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Sew Ripple-Free Zippers in Knits

Threads #215, Fall 2021
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A zipper runs smoothly through a lightweight knit garment, supported by knit stay tape interfacing. Pattern: Pamela’s Patterns 104 The Perfect T-Shirt, modified. Fabric: wool-blend jersey.

Most of us have a ready-to-wear garment with a ripply zipper. The solution is knit stay-tape interfacing. This a lightweight interfacing product cut to a convenient width. My choice is 1-1/4 inches wide to support zippers. You can purchase it precut or cut strips of lightweight weft insertion interfacing.

Fuse the interfacing strips to the edges to prepare for the zipper installation


Fuse this in a strip along the wrong side of the zipper opening edges in knit garments. The interfacing stabilizes the edges, and that keeps the zipper smooth. It really makes a difference.

I don’t mind the strip of interfacing showing within the garment, but if you don’t want much to show, you can cut it to a narrower width.

Editor’s note: This is the last installment of a six-part article about stay tapes, based on the feature “Stay Tape Know-how” by Pamela Leggett, Threads #215 (Fall 2021). For more expert advice from Pamela about applying stay tapes, continue to the article’s other sections:

“4 Essential Stay Tapes for Knits”

“How to Stabilize a Shoulder Seam with Stay Tape”

“Use Stay Tape to Stabilize a Foldover Neckline Finish”

“How to Hem Knits Faster with Stay Tape”

“Apply Stay Tape for Easier Blind Hemming”

Pamela Leggett creates Pamela’s Patterns and teaches sewing and fitting across the country and at her Vernon, Connecticut, studio.

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