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Invisible Zipper

ThreadKoe | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I want to try putting an invisible zipper into a dress. Problem is I cannot get an invisible zipper foot for my Bernina 930, a 30 yr old machine. The foot is not available. I have checked ebay and other online sources, and the local sources in my area. I am still checking other sources. If anyone has any leads, I would be very interested.

In the meantime, is it possible to put one in without the invisible zipper foot, and how would I do that? Otherwise, I will go ahead with a regular centered zipper. Thanks, Cathy


  1. mainestitcher | | #1

    I've done it with the pin tuck foot, and with a regular zipper foot, too. It takes a little practice., but it's doable.

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #2

      I have a pintuck foot. I give it a try and see what happens. Thanks. Cathy

      1. nikkisewz | | #3

        When I first started sewing, I used a regular zipper foot to put them in. It's so funny how once you get introduced to the world of presser feet, there seems to be one to help out with every job in the sewing room. 

        The Bernina zipper foot will work just fine--it will just take a little extra concentration. I've had to use it at home a few times on invisible zippers and everything came out all right; just don't forget to put the zipper in before you sew the rest of the seam.


        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #4

          I hate doing zippers as it is, so I have been told by the lovely friends here that invisible zippers are a lot easier, but it seems to be getting more difficult by the minute. Oh well....=( Cathy

          1. nikkisewz | | #5

            Once you get the hang of it, they are easier. Don't give up!

          2. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #6

            Even us more experienced sewers get stymied by some of the basic stuff sometimes. No I won't give up, I never do. Cathy

  2. stillsuesew | | #7

    If you have a Viking the buttonhole foot will work. It has a groove on the under side that will ride over the teeth. I actually use the regular everyday foot. The key is to get those little teeth turned back out of the way and once you get them started the regular foot will hold them out of the way very nicely.

  3. sewslow67 | | #8

    Hi Cathy,

    Here are two links that should help you.  One is what to buy and where (I have this foot, and it's terrific ...works on every different kind of machine I have ever had, including:  Bernina, Elna, Pfaff, Janome, Viking, & Singer)  I now have only a Pfaff and  Janome sewing machines and Pfaff & Babylock sergers. 

    The second website give clear instructions re how to install an invisible zipper foot.  And everyone is right:  Putting in the invisible zipper is very easy and much more so than the regular kind.  Here are the links.  If you have any problems or other questions, please send me a PM and I'll give you my phone number and you can call me ...or  I will call you if you like, since I have (essentially) free long distance.




    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #9

      Thanks for the links. I followed a couple more at the bottom of the sew knit one, and it lead me to one that explained how to do it without the invisible zipper foot. I think I can handle it now. If i can't visualize what I am supposed to do, I have difficulty getting to it. I am off to the sewing room.....Cathy

      1. sewslow67 | | #10

        You are most welcome; I'm glad they helped.

  4. jjgg | | #11

    You can get a standard low shank invisible zipper foot (not a bernina foot) and put it on a Bernina Low shank adapter - thats what I did for my 1130. But, you can also put in an invisible zipper with a standard zipper foot too.

    The bernina foot #35 is an invisible zipper foot, (and they do make it for the older Berninas) I have it too, but I find it's too tight, I don't like it, so I use my first suggestion.

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #12

      Thanks for the input. I did some searching, and found some excellent instructions with pictures on how to insert with a regular zipper foot. Now if my schedule and family will actually let me get into my sewing room for more than 5 minutes of quiet time, I could actually try a sample and get the dresses done.......grrrrrrr
      My newest SIL has an inner ear problem and I have been pressed into babysitting her little ones, not that I really mind, but her youngest is handicapped and only has 2 speeds, full on and asleep. tee hee. Happiest little troublemaker you have ever met. At least he thinks Aunt Cathy is wonderful. He just hasn't figured out yet that I always win. Oh well. Love him dearly, just exhausted. I tried to order the zipper foot. Not available, so I cancelled the order. I think it may be easier to learn to put it in without the invisible zipper foot at this point. Less frustrating anyhow. Cathy

      1. MaryinColorado | | #34

        http://www.nancysnotions.com and maybe http://www.clotilde.com might be good resources for feet. 

