Sometimes I buy a pillow case just because I like the fabric. And then it cut it up to use as fabric. If it has a zipper, I roughly cut around that so I can use it later. You'd be silly to throw away a good zipper, right?
I needed a zipper when I was making the cushion cover using the Watercolour Flowers panel. I didn't have any zippers that were large enough (why do I have so many 10 cm ones?!). Until I got to the bottom of the box and there was one of those saved zippers and it was the perfect size. Yay!
Just as I was about to separate the zipper from the fabric still attached to it I had a flash of inspiration! The zipper is already attached to fabric. I could just sew that fabric to the two pieces of the cushion cover and not fiddle around with sewing in the zipper! The two fabric pieces were also a little small for the cushion insert so the little bit of extra fabric from the original cushion was an added bonus!
This is really easy to do, but here's a wee how-to!
Line up the zipper with the edge of your fabric and then mark the fabric length on the zipper-fabric (and the zipper if it's larger than your fabric). Mark it at both ends. Cut off the excess ends.
Trim the zipper-fabric along the sides of the zipper. You'll basically only need enough to have some seam allowance on either side of the zipper.
Pin the zipper to the fabric with right sides facing each other and sew the two layers together. Repeat for the other piece of fabric.
Then sew the remaining three sides of the cushion together. Before you sew it together, remember to open the zipper about halfways. If you don't it can get a wee bit tricky to open it once the cushion cover is sewn together. ;-)
Obviously, this recycling trick won't work for all projects - maybe you want a hidden zipper, maybe you want a matching zipper etc etc. But for a slightly lazy-arse project, it's all good. :-)
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