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Directional Stitching on Zippers

SewFit | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Tobusy2cook asked the following question in the thread about Instructional DVD’s, so I am responding here.

Trouble shooting – ex. CB zipper as you sew zipper down looks very nice as you turn and go up the other side you get pulling and little puckers.  Why?  I am currently haveing this problem.  (If anyone knows the solution please let me know)

I stitch from the top down to the bottom on both sides.   I prefer to do a lapped closing.  I stitch down the right side backstitching at the bottom.   Then I stitch down the left side and across the bottom.   You could do the same for a center closing.   Also, I add about 1/2 inch to my seam allowance from the top edge down to slightly below the bottom of the zipper.  I cut the interfacing about an inch wide and apply it directly over the fold line for the lapped side with 5/8 in on the pant side and 3/8 on the seam allowance.   This not only provide a good base for the top-stitching, but keeps the over lap smooth and prevents wrinkles that may get caught in the zipper teeth.

Hope this helps!

Edited 6/19/2007 8:12 pm ET by SewFit

Edited 6/19/2007 8:14 pm ET by SewFit


  1. tobusy2cook | | #1

    Thank you for the great instructions and creating a new thread!

    1. Fruzzle | | #2

      I go down one side and up the other when I'm putting in a zipper.

      Do you close the zipper when you do the second side?

      Do you make sure the zipper foot is pressing down on the outside of the zipper tape and not on the teeth?

      Here's how I do it.

      1. stitchintime | | #4

        How far from the teeth do you sew? How do you know where to place the zipper foot and the needle with respect to the based seamline?

        1. Fruzzle | | #5

          I pretty much do it by feel -- I put the zipper foot on top of the tape, so the needle is between the outer edge of the tape & the teeth. I'd say it's about a quarter inch from the teeth, maybe? You can feel where the edge of the zipper tape is going under the zipper foot, and if you keep that constant, you'll get a straight line.

          1. stitchintime | | #7

            I guess I haven't put enough zippers in to do it by feel. I will have to try the scotch tape trick mentioned in the post by fabricholic until I get the feel of it. I never seem to get one side the same distance from the centre as the other.

        2. fabricholic | | #6

          Have you ever tried using 1/2" scotch tape? Sometimes I just put the scotch tape over the center back and stitch down both sides of the tape. The needle on my machine moves left and right. It looks pretty even using the tape.

          1. stitchintime | | #8

            Thanks. Sounds easier than marking (messy) or basting (slow).

        3. Teaf5 | | #9

          To find the optimal stitching distance, stick a straight pin out from the back side and measure how far it is from the seam.  I use scotch tape for topstitching zippers all the time, even though I've put in enough zippers to do it with my eyes closed!

          1. stitchintime | | #10

            Thanks. Sounds like the scotch tape trick should help keep things even on both sides.

    2. SewFit | | #3

      You're "sew" welcome!!!!

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