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Tips & Techniques > Easy Zipper installation

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Posted by: velvetandlace

About velvetandlace star
Member since: 8/28/07
Reviews: 9 (tips: 1)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 1 people
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Posted on: 8/31/07 9:08 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Needs More Info by 1 people   Very Helpful by 7 people   
My mother taught me this technique when I began sewing. It probably dates from the mid twentieth century. I much prefer it to modern methods. You do NOT need a zipper foot for this; just use the regular presser foot. It can be used for both invisible zippers and regular zippers.

1.) Sew the seam up to the point where you are going to put the zipper in.

2.) Press. Press the unsewn remainder of the seam in the same manner, e.g. if it is a 5/8" seam you should have 5/8" pressed down on each side as if it were sewn.

3.) Pin the closed zipper to the seam, wrong side of fabric to right side of zipper. The pressed edges of the seam should meet over the zipper teeth on the right side (outer side) of the garment.

4.) Baste the zipper in place. Make sure the fabric still meets on the right side.

5.) Sew. When you get to the end of one side, pivot, stitch across the bottom and pivot again to sew up the other side. (This works well with invisible zippers. I've never tried it with a regular zipper.)

Voila! You now have a zipper that should be completely hidden in the seam!

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sharkskin said... (8/27/13 8:00 AM) Reply
I am in agreement that this method is not explained or illustrated well enough to be helpful and it apparently is just adding to people's confusion. I feel like "tips" like this waste people's time and ought to be removed.
Mufffet said... (10/6/09 11:09 PM) Reply
I forgot to add that I love this tip because it is how I was taught to put in a zipper too, and with all the over-thinking that is going on about zippers, I appreciate this! I have never even been tempted to use an invisible zipper though, so I am easily satisfied with this neat and trim method.
nickie63 said... (12/2/07 0:14 AM) Reply
Thank You,Thank You .I hate to put a zipper in but this sounds like a winner to me. Nickie
Sarah2 said... (9/30/07 12:24 PM) Reply
Wow! Can't wait to try this! Cheers!
pilarshirley said... (9/27/07 2:58 PM) Reply
I just cannot see this technique in my minds eye, a picture would help enormousley. It does sound good.
Sing said... (9/27/07 9:05 AM) Reply
#3 does not make sense. does wrong side of fabric mean you open out the pressed seam? If not, the stiching would show on the right side. Invisible zippers do not have visible stiching on the right side of the garment. If you do not sew next to the zipper teeth on an invisible zipper, how can the seam conceal the zipper without it gapping?
HeyJane said... (9/20/07 10:20 PM) Reply
When I read the tip, I did not take it to mean that an invisible zipper would look like the normal installation of an invisible zipper. I just took it to mean that if you didn't have a regular zipper, you could use an invisible installed as a regular. I often do that because the zipper (as mentioned) is lighter. I frequently do not use a zipper foot at all (if it's a regular zipper) but use a regular foot because I use sequin or beaded type fabrics and want more of a looseness around the zipper so it doesn't get caught in beads, therefore the stitching is a little farther away and more space is created. Anyway the centered technique works beautifully, especially if you sew the seam all the way, then remove the basting afterward. But to say "You now have a zipper that should be completely hidden in the seam" is not correct, because you have just stitched on the outside. It should have been worded "the zipper TAPE" is hidden in the fold" ??
Dressgirl said... (9/16/07 2:47 PM) Reply
That's how I learned it from my fahion Studies teacher in highschool a few years ago. Works well enough. Yes there are stiches, but who really looks so closely? The thread is the same color anyways (or should be...)
newlywedws said... (9/5/07 5:58 PM) Reply
It sounds interesting, but believe pictures (or maybe a link that shows this technique being used) would be helpful.
cindyann said... (9/4/07 5:25 PM) Reply
