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I’m not the first to say this, nor will I be the last…but zippers are here to stay (and I don’t mean to simply close pieces of fabric together). From the design studios of Philip Lim, Versace and Balmain to jewelry designers and hobbyists throughout the world, zippers are leaving the seams and taking a prominent place as decorative elements and fashion accessories in their own right.

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Everywhere I look, I’m seeing decorative zippers. Here’s a wonderful purse I just saw at J Crew while on vacation that’s showing an exposed zipper edge. Love it!

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There are so many ways to get started using zippers in a decorative way, many of them unbelievably easy to accomplish. The trick is to just jump in and get started. At IndygoJunction, we’ve made patterns and supplies available for years that make it easy to use zippers as decorative elements (see the example above from our Art to Wear book) or as fun, casual jewelry.

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With this week’s post, I thought I’d try and help you get started. I’ve made an instructional video on how to make a simple flower rosette using zipper yardage. In the video we’ll use the following supplies:

Classic Zipper Accents
Vintage Zipper Accents


And, while this video is intended as a “beginner” level, instructional video, it certainly took its inspiration from two of our popular zipper patterns, My Garden Zips and our Zipper Jewels. Everything you will learn in this video you can use in these patterns as well.

Finally, I’d like to directly help two people get started by giving away two zipper accessory sets to two of my commenters. Each winner will receive one Classic Zipper Accents package (zipper yardage), one Vintage Zipper Accents package (zipper yardage) and one each of the “My Garden Zips” and our “Zipper Jewels” patterns. Just let me know how you would use zippers to enhance your projects by 9:30am EST on Friday, April 1st for your chance to win!

~ Amy

FYI: Following us on Facebook is a great way to keep up on new patterns, books and supplies. Also, check in at IndygoJunction.com very soon as we’ll be adding a new exposed zipper dress, a new zipper jewelry pattern along with a third collection of Zipper Accents.

Amy Barickman is the founder and owner of Indygo Junction, The Vintage Workshop and AmyBarckman.com. She is a leader in the sewing, needle arts and retail crafting industry having sold more than two-million sewing patterns and published 80 books sold throughout the world. Her recent endeavor is the book “Amy Barickman’s Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion and Fun”, is already on its third printing since its release in September of 2010. Other best-selling titles include: “Indygo Junction’s Button Ware” and, most recently, “Hankie Style”.

55 Comments

  • Missing

    Apr 1, 2011, 04.25 AMby Maritza Valenzuela

    My nieces (9 years old) love zipper flower barrettes, so for Christmas I bought some zippers, watched a tutorial on youtube, and made them a bunch of zipper-flower hair clips! They turned out really cute and I was amazed at how easy it was. I’d love to make them some more accessories, and maybe make some flower shoe-clips for myself or try a new technique!

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    Mar 31, 2011, 06.47 PMby dorion

    I’ve always loved zippers! I’m happy that all these different colors and projects are coming out all the time.

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    Mar 31, 2011, 02.48 AMby gccmom

    I work with teens at a summer camp. I’m so excited to try these at craft time this summer!

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    Mar 30, 2011, 08.48 PMby Weena59

    I love the zipper flowers and can think of many ways I’d use them. I also really like the zippers used as embellishment on simple clothing styles-very chic. Thanks for the opportunity to win the Indygo Junction items!

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    Mar 30, 2011, 06.39 PMby tspoon-1

    I love all things zippery! Thanks for the giveaway Amy! (p.s. you all should check out Amy’s book Vintage Notions!)

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    Mar 30, 2011, 06.27 PMby blissmama

    Love the necklaces and brooches – also love the zipper “ruffles”… I’ll have to do some ruffle experimenting I think!

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    Mar 30, 2011, 05.01 PMby olac

    Love the zipper flowers, what an awesome idea! Will have to go out and look for some metal zippers over the weekend.

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    Mar 30, 2011, 05.01 PMby olac

    Love the zipper flowers, what an awesome idea! Will have to go out and look for some metal zippers over the weekend.

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    Mar 30, 2011, 02.25 PMby redpanties

    Awesome, I’ve been saving the zippers from the thrift shop clothing I recycle, and now what wonderful inspiration for re-using them! I love the idea of sinuous lines on a T shirt or skirt!

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    Mar 30, 2011, 08.07 AMby jenyjenny

    Great timing, I just bought a bag of 50 zippers at the Quilt and Sewing Expo, and I’m loving the garden zips and jewels!

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    Mar 30, 2011, 07.56 AMby clarey

    I love zips, especially big chunk exposed zips on more delicate fabrics. I would use my zips on a nude coloured top, perhaps in a deceptive fashion to make it look like I was daring and risque and was wearing my zip, zipped down loooooow. When really it was just an illusion. So, I would probably use a gorgeous decorative zip in a line running from the navel up, which splays out in a v shape neck line and finshes round the back of the neck.

