Friday, July 31, 2009

I spy a DIY: zipper flower rosettes

How's you summer been going? I've been taking fashion design classes at a local college for the past few weeks. I get to broaden my sewing skill horizons, meet new kids (including eccentric sixth graders with a passion for anime. Ugh more on that later...), pretend to ballroom dance with the mannequins when I should be doing *important* things, and make funny observations about my fellow passengers on the train ride there (i.e. woman eating three snacks while reading a book on  overcoming addiction to food, old man listening to 867-5309 on full volume for all to hear etc.). 

ANYWAYS, I've begun to work on dress for my class's upcoming fashion show. My design involves a nice, big zipper flower. 

I went in search of a good tutorial to make one, but they all either a.) were too pointy. I'm going for a rounded rosette look or b.) involved hot glue, which I am not too fond of due to a particular incident as a child involving metallic sequins and my thumb. So I decided to make my own and will now share it with you good looking folks. 

Supplies
+zipper(s) with exposed metal teeth (the longer your zipper, the bigger the flower. I used several and sewed them together. Look for a bin of reject zippers in a fabric shop. They're much cheaper and work just as well.)
+scissors
+needle
+thread that corresponds to the color of your zippers
+an hour or two of your time (I got the big yellow one during 3 episodes of The Nanny)

Note: I know the following directions are not very eloquent or fantastically illustrated. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask in the comments!
 
1. Unzip your zipper. Cut through the teeth on each side, as close as possible to the pull, on both sides. If you are using multiple zippers, do this to them as well.

2. On all except for one zipper half, cut the flap of fabric on the other end, as close as possible.

3. Take the one zipper half with the end flap remaining. Tightly roll the fabric flap to form the basis of the flower bud. Secure with a stitch or two.

4. Wrap the zipper around the bud, spiraling downward so the teeth do not overlap. Continue until the bud of the flower is the size that you'd like.

5. Fold the zipper fabric, making a little pleat, and secure it with a stitch. 

6. Stitch the edge, near the fold, of the zipper fabric to the bud. Continue stitching and pleating, every half inch or so, wrapping the bottom of the zipper around. (I know this sound complicated, but I promise once you start you will get a feel for it)

7. Once you're through stitching your zipper, stitch the end of it to the middle of the backside of the rosette.

8. If you are adding another zipper half, simply stitch it where the other half left off. Continue until the rosette is the size that you'd like it.

You can use these for all sorts of things: headbands, hair clips, pins, edgy yard decor to throw off the neighbors etc. My mind is reeling with ideas. I can't wait to make some more!

17 comments:

hazel said...

absolutely adorable
wait, who's this 6th grader who likes anime...?

no...
seriously...
i have no idea who you're talking about...

Lara said...

The zipper flowers are really cool, I think I might even make some, or rather convince my sister to make them because she's craftier than me...the fashion design course sounds cool, I wish there was omething like that were I live but I doubt there is.

L xx

cathy said...

i like the black one. its so cute. i wish i could do something like that but i suck at sewing. =P i just love it when people use zippers to decorate rather than for their traditional zippering use.

keep making cool zipper stuff!

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Shayla said...

Hi! Just found your adorable blog doing a google search for these! These are exactly what I've been looking to make, SO much better without the hot glue! Thanks for the tutorial!
~Shayla {Mesa, AZ}

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Tassie said...

I LOVE your zipper flower. Can't wait to try it out.... thank you

Shelby said...

Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing. Excited to try something new!

Anonymous said...

great loved the flowers all of them they were great I will post the results of my flower after I make it on my blogsite and connect them to yours I can't wait to make the flower. nancyhttp://nancysjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com/

sana said...

hey! i just came across ur page while i was looking for tutorials on zipper flowers and i also didnt really like the pointy ones and how they used the hot glue. i love ur tutorial! Thanks so much! im going to try to use these for some plain sandals i have =)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful idea. I saw one in pink and was hoping to find a way to make them. This web site is fantastic. Thanks for sharing.
Judy

Jessica said...

Sometimes you can find men's clothing at the thrift store and get a LONG zipper for less than you can buy them at the stores. I have one from my husband's jacket that is about 2' long, and it didn't cost me a cent. Just a thought. :)

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