Thank you Velvetandlace & Utz for bringing this to our attention. I would have never considered using an invisible zipper in a conventional manner, but since I have a large stash of them and not so many regular zips, I'll be trying this out. I like the idea of a lighter zipper.
utz said... (9/4/07 8:05 AM) Reply
This method , as velvetandlace stated, is one from mid-century. It is a dressmaker technique we shouldn't forget in our rush to be modern, and is well credentialed, to be found in The Dressmaking Book by Adele Margolis, pg. 223 referred to as slot zippered closing. There no zipper foot is mentioned, tho I think it would be easier to use one. But many people don't, (often they're the seamstress whizzes I've seen who can do anything with a straight stitch, plain foot - but I digress.) Mid-century zippers were often clunky affairs, metal with heavy binding, thick plastic. Today, one could use an invisible zipper as did velvetandlace which would be a lighter application. The method does hide the zipper in the seam, tho stitching shows. Tho by saying she used an invisible zipper, I did not infer she was offering an invisible zipper application method, just a newer material, using an older dressmaking technique. My mother taught me this method as well, tho it never occurred to me to use an invisible zipper - it would be lighter and the method faster, tho not as nicely invisible, as my later 20th C method of inserting an invisible zipper (from underneath; taught on the invisible zipper package) Also slot zipper closings may be sturdier in some applications, but using the invisible zipper (the notion) would be lighter.
DrFill said... (9/2/07 8:36 PM) Reply
SewVeryTall is so very right! This is in no way a tip at all! It is a BASIC way of putting in a zipper, a regular zipper at that, and NOT an invisible zipper. You obviously have no clue what an invisible zipper even is!
sew2006 said... (9/2/07 6:01 PM) Reply
This sounds more like a centered zipper technique, where two rows of material hide the zipper teeth underneat the material. An invizible zipper when installed properly will look just like a seam except for the little tab on the top and no vizible stitches on the outside of the garment. This was the first zipper I learned to sew and found it is a very forgiving zipper as all the stitches are concealed inside the garment. You do need the special foot as it rolls the special teeth out of the way. The stitching line is ecentially sewn from the wrong side underneat the roll of the teeth. There a huge amount of information on all zippers in the knowledge base of the site.
Sew it seams said... (9/2/07 9:57 AM) Reply
Thank you for posting your method. I always use a regular zipper foot for inserting an invisible zipper. The only thing I haven't tried is sewing the seam first. I am thinking that you would need a longer zipper than the pattern calls for doing it this way. I will definitely try it when I am replacing a zipper while altering. Thank you, and welcome to PR!
SewVeryTall said... (9/2/07 6:24 AM) Reply
You say that you don't need a zipper foot, but you don't say how you avoid needing one when you sew beside the zipper tab. Also, your stitching will show on the outside. Normally, with an invisible zipper, there are no stitches showing on the outside, which is the main point of an "invisible" zipper. All you've told us here, is to put in a zipper the regular old way that a regular zipper is put in, misleadingly claiming that a zipper foot won't be needed. Now if you bought a zipper that was too long, and left the extra length sticking out at the top, you could sew without a zipper foot. But as far as this application of yours, you might as well buy a regular zipper, because you're not taking advantage of the more expensive invisible zipper's qualities anyway. I wouldn't say anything, but there are beginners here who will be very confused by this tip [as shown by the comments already posted]. You could ask Deepika to remove this tip for'll save you embarrassment when you learn how an invisible zipper is really put in, and save all the beginners from being confused.
ginaT said... (9/1/07 7:52 PM) Reply
librarylady...This is the reverse way of inserting an invisible zipper as usually the zip is put in before the seam is sewn.I too would like a picture....anyway of making zipper insertions easier is ok by me ;)
librarylady said... (9/1/07 7:10 PM) Reply
This sounds neat. Can you post a picture? I'm having a little trouble picturing how it works. Is it like the usual instuctions for an invisible zipper but better?
martinanne said... (9/1/07 11:35 AM) Reply

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