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Installing an Exposed Zipper

Zippers are so much more than mundane closures. When installed on a garment’s exterior, instead of hidden behind a fold of fabric, a zipper becomes a functional embellishment. Exposing a zipper to display its tape and teeth instantly adds a modern designer detail to any garment.

There are several ways to install an exposed zipper, and nearly any seamline presents the opportunity to showcase a closure-the placement is up to you. The trick is in how you manage the seam allowance at the zipper’s bottom end. A miter-cut opening gives a flat, clean finish on both sides of a garment.

This method will enable you to grade seam allowances to very narrow widths, so use it to reduce bulk on heavy or stiff fabrics. Using fusible interfacing along the garment opening makes this a good option for installing an exposed zipper on loosely woven fabrics, as well, because the interfac¬ing stabilizes the fabric and prevents it from fraying. Jacque Goldsmith will show you one method for installing an exposed zipper with a sophisticated finish in this article from Threads issue 162.

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