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Sew a Lapped Zipper by Machine

Threads magazine - 171 - Feb./Mar. 2014
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Jacque Goldsmith shares the details of a valuable time-saving technique for zipper sewing in Threads #171.

My experience in clothing factories showed me that zippers can be inserted without having to sew the lining to the zipper tape by hand. In the industry, hand stitching is kept to a minimum to keep costs down. I adapted a factory method to sew a lapped zipper into a lined garment without the need for slipstitching. It simply requires adjustments to the lining seam allowances and the construction sequence, and a zipper foot for your sewing machine. The technique is demonstrated on a dress pattern that has a center-back zipper and a neckline facing, but it also works on garments without facings, or with side-seam zippers. With this method, you’ll achieve professional-looking results on the right and wrong sides of your custom-made garment.

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  1. User avater MissyW76 January 6th

    Okay that was a bit confusing and needing more study, it is easier to hand sew the lining I am thinking.

  2. HarmonyQ January 7th

    Wow! I've been sewing for 47 years and I have to say that this is the most confusing, hardest explanation to put an offset zipper in. Your sketch is incorrect. Both over and under laps are stating (RS). I feel sorry for a beginner trying to figure this one out. Plus, why does one wish to imitate a ready-made garment? That's why we sew - to add all the beautiful hand details that are being lost for the sake of getting things done quickly and as cheaply as possible. I'm sticking with hand stitching the lining to the zipper. It's a heck of a lot easier, and others won't think that I purchased off the rack.

  3. Carly_Sue January 8th

    I would have to agree with the two above. Why put yourself through learning this when hand sewing is quick and easier?

  4. Austragirl January 9th

    I can't follow this either.

  5. Bouqqia January 11th

    If I can download this article, why do I need the magazine with the same article? I couldn't understand it either and I would really like to know how to get this professional finish.

  6. user-1077435 January 15th

    I could not grasp this article also. Is there DVD. HELP!

  7. Pula January 24th

    Glad I wasn't the only one who read this article and still couldn't get it!

  8. EvamarieGomez January 29th

    Hello Everyone,

    I've shared your concerns with Threads editors and they will address them shortly.

    Thank you for your comments and feedback!
    Evamarie Gomez
    Web Producer

  9. Sewzygirl January 29th

    I studied this article carefully, & believe part of the confusion is about when the garment is turned inside or right side out after stitching. I think a photo at step 3, 'finish the overlap neckline seam' showing the work inside-out would be very helpful. I am very excited about this technique! I thought the presentation was concise & detailed. Just a few more photos or illustrations would probably do the trick.

  10. Sewzygirl January 29th

    Would love to see a video demo for this technique! Well worth learning!

  11. User avater GmaCma September 7th

    So was this article ever remade, with corrections shown? Some of us really appreciate this quicker methods particularly if we have busy schedules with families/jobs and community commitments.

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