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    Mar 30, 2011, 05.35 AMby jbesoin

    Some of the suggested uses of zippers are not practical. For example, the J Crew bag: the teeth are in the perfect position to catch on fine fabrics, or rub wear-marks onto clothing where you carry the bag while walking. Conversely, I have an external zippered pocket on trousers that catches on the webbing of my tote. Zippers look great, but put them where they won’t damage.

    Another thing to do id remove the tab (not sure what it is really called) and attach beads or other hardwear. It is particularly convenient if you have bling that can be attached and removed using a jewelry clasp.

  • Missing

    Mar 30, 2011, 04.15 AMby meldorwd

    I love the “bling” of the zipper teeth against the contrasting fabric. I will definitely try making some of the flowers- beautiful!! I also love the idea of using zippers to make unexpected and modern features, for example, as piping on a purse. Cool ideas!!

  • Missing

    Mar 30, 2011, 03.29 AMby sewitstyle

    Both the jewelry and flowers would be worth a try – decisions, decisions.

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    Mar 30, 2011, 02.04 AMby conniereed

    I really love the flowers!

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    Mar 30, 2011, 01.38 AMby uglybeat

    Zowie! Cool ideas all over the place! I’m kinda thinking zippers as piping would be kinda neat. I loooove piping and this zipper trend would be perfect!

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    Mar 30, 2011, 12.36 AMby Laura Reyes

    awesome!

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    Mar 29, 2011, 11.52 PMby sewmeohmy

    Aaahh! Sign me up! My daughter has (okay, had) a headband with a gorgeous zipper flower on it. Headband broke, world ended. Now Mom can come to the rescue with headbands, hatpins, skirt adornments galore! Thanks for offering such an excellent giveaway.

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    Mar 29, 2011, 10.23 PMby xxmazenxx

    I would add them to purses, tops, bottoms, and adorn myself with them and share with a friend. Anything to show off the amazing handy work and pop of color against the raw metal. :P

    The name of my artshoppe and line of purses is Zipped_shut (also my screen name on several sites). I’ve had that name for a long while and earned it by using the scrap zipper ‘butts’ in the past on projects as art elements. I don’t like to waste or toss anything.

    Its been exciting seeing zippers used in a nontraditional way here and on the runway lately. Can’t wait to see zipper jewelry pattern Burda puts up!
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    Mar 29, 2011, 09.02 PMby bonnet0uk

    This lady takes zipper jewellery to a whole new level: http://www.flickr.com/photos/woolly_fabulous/with/5568627143/

    I’ve been trying to do similar work but am no where near as good: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonnet0uk/5571875909/

  • Missing

    Mar 29, 2011, 09.00 PMby nonpareil

    I would like to make zipper blooms to decorate hairbands and tee-shirts. I’m also sewing skirts for my teen granddaughters and am trying to find zipper tapes to use as accent on the pockets. This would be grand if I could win. Thanks for sharing and for the chance to win!

  • Anna_large

    Mar 29, 2011, 08.38 PMby latulipenoire

    Oooh, I love the idea of a slim dress with a square neckline, and the neckline edged in zipper yardage. Great post!

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    Mar 29, 2011, 08.27 PMby sewcalgal

    Great tutorial. Fun project ideas. Love it.

    SewCalGal www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

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    Mar 29, 2011, 08.13 PMby elitton

    Using zippers as decorative design elements is so clever. I love the edginess it brings to a design.

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    Mar 29, 2011, 08.08 PMby tspoon

    WOW! I definitely need to get out more! I LOVE all these ideas and never would have thought of them!

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    Mar 29, 2011, 08.07 PMby claudiasievers

    I love skirts and try a lot of different looks. So I’d love to put one or more zipper flowers on it!

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    Mar 29, 2011, 07.49 PMby sergerqueen

    For years I have wanted to make a jacket with a collar that has zipper trim inserted between the collar and the under collar. In addition, I want to make some of the cool brooches made out of zippers.

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    Mar 29, 2011, 07.46 PMby natclem

    I’m making a dress that has a bodice-like bonind structure, and instead of boning I’m going to use zippers! It’ll be awesome!

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    Mar 28, 2011, 09.51 AMby efgh

    I really like wavy zip ruffles on something pretty simple like a vest.

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    Mar 28, 2011, 03.57 AMby daiyami

    oh, I’ve also been skeptical about the zipper trend but really like the Indygo Junction patterns. I’d totally wear a bracelet like that, and would use the flowers as accents on skirts and dresses, and maybe as bows on gift bags.

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