        My son had two speeds too, lol, and so adventurous!  Enjoy the moment Aunt Cathy! 

  5. krichmond | | #13

    Hi ThreadKoe:

    I used to work with a seamstress who could insert an invisible zipper with a regular zipper foot.  She would unzip the zipper and press the teeth 'away' with an iron - so they didn't curl back onto the zipper tape and then just sew as closely as possible to the teeth starting at the top of the zipper.  The zipper has to be at least two inches longer than the opening so you can 'fade away' discreetly at the bottom.

    Edited 8/27/2008 1:51 am ET by krichmond

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #14

      Perfect! =) thanks much for the tip. That was the problem I was having trouble with. Will get my practice one right Yet. Thanks again. Cathy

    2. sewchris703 | | #32

      That's how I do it. I iron the zipper open, hand baste in place, sew with a regular zipper foot on the hand basting, then sew up the seam below the zipper. I don't even have to take the hand basting out. It stays in the seam.Chris

      1. msflair | | #33

        You should be able to purchase the plastic invisable zipper foot with all shank sizes at the fabric store. You can also try using one of your larger "piping feet" as it has a groove to feed the zipper teeth through. Just adjust your needle to the left or right (if your machine will do this - even the old but great Singer 401A will do this!) to get it as cloose as you need to the teeth.

        I hope this helps.

      2. Ceeayche | | #35

        Although I do have the plastic feet they offer to do the zipper, I find Sewchris703's solution works just as well and I don't have stop to assemble the plastic foot.

        Happy sewing!

  6. dressed2atee | | #15

    I use a zipper foot. I first sew it in the normal position, then I move the needle over as close as it will go.  I hold back the teeth and stitch away.  They turn out great everytime.  It may help to press out the zipper, but I don't.

    Hope it works for you.

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #16

      Thanks for the help. Everyone here has been so helpful and supportive with all the tips and everything. Now if things will only settle down enough to get these dresses finished.....Cathy

      1. sewslow67 | | #17

        Hey Cathy!  If things don't settle down for you soon, just ship the dresses over to me ...and I'll put the zippers in for you.  Never mind about sending the zippers, either, as I have just about every size in every color you could possibly want. 

        I hit a really good sale before coming north to BC.  ;-)

        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #18

          Thanks luv! I was making summer dresses, HA HA! Good thing this summer was pretty much a rain out. Guess they will be good and ready for next summer. I am bound and determined to do this! Just need some time, and dry weather. And peace and quiet? Going to tell everyone to bug off for a bit and leave me to sew and be crabby until they leave me be. Think it might work? Cathy

          1. sewslow67 | | #19

            LOL!  Your sewing schedule sounds about like mine recently ...except you have a valid reason for not sewing, and mine is allowing other "stuff" to get in the way.  I still don't have the first outfit done for the reunion, and DH is still pushing to go to the fair this weekend.  Duh!  Actually, getting a bit crabby has always bought me time in the sewing room, so maybe I should try that too?!? 

            We leave for Eastern Oregon in four days; think I'll be wearing something besides my old jeans?  Hmmm ...hope not.  Anyway, I know you will "win" the "War of the Zippers", so not to worry.  But you are right:  You need some peace and quiet and no one bugging around.  And yes ...what the heck happened to summer this year?!?  I'm just not ready for cool weather yet ...

          2. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #20

            Oregon seems to be a bit of a fabricaholics mecca from what I have seen online. Wish I had known that when I was out there...sigh....shop for me when you go ok? I am sure you will get at least most of your outfit done. How is the healing going? Getting better? Cathy

          3. sewslow67 | | #21

            Thanks, Cathy.  Yes, Oregon is good, but Portland is THE PLACE.  There is the one-acre piece of heaven, i.e. The Fabric Depot, and then there is "Josephine's Dry Goods", which is a small shop, but with the most exquisite fabrics I have ever seen anywhere, this side of the Atlantic.  Oh, my ...it is where I go when I have some cash in my pocket and am not in the mood to look at the price tags (which isn't often, actually). 

