HOW TO SEW A ZIPPER
Learning how to sew in a zipper is really a useful and necessary skill as you move from beginner to the brink of being an intermediate seamstress. It may seem daunting but it is really quite simple. There are more complicated ways of stitching in a zipper, but for starters I’ll be showing you how to sew a basic zipper into a seam.
If you think about, a zipper is just a place in which we desire the seam of a garment or item to be able to open. Instead of the seam being permanent, you are allowing it to open by stitching the zipper in.
1. Set your machines stitch length to the longest setting. This is called a baste stitch.
It is a temporary stitch that is easily removed later.
2. Sew the selvages together where you want to insert a zipper, taking ½” seam allowance.
3. Press the seam open.
4. Take your zipper and lay it face down on the wrong side of the seam (this way the zipper
will face the correct way when the seam is eventually opened).
5. Be careful to align the zipper exactly onto the center of the seam.
6. Pin the zipper in place, pinning across the zipper approximately every inch.
7. You are now ready to stitch in your zipper.
8. Replace your regular presser foot with a zipper foot. A zipper foot allows the needle
to get very close to the zippers’ edge. There is a small lever behind the press foot shaft that
releases the presser foot. To put the new one on, just lower the shaft onto the new foot.
9. IMPORTANT: Switch your stitch length setting back to normal; otherwise your zipper
won’t be properly secured.
10. Starting beneath the zipper tab, stitch down towards the end of the zipper (away from
the tab). Stitch slowly, removing each pin before you reach it.
11. At the end of the fabric turn the corner by stitching across both the fabric and the zipper.
*Note: You can easily shorten any zipper that is too long for the fabric by stitching across
the zipper at the desired length. This prevents the zipper tab from sliding any further down
the zipper teeth.
12. Keep stitching up the other side of the zipper careful to keep the needle the same distance
from the zipper as the other side.
13. Stop stitching short of the zipper tab.
14. Trim the excess zipper of with scissors if necessary.
15. Flip the fabric over and open the seam with a seam ripper from the zipper tab down.
16. This will allow the zipper tab to slide down the teeth of the zipper where you’ve already sewn
and get it out of the way so that finishing the zipper will be easier.
17. Finish the zipper by repining the fabric to the zipper and stitching in line with the previous
stitching. Trim your threads and open the rest of the seam.