On both your lining and the bag outer, backstitch about an inch down from the top of the side seams. Then rip out the seams above where you just stitched. This allows for the simplest installation of a zipper. Trust me, it works much better to arrange the pleats just right while the sides are sewn all the way to the top, so it really is better to do it that way and then remove just an inch of stitching at the top to have room for the zipper. I forgot to take a picture of this before I sewed on the zipper, so pretend like the zipper isn’t there yet:)


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