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Book Review – 14 Sewing Projects to teach you how to Sew Zippers Perfectly

July 2, 2016


And just like that, the school holidays have ended and now we’re back to the usual routine. I was dreading the early morning wake ups, but finally there is some peace and quiet in the mornings for me to work on the blog! As you can see the progress has been slow this June. These photos were taken a while ago before the school holiday started and are only now making their first appearance! Today’s book review is more of a technical one. I’ve always had a fear of sewing with zippers, even though I have used them many many times, I can never be sure of how my sewing will turn out. I have been sewing zippers for cushions, bags, pouches and I even dared to release a tutorial on a double zipper pouch here (see my sewing tutorial on how to sew a double zipper pouch here). Sometimes I even resort to sewing zippers by hand as sewing zippers with a sewing machine is kind of scary when the needle goes over the teeth, I’ve had a few sewing needles break from trying to sew through thick layers at once.

I’ve relied on sewing zippers tutorials on youtube, and some tutorials here and there as part of the basic techniques included in some Japanese sewing books, until I found this book, released early this year in January, which is devoted to the sewing of zippers.  In Japanese, the word for zip/zipper is actually Fastener, and the Japanese word is exactly the borrowed term from the English word Fastener ” ファ(fa)ス(su)ナー(na-)”. I always return from my trips with a load of fasteners, especially the decorative type, because they are so difficult to find here. I can find some imported YKK zips here but they are usually limited in length. In Japan you can find a wall full of YKK zippers, in so many varieties of lengths it is hard to decide especially when I don’t even have an idea of the project I am going to use it for!

frontcover

But it won’t be an issue because with this book, you will learn how to properly cut a zipper to fit your project.

The full title of the book is ファスナーのつけ方がばっちりわかる! ファスナーの本 which roughly translates to “Perfectly understand the ways of attaching fasteners! Book about Fasteners.”
You will learn 10 different ways to sew your zippers for bags and pouches, and 4 different ways to use them on garments. That makes a total of 14 different ways to sew zippers.

step2and3

An excerpt of the contents page.

The book begins with an introduction of zippers. Everything you need to know, for example,

partsoffastener

the anatomy of a zipper. Got to know your subject matter well!

There are also other information like types of zippers and when to use them, different ways of sewing them, size of teeth, how to adjust the length of zippers to fit your project etc.

basicsewing

The next part moves on to sewing zippers for bags and pouches, and the good news is, with every project there is a detailed series of photographs devoted to teaching you how to sew the zipper for that particular project.  Note that the detailed photographs are only for the steps involving the zipper. The rest of the instructions are included at the back of the book in black and white diagrams like the standard sewing book.

pouch

Learn how to sew a zipper pouch
You can see a small excerpt of the step by step photographs in the picture below.

20160702_092919

The projects in this book are quite simple in design, but are selected based on the different applications for zippers.

zippedbag

Sewing zippers on bags

curvedpouch

Sewing zippers on mini pouches (with curve edge)

lshapepouch

Sewing zippers around a bend.

pencilcase

Making a lined pencil case (learn how to attach the lining)

wireframebag

How to sew a wire frame bag with zipper enclosure. This is similar to the small cosmetic pouch I made for my mum for Mother’s day, but in a larger size with a hidden handbag frame.

concealedzip

How to sew a foldover flap over the zipper. This technique is useful for making cushions too, when you want to hide the zipper pull and teeth of the zipper for soft furnishings. I’ve used this technique on sewing the front pockets of backpacks too.

totewithsidezip

This lesson will teach you how to sew a zippered pocket, also known as a hidden zipper pocket?

pocketpochette

A double zipper pouch, or what they call, a pocket pochette.

The next part of the book is devoted to sewing zippers to clothes. Namely, sewing side zipper for skirts, sewing a front fly zipper, sewing a concealed or invisible zipper, and lastly, how to sew a separating zipper / jacket type zipper.

sizezipskirt

pantswithflyzip

Learning to sew a proper front fly zipper on pants is on my to-do list! I actually have quite a number of patterns with step by step instructions on how to do this but yet it still looks super complicated. When will I get over my fear! This particular pants pattern, by the way, is designed by May Me.

backzipdress

You can’t see the zipper in this case because it is at the back of the dress, but in this lesson you will learn how to sew an invisible zipper. I can’t tell you how horrible my first few attempts with invisible zippers were. Probably because I didn’t even have the right invisible zipper foot to begin with. I was using a regular zipper foot and could not understand why I could still see the zip.

jacketwithzip

Another project designed by May Me, a collarless jacket. This project will teach you how to sew on a separating zipper, which simply refers to the type of zippers on jackets that open up completely into two separate pieces.

The sewing patterns and instructions are included at the back of the book, pretty much the standard format.

samplepattern

diagrams

Close up of the diagrams included with the sewing patterns.

patternsheet

Full size patterns attached.

backcover

Title :  ファスナーのつけ方がばっちりわかる! ファスナーの本
ISBN No : 978-4529055284
Publisher : Nihon-Vogue

Buy now from CDJapan

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5 Comments

  • Reply humbledaisy July 6, 2016 at 5:26 am

    This book looks very helpful – the diagrams alone make it very tempting!

  • Reply Handmade Zipper Pouches for Teachers Day | Japanese Sewing, Pattern, Craft Books and Fabrics August 31, 2016 at 8:34 am

    […] referred to this Japanese sewing book on sewing zippers to sew my zippers neater, and used zippers from YKK with a ball chain zip. Yup my […]

  • Reply Joanne Sim September 15, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Hi Hi,
    Will you be able to translate the zipper book to English?

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books October 6, 2016 at 8:42 am

      Hi Joanne, Unfortunately I don’t do book translations but if you have questions about certain parts of the patterns/instructions I can help. 🙂

  • Reply Leah April 5, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Hi I’m very interested doing all the goods in the sewing book but the problem is the instructions are all written Japanese characters. If you can not translate all written in the book , please kindly make a video tutorial of them. It would be a great help. Thank you in advance and more power to your channel.

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