Step 5: Sew the zip into place

This is a fiddly process but not a difficult one. The body fabric will end up sandwiched between the felt lips on the outside and the sturdy fabric of the zip on the inside. The working part of the zip will show through the window cutout in the felt.

  • Place the zip on a hard surface, face upwards, with the zip pulled completely closed. It will probably be too wiggly to lie nicely flat – don’t worry about it.
  • Carefully place the front piece of your monster body over the zip, face upwards, lining up the zip track inside the frame made by the felt lips. Pin the zip into place. It doesn’t need to be perfect at this stage – the pins just hold the zip in roughly the right place so that it doesn’t fall off when we turn the piece over.
  • The functional part of the zip, from pull to stopper, needs to be well inside the frame.
Diagram showing the placement of the zip relative to the felt lips

We’re looking to pull the zip fabric taut behind the body fabric while lining up the working part of the zip horizontally between the felt lips. Fiddle with the pins until you have one straight edge looking right. Then, working from the back but keeping an eye on how the front looks, sew that first straight edge into place, smooth things out, then sew the opposite straight edge. Then work your way right the way around the outer edges of the zip, behind and/or through the felt layer, pulling the zip fabric taut as you go.

Diagram of zip and felt lips showing suggested lines for the stitching to attach the zip
Photo showing the finished stitches attaching the zip to the back of the body/lips
Don’t worry if the back of the zip looks a bit of a mess – most of it will be hidden when we add the tummy-bag.

If you didn’t do it earlier, you could stitch around the inner and outer edges of the felt lips now, binding them to the body fabric and the zip. The aim is to stop the felt edges lifting. This step could be left until the tummy-bag is in place. (If you take that option, take care not to sew the mouth shut!)