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Issue 104, Textile Tetrahedron (p.78)

SewingYvonne | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi there,
I have attempted this recently and was not that happpy with the result. I think I have an idea what went wrong (after 2 attempts to get the zip right). I need to try again but it would be nice to chat to anyone else who has tried to make one of these.
The problem is that my zip pull ends up at the bottom when closed. Now I know those of you are haven’t made one of these are saying well just put your zip in the other way – but it’s not that simple. You only use ONE side of the zip (you take it apart by taking off the metal stoppers at top and bottom) and in effect the zip is folded on itself. When you put the stopper back on again the open ends are at the bottom of the bag and therefore as you slide to the top you are pushing the teeth of the zip ‘to open’ so by virtue of this when you return the pull downwards you are closing it.

Excuse my try at an explanation.
I hope to hear from someone who has been there!!!!


  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    I do not have that issue, so I don't know the specifics of the zipper insertion. It sounds intriguing, a folded zipper tape!!   Could you put the pull back on the other way 'round.  a zipper is either opened or closed based on the pressure of the insides of the pull.  In other words, if your zipper is opening the wrong way then my guess is that the pull was put back on up-side down.  Or maybe the directions forgot to tell you to take it off and turn it around; if you are only using one tape then the top of the tape will be at the bottom on one side, and the bottom of the tape the other side!! Clear as mud??  I also guess that this only works for nylon coil zippers?  metal teeth would never submit to such treatment!!

    Let me know how it goes!


    1. SewingYvonne | | #2

      Thanks ever so much Becky for your answer. I can't try your solution out right now as I have already seamed up the purse and will use it as is. But I do intend to have a go at this again and will bear what you say in mind as it sounds like this could be it. The thing which puts me off trying again is the pain of getting the metal stops off without damaging the coils! So once I find a tool that will do it easily I am more likely to go back for another attempt!!

      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #3

        I have taken those little metal things off with a small (very small) screwdriver and a pair of needle nose pliers.  Use the screw driver to get in under the 'teeth' of the clamp and pry them loose then straighten them with the pliers before removing them from the tape.


        1. SewingYvonne | | #4

          Thats right. I need to get myself some small needle nose pliers for jewellery repairs so they will have another use now. I was trying to use a screwdriver that was too big and normal (ie fat)pliers.! I must get the right tools!!
          Thanks Becky your support is really welcome. I've been trying to find this technique somewhere on the web so that I can post a link so that others might try but to no avail. I'm sure this technique has been used elsewhere but its hard to know what to put in the search engine.
          One of the benefits of this technique is that there is less bulk of course at one end which is really important for the tetrahedron's pointed top.

          1. User avater
            Becky-book | | #5

            I thought I saw a photo of some of these that some one made (in the photo gallery), but no instructions.  Can't remember what they called them!


            PS some one named ChrisHaynes has a photo in the gallery

            Edited 1/3/2007 11:16 am ET by Becky-book

          2. SewingYvonne | | #6

            Hmmm I cant seem to find the photo gallery (sorry about the absence of an apostrophe in cant but everytime i try to type one i get the Find message box come up). I am still trying to find my way around this site!

          3. User avater
            Becky-book | | #12

            to find the photo I saw   click on Advanced search   then scroll down to the place where it asks for a msg. # and put in 2118.1

            this message contains an attachment photo, right click on it and open it in a new window.

            There are also some old discussions of this project, and the zippers.

            Hope this helps,


          4. SewingYvonne | | #14

            Brilliant Becky. Thanks for giving me that info I was able to go direct to that photo. They do look good and she had no problems making them. I will be trying a coiled zip (not sure what my zip was). Just busy re-decorating at the mo!!

  2. HeartFire2 | | #7

    I was intrigued by your problem so I went and pulled the issue. I haven't made one of these, but got out a zipper to play with it. I can't imagine what you did wrong unless you sewed it up wrong. If the ends of the sipper tape are at the bottom, and that is where you put the pull back on, then it should close when the pull tab is pulled up to the folded over end of the zipper tape (the middle of it). I guess I'll just have to try to make one, maybe there is something screwy in the instructions

    1. SewingYvonne | | #8

      What you are assuming makes sense but in reality it's not like that. After putting the puller on again at the bottom as it travels up to the top of the purse it does not engage the teeth together it simple rides up with each side keeping separate. (One way to imagine this is to think of those times when your zip has broken on your jacket leaving it open below the pull. What you do is to pull it past the open gap and it DOESNT close this gap does it? So pulling it over a open gap in this case doesn't close it.)
      I need to have more time to have a go again. It's only in the doing rather than the theorising that the answer will come. I should also try to post a pic to show that mine is opening in an upwards direction and closing in a downwards direction.
      Have to get my dd to show me how to upload a pic. Oh yeh and find that photo gallery!!

      1. HeartFire2 | | #9

        ok, I went and made one. Your problem as you just described it is your zipper, I used a coil zipper and it CLOSED as I pulled the tab up. Try using a different type of zipper, I was just playing with the zipper again thinking maybe it mattered which side of it you used, but they both worked for me, the only other thought is that you put the pull tab on upside down, but I tried that and couldn't get it to go on that way. Sorry I can't be of more help, but it does sound like the problem is with your particular zipper

        1. SewingYvonne | | #10

          Wonderful! Thank you. Think that makes sense these zippers I have been in my sewing box for a while. I'll be in town tomorrow so I'll buy a coiled zipper. Getting me thinking about the wide range of zip types out there! Thanks a lot for your help with this I'll let you know how it goes (probably not for a couple of weeks as we are in the middle of decorating!).
          Yvonne :)

      2. Josefly | | #11

        Did you find the photo gallery yet? It's one of the categories of topics listed on the left side of the page. Just scroll down on the left to find it.

        1. SewingYvonne | | #13

          Hi Josefly,
          Well no! On the LHS I can see different headings: General discusssion, Patterns, Fabric and Trim etc all the way down to Quilting and Home. But no Photo Gallery. Is it just me!!!!

          1. Josefly | | #15

            Hmmmn. It shows up for me, though there are no recent messages posted under that category, or that I haven't seen, so it's listed below all the categories that have unread messages. Perhaps it has to do with what you've selected to see, when you scroll all the way up on the left-side, and the "Show Discussions" button allows you to choose "All" or "Today" or Unread messages", etc? Sorry, I can't figure out why it's not there for you.

          2. SewingYvonne | | #16

            Yay! Got it at last. The way I can get that forum to show is by clicking on 'Next 50'. When I have the first 50 up that forum isn't there. This applies to whether I have 'All' or 'Unread'.
            It must be that the first 50 is the most recent working backwards and all the other forums had more recent posts than the photo gallery? So I'm guessing if say everyone wrote lots of threads or answers in say eg. General discussion and there were 50 new posts in there alone than only that forum would show in the first 50.
            Thats the way I've worked it out anyway!

          3. Josefly | | #17

            Yeah, I think you're right. I read the posts pretty regularly, so it's rare for me that there are 50 unread messages. If I spent more time sewing instead of reading about it, I might get somewhere... :>)

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