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Sewing In a Zipper

Interface the zipper area
Lapped zipper
Invisible zipper
Interface the zipper area

Interface the zipper area


The lapped zipper
Sew the garment seam using 5/8-inch seam allowances, basting the zipper opening, and press the seam allowances open. From the wrong side of the garment, place the closed zipper face down over the seam allowances, aligning the right tape edge to the right seam allowance edge. Sew the zipper tape to the seam allowance only, using a 1/4-inch seam allowance, and taking care not to catch fabric from the garment body. Flip the zipper over so it's right-side up. Sew the unstitched side of the zipper to the remaining seam allowance by stitching directly over the seam basting, or as close as possible to it. Unfold the fabric so the garment is right side up. To topstitch the lap, sew across the bottom of zipper first, pivot and stitch 3/8 inch from the seamline to the top of the zipper. Remove the basting stitches from the seamline.

Sew the garment seam, baste the opening seam allowances together, and press them open. Place the closed zipper face down over the seam allowance and align the right tape edge to the right seam allowance edge and sew the two together using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. With the zipper face up sew the other side of the zipper to the remaining seam allowance by stitching right over the seam basting. To topstitch the lap, sew across the bottom of zipper first, pivot and stitch 3/8- inch from the seamline to the top of the zipper. Remove seamline basting.

Stitch the first side Adjust the remaining seam allowance
Pin and stitch the right side of the zipper opening to the zipper tape, with the fold near the zipper teeth and the stitching close to the fold.   To make the lap on a lapped zipper, adjust the remaining seam allowance to 1/2 in. and pin in place, covering the zipper teeth and the first row of stitching.

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Comments (9)

user-2128681 user-2128681 writes: Thanks for the nice tutorial the interfacing and chalk lines were very good tips. I am going to try them then next time I make a project with a zipper.
Posted: 10:36 pm on April 10th

SewFascinated SewFascinated writes: I have made a zippered dress where the bodice was lined. I've only done it once but if my memory serves me correctly, you baste the zipper to the dress first and then with the zipper sandwiched in the middle you stitch the dress & lining together. I'm probably not explaining it well, but the pattern I used was Simplicity 2401. Hope that helps.
Posted: 10:37 am on December 30th

Vicki_J Vicki_J writes: Do you have instructions on how to attach the waistband after I install a centered zipper as above.
Posted: 11:22 am on September 23rd

JoaniesJosh JoaniesJosh writes: I've been trying everywhere to get instructions on how to handle a center back zipper when a sleeveless dress is completely lined. I seen RTW made this way (on better RTW) and I would love to learn what the steps are in creating a garment like this. The RTW appears to have no hand-stitching when inserting the zipper. Please help this Grandmother achieve this goal.
Posted: 4:43 pm on August 16th

KimsIdleHands KimsIdleHands writes: I too would like to know about zippers and linings. I have always had a difficult time with this.

TO Lorraine, you have to let the fusible interfacing cool before sewing. THis should help a lot.
Posted: 4:15 pm on July 26th

sandydemouy sandydemouy writes: I know this article is a bit dated, but I am looking for information on how to apply a zipper when a full lining is involved as well! Just curious if anyone has any info on this. thanks!
Posted: 10:16 pm on September 9th

rewetzel1 rewetzel1 writes: I've put in a few invisible zippers before but I can't understand how to do it when a full lining is involved. I'm baffled.
Posted: 10:05 pm on February 18th

metamorfosis metamorfosis writes: I am a begginer and i've had troubles with how to sew zippers so thanks for explain it so clearly. I think this article it is very useful for me.

Posted: 5:16 pm on February 14th

Lorriane Lorriane writes: Using fusible interfacing before sewing the zipper ended up doing a sticky job on my needles ...
Posted: 5:25 pm on January 5th

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