Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

invisible zipper in a side seam??

mem1 | Posted in Fitting on

Hello everyone , ihope that you can give me some help. I am about to make a top to wear to an afterfive event. I will wear it under a loose brocade jacket and with a pair of black pants . I would like to make something which has a princess line  and has sleeves as I hate my upper arm.I am wondering about putting an invisible zipper in the side seam versus the back seam. Does anyone have an opinion and are there any special bits that I should know about  doing this .I will wear the top coming to just above my crotch line and am thinking of silk dupionie or the slub side of Microfiber .  Thanks Marianne


  1. FitnessNut | | #1

    You can certainly put an invisible zipper into a side seam of a top. If you put it in upside down (that is, with the tab at the hemline), you can end the zip about 1 1/2" from the underarm. This gives maximum room for dressing.

    The big question is whether there is enough room in the neckline to put the top over your head. Also, will you be able to get your arms into the sleeves this way? If the answer to both these questions is yes, then you can use a side seam opening. If not, you are restricted to the centre back zipper. Sometimes you can also use an opening in a shoulder seam....but again, that depends on how much room there is to get the top on.

  2. cafms | | #2

    I do this all the time, though usually with sleeveless tops, for myself and my daughter and have really liked the ease in closing the zipper.  Not so much twisting to reach it. 

    You will need to put the zipper in before you put in the sleeve or close that seam.  Be sure that the fit is correct as it is harder to alter after it is in place.  Also, be sure to leave a couple inches of seam above the closed end of the zipper so you can set in the sleeve and not have the end of the zipper in the seam allowance or right up in the underarm area.  This could be uncomfortable.  I have also put it in upside down in the back so that the neckline is closed and smooth at the top. It just goes from the middle of the back down to the bottom edge.  Good luck with it.

    1. mem1 | | #3

      thankyou so much both of you . Can i do this in a fitted top with a set in sleeve rather than a dropped loose sleeve . if i use an opening in the soulder would that be lapped and snaps used in it?

      Thanks mem

      1. HeartFire | | #4

        I like the idea of putting it in upside down. I have a dress that has an invisible zipper in the side seam and I don't like the looks of the pull tab hanging at my ubderarm. It (the pull tab) will be less noticable at the hem.


      2. FitnessNut | | #5

        The shoulder could certainly be closed with snaps or even buttons and loops for a decorative touch. For a funky design, shoulder seams could have zippers that end at the neckline. It all depends on the look you'd like to achieve.

        You probably could use the side seam zipper with a fitted set-in sleeve....as long as there is room to get your arms into the sleeves. Having the option to open shoulders could take care of that difficulty. If in doubt, test! I know it can be a pain, but sometimes spending an hour doing a trial run in muslin can answer so many questions and eliminate potential problems.

      3. SewTruTerry | | #6

        You could also have the shoulders open and finish at the sewing line and add hook and eyes to close.  I have done this on several tops and everyone of my sewing buddies want to know how I get into the top. If you use 2-4 hook and eyes the area looks as though it was actually sewn shut.

  3. mjorymer | | #7

    Side seams are perfect for invisible zippers.  I have a number of shell tops that I bought at Talbots and Nordie's with side zips. They zip from the bottom up. I tried the technique in a short sleeved princess shell and it worked great. However, do remember that you still have to get the thing over your head.  It won't work on a small jewel neckline.


    1. mem1 | | #8

      hello MJ , thanks for that . So it will work on a deeper V neck and a scooped neck?

      I use shoulder pads as i have shoulders which slope too much so an opening in the shoulder seam would be a pain.

      1. SewNancy | | #9

        I have a shell that I made with a scoop neck and put in an upside down invisible zip, perfect.  But, I just came across a pattern that has an invisible zip in part of side seam and one in cb, don't know why you would need both as the rear one seams sufficient.


        1. mjorymer | | #10

          The two zippers are not really necessary but many couture garments from the 30's, 40's and 50's had 2 zippers or 2 openings of one kind or another.  The shorter the zipper or the fewer number of snaps or buttons in an opening adds to comfort and kept the openings from being bulky.

          Sometimes snaps were used on one opening and a zipper in the other. 

          Today's zippers are less bulky and not as heavy as they once were so there is no need to have fasteners in two seams.

          Marijo Rymer


This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More