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Flat Zipper Bag and Wallet

by jftesser on December 5, 2007

Intro: Flat Zipper Bag and Wallet

I'm always looking for my next new bag. In my recent searches I discovered this fascinating set of bags by Josh Jakus. I like my geometry a bit more random than he does, so I decided to adapt the idea to a more non-regular surface. The design and construction are pretty simple and, assuming you can get your hands on a sewing machine, you should be able to pull this off for less than \$20.

Image Notes

1.

2.

Purse

wallet

Image Notes

1. The unzipped purse

2. The unzipped wallet

This step isn't absolutely necessary. If you want, you can just use the two pdfs attached to this step and make the example purse and wallet. If you want to make your own, you'll need a computer with some kind of modeling or drawing software (I used Rhino, which is currently in beta and therefore *free* for Mac users), a printer, and some tape. Just follow the steps below:

1. Draw a curve, really any curve.

2. Copy it and rotate 180Â°, move the second curve so that its endpoints join with the endpoints of the first curve.

3. Repeat with several more curves, then print out small versions of each.

4. Cut out the shapes you've just printed and tape the edges together. Pick the one(s) you like the most and, if it going to be a bag, decide where your handle is going to

go.

5. Back on the computer, draw an ellipse for your handle at the positions you decided on in step 4. Make sure that you place both holes the same distance from one of

the two vertexes and has the same orientation with the curve (check out the attached example).

6. To actually make the purse, you'll need to have a zipper. Measure the zipper from the beginning of the teeth to the end. This probably won't be the length on the

package so you really do need to measure! Scale your drawing so that the length of one of the curves is that length.

7. You'll then need to offset both curves 1/8" toward the interior to allow space for the zipper. Connect them with two short straight segments. This, and the ellipses you

made, are the lines you'll be cutting on.

8. Print out your pattern and cut off most of the excess paper.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Flat-Zipper-Bag-and-Wallet/

Step 2: Gather materials

For this project you'll need:

The pattern you just printed Two pieces of felt

A zipper

Contrasting button thread (if you're making a bag)

A sewing machine

Fabric scissors

A sharp exacto knife or rotary cutter (not strictly necessary, but a good idea)

*Note* If you're using the patterns attached to step 1 you'll need a 36" zipper for the large bag (which means it's actually 35" long) and a 14" zipper for the wallet. Each piece of felt should be about 36"x24" to comfortably fit both the bag and the wallet.

Image Notes

1. The pattern

2. The two colors of felt

3. Cutting tools

5. Zipper

6. Imagine there are some scissors here.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Flat-Zipper-Bag-and-Wallet/

Step 3: Cut out your pattern

Place your first layer of felt right-side-down on a flat surface. Then the other piece of felt right-side-up on top of it and the pattern on top. If the pattern is small (less than a square foot) you can just press down on it or use a couple pins to keep it in place while cutting. If the pattern is larger, you'll need to baste all three layers together with the contrasting button thread (you'll remove this later). However, make sure you leave enough room to insert the zipper (probably about 3/4") all the way around the edge. Cut out your pattern on the inner line and use your knife/rotary cutter to cut out the handles.

Image Notes

1. Make sure you cut along the inside line

Image Notes

1. Basting doesn't need to be pretty.

Step 4: Remove the pattern

If your pattern is small, this is pretty simple. However, if you just sewed it onto your fabric you'll need to tare it off without taring out the stitches. This can take some time, but it's much faster than re-basting.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Flat-Zipper-Bag-and-Wallet/

Step 5: Sew on the zipper

Image Notes 1. Check out my exciting mess!

Place the zipper between the two layers of felt. You don't need to pin because the perimeter of the felt should be exactly the same length as the zipper. Also, it won't really help. Make sure that the zipper is facing the outside of your bag, or, if you can find it, use a reversible zipper and be able to use both sides of your bag. If you've got sharp curves you may want to clip the zipper so it can make the turn more easily. Thread your machine and go to town.

Image Notes 1. This snip will help the zipper curve.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Flat-Zipper-Bag-and-Wallet/

Step 6: Finish up

If you've basted, now's the time to rip it out. You'll also want to hide your threads by hand sewing them back into the felt. If you don't there's a good chance they'll catch on your zipper. That's it. You've got a new bag or wallet or randomly shaped container.

Enjoy!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Flat-Zipper-Bag-and-Wallet/

Image Notes

1. Purse

2. wallet

Step 7: Gallery

I've made a few more bags to use as presents. They're all made from more or less random curves that I adjusted till I got the shapes I wanted. I'm thinking about trying polygons next.

