How AWESOME is this! Today I have a super tutorial by Ellen on how to add a zipper closure to your Gabbie’s Grove!

Gabbie's Grove - A ChrisW Designs PDF Bag Sewing Pattern

YAY! Over to you, Ellen:


Hello everyone .. Today I just wanted to share with you all, how I did the Zip Top Closure on “Gabbie’s Grove”.

There are two different ways to add a Zip Top Closure, one way is to add a finished (on all edges) Zip Top Closure panel directly onto your lining. The other is to make your zip top closure with a raw edge which can be enclosed into the seam between the Top lining facing panel and the Bottom lining piece. As there is a seam there on Gabbie, then I’m going with the second option with the outer raw edge.

So, I cut my fabric needed 4 x pieces at 1 3/4” wide x 8 1/2” long, I also cut 4 x interfacings using the same measurement. 

I used a 10” zip (no. 3 size dress zip) but found it a tad too short, I would say a 14” would be better, then you can trim a smidgen off when doing the zip tab at the end of the zip.

After fusing all pieces, I then lay my 4 pieces evenly on my cutting mat and using my square ruler I mark a ¼” line down all 4 pieces at both ends.

Then fold in the ¼” and press. I might point out here that I didn’t take enough pictures of my original zip, so made another. In case you notice that there are different fabrics in different shots. Lol  

Pic1 - Gabbie's Grove zip Closure Tutorial



Now take your zip and at the open end, fold the zipper tape to the wrong side and tack so the they are even.


Starting with the main fabric right side up and lay your zipper right side down, line up the folded edge of the zipper tape slightly inside the folded line of the fabric. Sew from the line/fold with a ¼” seam, through to the Line/fold (but not over) at the other end of the fabric.

Now lay the lining right side down onto the zipper tape, lining up the line/folds at the ends. Flip it over and sew over the existing stitching ¼” seam.  I should have said if you’re a double-sided tape fan, then go ahead and do your thing… I’m a free hand person and forget to add it to my write up sometimes…lol



So, at the open end of the zip, you’ll need to stop at the mark you made earlier and pivot and sew across the end on the line. Do a little back stitch to secure.



Turn the right side out, making sure you push out the corner at the zip opening end, it should be sitting nice and square. At the other end, fold in the pressed edges and turn out and press both pieces of fabric away from the zipper teeth.



Topstitch all around. Now repeat all of that on the other side of the zip. Making sure at the open end, that both ends finish evenly. If not, open out and adjust before turning back and top stitching all round.


Now I like to neaten up my raw edges, using my ruler I like to make sure that both sides measure the same. From inside the zipper teeth to the edge should be about 1.5”, trim off the excess.  Having a nice straight line helps to insert your zipper panel even and neatly.



Now to attach the zipper panel to the bag. On both long edges of the zipper panel, find and mark the centre point. Grab your prepared Gabbie exterior, find and mark the centre of the top, which will be folded down later to become the inside facing. Choose which way you want your zip to open, left to right Or right to left.


So basically, the zipper panel should be positioned from the outer edge of the straps on one side to the outer strap edge on the other side. That should measure about 8” and has worked for me as a good position.

Start by having the strap side of the exterior facing you and fold the straps down out of the way. Position your zipper panel RIGHT sides together, matching the mark/pin on the zipper panel to the mark/pin on the bag exterior top edge.

When your happy with the position then seam together with a 1/4” seam. For this next part, it will help to open the zip all the way. Now pin the other side of the zip to the other side of the top, matching the marked centres. Now before seaming, do the zip up to make sure everything is in the correct position and not twisted. Now seam together.


From this point you need to resume following the pattern. I hope this helps and can’t wait to see your new Gibbie’s Grove. Thanks for stopping by and having a read, May the sewing force be with you.

Completed Zip Closure on Gabbie's Grove


 Thank you so much Ellen! I know there have been quite a few people waiting on this so it is MUCH appreciated, I am sure! 🙂

The pattern for Gabbie’s Grove is available on the website NOW!

Happy Stitching!


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