It’s zipper time!
Back in 2016, I posted two video tutorials showing you how to install an invisible zipper in a lined and unlined garment. (If you’d like to see the video tutorials, scroll to the bottom of this post.)
Over the years, I’ve been told that this video has helped many of you, so I thought I’d bring you a pictorial tutorial for 2021! I am using our newest pattern, the Giselle dress, for this tutorial. I was fitting her bodice and needed to make a muslin, including the zipper in order to assess her fit.
- Prepare your pieces according to your pattern directions.
- Baste your seam together using long stitches, 4-5mm. Backstitch to secure the stitches helps to lock them in place. Although we will be picking out this stitch later, it is very helpful to have a secure seam when fitting and sewing the zipper.
- Flip your garment so that only one seam allowance is exposed. I am starting with the right side (as show) seam allowance.
- Grab your zipper, and turn her face down. Your zipper is face down, then the zipper pull (the swingy-thing you pull to open/close your zipper) is face down. Align the zipper teeth just next to the seam line. Pin the zipper tape to the seam allowance to secure. Note: Positioning is very important here. Make sure that you zipper teeth butt up right against the middle seam line. If you pin and it moves, unpin and reposition it and pin it again.
- On your sewing machine, install your zipper presser foot of choice. I am using a regular zipper foot as I don’t prefer the invisible zipper foot. I like to see where I’m sewing.
- When it’s time to sew the zipper in, there are several things happening at the sewing machine at the same time.
a. Use your left index finger to roll the zipper teeth to the left, away from the needle.
b. Position your need to strike in the crease that you’ve exposed when you rolled the teeth away. Use your hand wheel to test the needle position before you begin sewing.
When your needle strike looks like this (below), you may slowly proceed to sew down the length of your zipper. As you sew, you will continuously be rolling the zipper tape to the left so expose the crease for your needle to strike. Sew slowly and carefully.
8. At the end of the stitching, you may stop rolling the zipper tape away. You should not be able to see your stitching. If you can see your stitching, don’t worry! Go back to the top of the zipper and stitch again, making sure you roll that tape out of the way. You do not have to pick out that stitching!
Your stitching is hiding neatly in that crease!
10. Repeat the steps on the remaining zipper tape to your satisfaction.
11. Grab your seam ripper and remove the basting stitch.
12. To verify that you’ve stitched in your zipper to your liking, simply zip your zipper and examine your work. Restitch as needed.
How to Install an Invisible Zipper Video Tutorials
This video is the tutorial on an unlined garment.
This video is the tutorial on a lined garment.