I love using continuous zippers or zippers by the yard. They come in various widths and fun zipper pulls to make them really stand out. I use them primarily in bag making. They really are not suitable for clothes or anything that needs a zipper stop at the end. Zipper pouches and handbags are the perfect vehicle for continuous zippers. So how do you use them. You Can really see them in use in my terrific overnight bag with pockets.
What they Are
Continuous zippers are zippers are zippers that come on a roll or that you can purchase by the yard or meter. So they will need to be cut to the size that you need which is great because you can make them any size you want for your project. Continuous zippers come in different widths but the colors become limited the wider the zipper. Generally they come with matching zipper pulls but I like purchasing specialty pulls.
In order to use a continuous zipper you will need to decide on the size. Your standard zipper that you would buy at your local fabric store is a #3 zipper and you can get a continuous zipper that is a #3 zipper. I often use the next size up which is a #5 zipper in my handbag and overnight bag projects as they really have a presence in my bags and they are easier to stitch as well because they are a little wider than the #3. There are many more sizes that are wider that you can purchase but I stick pretty close to these two for all of my projects.
How to Cut
Continuous zippers are typically nylon so they can easily be cut with scissors. I would use utility scissors for this and not your good fabric shears. I generally cut my zippers the length I need plus seam allowance and a little more because I can always cut the excess off.
You can use the matching zipper pulls the typically come with your zippers or you can buy specialty zippers pulls to really highlight your work. I love metal specialty pulls for my zippers. They really provide that added pizzazz to your project. They come in all kinds of shapes. Just make sure that when you buy zipper pulls that you buy the right size for the zipper you are using. Like zippers, pulls come in sizes too. If you are using a #3 zipper buy a #3 pull or it will not fit. You can find fun pulls on Etsy and Amazon and other internet sites that specialize in continuous zippers.
You can find locking pulls that will lock in place to use in clothes but I d not find them to be as free of movement as I would like so I would stick to a standard zipper for clothes.
How to Add the Zipper Pull
Adding the zipper pull is not as hard as you might think. I have added the below video to show you just how easy it is.
Uses for your Continuous Zipper
I use my continuous zippers in zipper pockets, zipper pouches and the zippers in zipper bags and overnight bags. You can stitch right over them because they are nylon and cut off any excess that is left over. You can also add zipper tabs or metal zipper ends to the ends of the zipper to give them a beginning and end for a variety of projects. No matter the project other than clothes you can always find a place for a continuous zipper and using them is so simple.
How to Stitch your Continuous Zipper
You should stitch a continuous zipper in the same way as any other zipper. Use a zipper foot if you like. Just make sure that you stitch the zipper into a project so that there are no loose ends unless you place a zipper tab or metal zipper end to secure the ends or the zipper pull will pull right off. There is nothing special about a continuous zipper. It is just a zipper after all.