            The healing for the worst of the wounds (i.e. where the flesh was totally scraped off the bones) is finally doing quite well.  The physical therapist tells me though, that my jaw may never be the same (it is what one might say: "off the hinge", (it's painful) and the ligaments that were torn from the base of the skull going down the neck are still not doing well, and she said they may not get any better.  I cannot turn my head either direction without intense pain, so I have become a pretty much "forward looking" person, so to speak.  But ...I did save the dogs life ...and that is no small feat, so I can't say that I'm sorry I made that choice.

            I have to laugh though (as there is always something to laugh about), in that having jaw pain is a heck of a way to stick to a diet.  LOL!  They always say that dieting is painful, but this gives new meaning to that philosophy.  giggle ...giggle ...

            Edited 8/29/2008 7:41 pm by sewslow67

          4. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #24

            Nothing wrong with being forward.... tee hee! Good to hear things are looking up anyhow. Cathy

          5. sewslow67 | | #25

            Thanks, Cathy.  I'm late tonight, but will finish up sewing project tomorrow and we leave on Wednesday.  Nothing like working until the last minute, eh?  We plan to come home via Bellingham, WA so I can check out a new doctor there. 

            Going to Portland every month or two is just getting to be a drag - so we need to find  US doctor closer.  Hold good thoughts that this will work out, OK?  I love my Portland doc ...but like I said, it's just getting to be too much of a drive; not to mention the expense.  Good grief!  With gasoline going up all the time, it's nuts.  Just think of all the fabric I could buy with that gas money!  tee hee ...

            Will contact you when we return.  Have good week, now ...and hope to hear good news about your zipper challenge when I turn.

          6. sparklewench | | #23

            don't give up!


            I have a Janome 9000 which is great.  It has a great foot, but I found with as much as I was doing invisible, that an embroidery foot also worked fine.  If you also wear those reading magnifier glasses, those are perfect to make sure you get close but not on top of the teeth!  Once you do a few, they are so easy to do!

  7. denise | | #22

    your not going to believe this i have just been reading threads 134 january 2008

    re invisible zippers,  i have also read that it is easier to just use your normal foot.

  8. charm | | #26

    try to use 1/4 inch quilting foot. just sew as close as possible by the zipper and than turn it around to sew the other side of the zipper and sew that way. if you have that foot attachment for your kiind of brand machine

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #27

      Thank you for the hint. Cathy

      1. charm | | #28

        you're welcome

  9. alotofstitches | | #29

    All you need is the #75 metal adapter bar so it will clip onto your Bernina.  You can find one on ebay store:  The Colorful World of Sewing, seller:msmluckystar.  It's listed as #75 for Old style Bernina.  Find a YKK brand "zipper roller foot" and use the "A" adapter screwed onto the Bernina bar & foot slips into "A".  Also, Threads, Oct/Nov 1992 has a great article, "The Invisible Zipper" by Carol Newmann, that will change your life regarding invisible zippers!  That is all I put into garments now and that article made the difference--it showed the Unique YKK brand zipper foot.  The roller makes all the difference in how well the zip looks.  Nancy's Notions used to carry the foot.  I've even called them when the foot was not shown in the catalog and they still had them, #UZF2 was the number.  Liz

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #30

      Thank you for your help. I did not know which # of shank I needed for my machine. It is hard to tell from the website sometimes, and the list of feet for my machine got lost somewhere. Thanks Again. Cathy

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #31

        Thank you all for all the wonderful support on Invisible Zips that has been offered! If all goes well, I should be able to insert them tonight or tomorrow! Will update with pics when done. Cathy

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