieces sewn together). This way, there is no seam at the bottom of the purse, where dirt and other unmentionables can get caught. To do this, I place the fold of the fabric exactly where it will lay when inside the bag.
Fold the fabric with the RIGHT SIDES together. The height of the fabric should be slightly taller than the bag for which it is intended.
Next you’ll want to sew up the sides of the lining. To make sure I’m sewing as straight as possible, I trace a straight line with a pencil, then simply follow that line like so:
Make a knot or two and clip your thread.
To start the other side, measure how wide the lining needs to be. Make sure you are measuring the INSIDE opening of the bag, not the total width including the actual crochet. The lining should nest down inside of the bag, and not be too bulky.
Measure out that width on your lining and mark this side with a pencil and ruler as well. Sew up in the same manner as the first side.
Trim the excess fabric if/as necessary from the sides. You only need ~1/2″ of fabric for the seam allowance.
Line up the height of the bag as pictured.
It will need to be a bit shorter than the bag itself, again so that it nests right down into the bag and is not too tall. Fold back the top edge and iron flat. Once you get the lining sewn to the correct size, you’ll insert the fabric into the bag and pin it into place.
Now that your fabric for lining is the correct size, it is time to make sure your zipper is a good length. Lay it out next to your bag. It should be slightly longer than the width of the bag. We’ll tuck in the end here in a minute.
If you need to shorten the zipper, simply sew around and around the zipper teeth to create a new “stopper”. Fasten off with a knot.
Now you’re ready to start pinning everything into place!
I like to start with the stopper end of the zipper – with the zipper fully open- inserting it between the crochet and the fabric lining, making sure everything is centered and lined up nicely. From here we’ll align and pin each side so that the zipper meets in the correct spot on the opposite side.
While pinning you’ll want to make sure that the distance between the zipper teeth and the fold of the fabric remains consistent. You will need to tuck in the portion of the zipper near the stopper to form a 90° angle (see the diagonal lines in the photo below and how its folded). Make sure you pin through ALL layers of fabric and zipper here!
Also make sure that the fabric is not puckering anywhere along the way. You can always re-pin the pieces together, and it would be a royal pain to rip out your sewing after the fact, so take your time on this part! Once pinned, you are ready to sew.
Insert your sewing needle in an inconspicuous place, so that the knot will not show. Sew through the folded over portion of the zipper securely.
I always sew around the purse moving from right to left, all the way around.
The way I hide my stitches so well is to go through the crocheted portion and the zipper only, then insert my needle into the fold of the fabric lining for about 1/4″ along that edge. Like this:
Complete all the way around, removing the pins as you go and making sure that the distance between the zipper and the crochet AND the fabric lining remains consistent throughout.
When you get to where you began, simply secure the thread with a knot or two and clip your thread. While adding linings and zippers to crochet can be a learning curve, it’s not as difficult as it may seem. (or “seam”? 😉) I hope this tutorial was helpful to you!