Image Notes

1. well, maybe one of them is for me

2. for my mother

3. for my cousin

http://www.instructables.com/id/Flat-Zipper-Bag-and-Wallet/

http://www.instructables.com/id/Flat-Zipper-Bag-and-Wallet/

http://www.instructables.com/id/Flat-Zipper-Bag-and-Wallet/

Step 8: Gallery, Part II

I've made some new bags since the holidays. Here they are. I'm also included patterns for all the bags since people seem to be interested in trying to make them. I'll probably be adding more as I sew! And, if any of you would like, I'll add photos of bags you make as well.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Flat-Zipper-Bag-and-Wallet/

http://www.instructables.com/id/Flat-Zipper-Bag-and-Wallet/

http://www.instructables.com/id/Flat-Zipper-Bag-and-Wallet/

jftesser says:

Feb 13, 2008. 4:10 PM REPLY

I'm actually working on an over the shoulder tote right now, so great timing! I'll probably be sewing it tonight and (assuming I get a nice result) I'll post a pdf of the pattern.

jftesser says:

Feb 15, 2008. 5:28 PM REPLY

Posted! (I'm not super happy with the bag though, so try this one at your own risk ;)

rupamagic says:

Yahooo!

Feb 13, 2008. 6:15 PM REPLY

jftesser says:

Thanks!

Jan 24, 2008. 8:20 PM REPLY

 canida says: Jan 21, 2008. 3:56 PM REPLY These are fantastic, and your instructions are clear enough that I think I could even follow along! Not sure when I'll get around to it, but will definitely post pictures when I do! whiteoakart says: Dec 19, 2007. 10:43 AM REPLY You could easily pull this project off for free. When we discard old, beat up coats that are too nasty to donate, I remove the zippers. I have a nice collection of zippers in a variety of lengths and colors. I also collect odds and ends of fabric from surplus stores and fabric stores, as well as old jackets and such. Because the geometry is open to interpretation, this is a great project for funny little odds and ends of material.

canida says:

Jan 21, 2008. 3:42 PM REPLY

What a fantastic idea! Cannibalizing those high-quality zippers seems like such an obvious thing to do, in retrospect. Thanks for the suggestion.

redhedinsanity says:

Dec 21, 2007. 8:34 AM REPLY

This is an awesome idea, so of course I had to make one of my own :) I wanted a wallet that looked more like a cone than a tube, and it worked out. Thanks

for the fun instructable nice too :)

now

I have easy gift ideas! Also, I used regular fabric to make mine, and used fusible interfacing to give it support - though felt is

 redhedinsanity says: Dec 22, 2007. 8:30 AM REPLY yeah, i wanted to see what it would look like with loose objects inside, and that's what i had lying around. :) jftesser says: Dec 22, 2007. 7:44 AM REPLY Thanks for the pics! I really like the stripes. Are those puff stars in there?

whiteoakart says:

What does it look like when it is full of stuff? I like it. I am not a bag carrier, but I like a clever design.

Dec 17, 2007. 12:46 AM REPLY

jftesser says:

Dec 17, 2007. 5:41 AM REPLY

Surprisingly, almost exactly the same. It's not a huge bag (it fits my wallet, ipod, cellphone, coin purse, pens, etc.) but even with heavy stuff inside it keeps its shape really well. I've just made some larger ones, though, and I'm not sure how they'll hold up.

brodysmom says:

Great instructable! I can't wait to make one.

Dec 7, 2007. 8:55 AM REPLY

jftesser says:

If you do I'd love to see some pics!

Dec 7, 2007. 11:05 AM REPLY

 omnibot says: Dec 7, 2007. 12:58 AM REPLY Ooohh I wants!! I also am a baglover. PerfectlySquare says: Dec 6, 2007. 9:45 AM REPLY Nice project! I really dig the "one-off" nature of these, which will no doubt attract a lot of "Where did you get that?" One a side note, you put the actual instructable together better than 90% of the ones I see here. The instructions are clear and focused; and your pictures are clear, laid out with thought, and outstandingly labeled. If there were a contest for the best laid out Instructable, this would clearly be a finalist. Great job!

jftesser says:

Thanks a lot!

Dec 6, 2007. 5:21 PM REPLY

trialex says:

Awesome!

I found these bags too, and also wanted one. I posted about them in the forum here.

Dec 6, 2007. 2:24 PM REPLY

Nice work on working out the shape. I played around in my CAD software for ages trying to get the shape. I didn't have the same results as you - I couldn't get the edges to match up by rotating a curve and alighning.

I liked the "Tote" version, and it took me ages to get the shape. It all fell into place when I found the non-round fillet technique.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Flat-Zipper-Bag-and-Wallet/

Nice work on the project, well documented.

Williz says:

Heh thats quite cool but I'd use different colours as those are rather drab :P

Dec 6, 2007. 2:40 AM REPLY

jftesser says:

What can I say? I like drab ;)

Dec 6, 2007. 6:15 AM REPLY

 pingeee says: Dec 6, 2007. 5:55 AM REPLY I think this is cool pocketlama says: Dec 6, 2007. 12:04 AM REPLY A++ I would make these in a second except I really need a bag with straps. Good for you for taking the concept and running with it! GorillazMiko says: Dec 5, 2007. 7:41 PM REPLY it looks like a mouse! haha just a little.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Flat-Zipper-Bag-and-Wallet/