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Changing a back zipper to a side zipper

Meemur | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi All,

I want to make a pair of pants, no waistband, just facings.  The pattern shows a back zipper which I find uncomfortable.  I’d like to switch it to a side invisible zipper.

Anything I should know about making changes to the pattern as well as inserting the zipper?



  1. mem | | #1

    you need to make your side seam a little wider and the put your invisble zip in before you sew up the side seam . Its like that so that you can conceal the bottom of your zip in the side seam . Also stabilize the fabric with an iron on stabilizer or it will bubble up  . I would consider a hand picked ordinary zipper as this might be more difficult to do than you imagine . I have been very frustrated by the warping which happens on the side seam because the fabric is slightly on the cross due to the waist shaping.

    1. Meemur | | #2

      Thank you for your response.  I really like the idea of putting the zipper in before the side seam is sewn. 

      I'm wondering about your comment with respect to the regular zipper versus the invisible zipper.  Does this mean that invisible zippers don't conform as well to contouring when compared to regular zippers?

      I love this community.  It's like we're all working together in the same room! 

      Thank you ... m

      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #3

        I like invisible zippers, but they must be hand basted in place or they will not look smooth. It only takes a few minutes to do and the end result is much nicer.  Also consider that the top edges of an invisible zipper almost always requires a hook to hold them together; do you want a hook and eye there?


        1. Meemur | | #4

          I was thinking of putting a tab on the inside with a button, in addition to the hook and eye.  My pants regularly vary from being loose to tight.  I like having the tab as protection from the evil hook and eye!

          Thanks for the tip.  I've had to rip out zippers in the past ... a few minutes basting is alot less than ripping and resewing.


          1. Teaf5 | | #5

            I often put a regular zipper in the side seam, using the lapped application and making sure that the lap opens toward the back so that the zipper teeth don't show. I like a tab and button or tab with a flat fastener at the top so that the zipper pull doesn't press against my waist.I agree with the others that basting is important; on a side seam zipper application, I would also lighten up the presser foot tension to prevent stretching the seam as you sew.

          2. mygaley | | #6

            Mem's advice to stabilize seams with iron-on interfacing is very good.  My zipper installations improved leaps and bounds when I learned this technique.  Galey

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