A Zipper Technique Sew Easy You’ll Think You Cheated

The best easy zipper technique on this quick and easy cross body bag sewing pattern.

Lazies, My ‘Sew Easy’ zipper trick is so good you’ll think you cheated! Our Runaround Bag pattern has been one of our most popular designs since it came out a hundred million years ago. The secret it holds…a fantastic zipper installation that can’t be beaten. It doesn’t sound sexy, but there is nothing like learning a trick you can use over and over again. Read on for details, a video demo, and tips, then grab the COUPON CODE to save a little on the pattern later in the post. 

Sew Easy Zipper – It’s Like Cheating!

I developed the Sew Easy Zipper technique just for our Runaround Bag, but you can use it on so many projects once you learn my handy trick.

Three Runaround Bags in pink, blue, and yellow.

The Runaround Bag is so quick and easy you can make a few or a slew!

Part of what makes the zipper technique so wonderful is that we totally ignore the zipper pull and the stops at the ends that can be hard to sew around. Instead, we just use the teeth – the good part in the middle. It’s like cheating!

Close up of an open zipper on a small purse.

A bold orange zipper bridges the gap between this pink print and the feature print.

Perfect Zipper Installation

My easy technique makes for a perfect installation from end to end every time. Notice that the bag fabric is evenly spaced from the zipper teeth for the whole length of the zipper. The topstitching on the fabric edge is also perfect.

Close up of small zipper bag showing tutle fabric.

Runaround Bag by Angie Syring. Feature a special print on the front of the Runaround Bag such as this cute sea turtle. A simple green fabric and coordinating zipper allow the feature print to shine.

Expert Tip: Use a Standard Presser Foot

I prefer to use my standard presser foot for this zipper installation for a few reasons. When stitching, keep the standard presser foot against the teeth as you sew to keep your stitches straight and parallel from the teeth. Doing so makes the stitches a little farther from the teeth than a zipper foot would, and that allows some of the beautiful zipper fabric to show. A standard presser foot also allows me better visibility while sewing, so I can see what’s going on.

Two small coordinating zipper handbags.

Make a few Runaround Bags at a time and mix fabrics and zipper colors.

Features of the Cross Body Runaround Bag

The Runaround is just a little bigger than my hand, making it the right size for a little bit of this and that for a light day on the go. It has a zippered main compartment, just the right size for our small Wonder Wallet, keys, and a phone.

The Wonder Wallet, pattern LGD211, has four pockets for cards, cash, coins and more. Make one from scraps for every bag you sew.

The convenient slip back pocket and long shoulder strap making it perfect to wear cross-body. Use two or more fabrics to make this cute cross body bag. Wondering which zipper color is best for your project? See Choosing a Zipper Color for help.

View of back pocket on two small purses.

Handy back slip pocket, perfect for convenience items for a day on the go.

Project Supplies For This Small Zippered Purse

You probably already have what you need to make a Runaround Bag. Grab a couple of fat quarters, a bit of fleece or batting, a zipper and you are good to go! I like to combine bold prints that make the most of this design. The Runaround Bag sewing pattern is a rotary cut pattern. Simply cut the strips and rectangles, then re-cut to the size needed. 

Runaround Bag pattern back, showing supply list.

Runaround Bag pattern back, showing supply list. Click to enlarge.

Video Demonstration of Runaround Bag Project and Sew-Easy Zipper Installation

The video starts playing at the zipper. Watch from the beginning to see more of the project.

Close up of orange and pink purse with yellow zipper and tassel.

Runaround Bag by Gail Laubenthal. Bold prints have a big impact on this small design. A yellow zipper acts as an accent fabric. I love the tassel and charm on the zipper pull.

Save Now! Get The Runaround Bag PDF Sewing Pattern

Click the pattern link below and use the coupon code to save 20% on the Runaround Bag pattern.
Coupon code: LazyGirlDesignsSewEasyZipper
Pattern Link: Runaround Bag.

It’s amazing that you can make this entire bag from two fat quarters of fabric. And it’s so quick and easy that it’s fun to make a whole collection at one time. Grab a fat quarter bundle, cut out a few bags, then mix and match the pieces in order to showcase several fabrics per bag.

Four small zipper bags in a variety of colors.

Make Runaround Bags in every color, by Mindy Dudgeon.

Zipper Recommendation

The Runaround Bag needs one 12″ or longer zipper. Here are the ones I like: Zippers in Joan’s Essentials.

Remember that a zipper is a design opportunity. Gather all of the zippers that go with your fabrics, then audition them to see who brings the most to your project. I think of the zipper as an accent fabric, expanding my two project fabrics to three. A zipper can blend, accent, or stand out. So use this project as an opportunity to stretch your comfort zone, have fun auditioning a variety of colors, and try a bold decision.

That’s Pinterest-ing!

Get more Crossbody Bag ideas at Pinterest here and pin this post to your Pinterest boards.

easy zipper installation

Give the Runaround Bag a try and see how fantastic the zipper is for yourself. Post a comment and tell me if you’ve tried the Runaround Bag or how you will use this handle little gem.

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