I think most of you have a good handle on this, but I know there are a few of you who have voiced your dislike for the little zipper tab. I assure you it is better than dented in corners on zipper pouches. :P
Several of my zipper installation techniques center around the same idea: Don’t sew zipper teeth into seams, especially top corners, if you can avoid it. This makes for a much cleaner, more professional finish. I don’t even like the metal zipper stops – I cut them right off – because there is too much of a chance of a broken needle. Let’s avoid that, yes?
So, that leaves a folded zipper tab either sewn into the top seams like on The Essential Wristlet or you can extend the zipper tape like on the Two Zip Hipster, Daytripper, Quick Zip Lunch Bag, Make Me Up, and the Gadget Guard. The reason that I chose to extend the zips on those is for one good reason: You want the zipper to open wide. If you had a zipper tab sewn into the top seam of the Gadget Guard, like it is the wristlet, you would need to add AT LEAST another inch of to the width, which defeats the purpose of a snug fit and makes your device flop around inside. On the purses, it’s so you can open them all the way and actually see into it and find things.
While making the Gadget Guard, I documented the process I’ve been using lately to make them super easy to sew. It kind of has to be the last step, which can be tricky, but I promise it’s doable. So, here is the last step of the Gadget Guard, in a bit more detail. Let me know if I need to draw the arrows for you.
You will need a scrap of fabric for your zipper tab, some paper backed *sewable* fusible web (the kind that comes on a roll or a sheet – like Wonder Under) and some fray block.
Cut your zipper tab 2” x 4” for 1” wide zippers or 2.5” x 5” for 1.25” wide (long pull) zippers.
(The makeup bag is different, use the dimensions specified in the pattern.)
Fold the top and bottom of the zipper tab to the center, wrong sides together, and press.
Unfold, remove the paper, fold back together, and press to fuse. Use steam to get a good fuse! This will keep the tab from unfolding on you while you slide it onto the end of the zipper tape.
Slide the top “slot” of the zipper tab onto the zipper, and make sure the other, folded side is on the bottom. Make sure you push it down so the zipper teeth are all the way at the fold. The fusible web should help everything stay together. You can add a Clover Wonder Clip if you have one.