Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram 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

Side Zipper vs Back Zipper

LindaFaye | Posted in General Discussion on

All of my pants patterns have front or back zippers.  I really like side zippers.  Would it be o.k. to use a pattern with a back zipper but put the zipper in the side seam instead?  If so what changes should I make in the pattern if any?, or maybe it would just fit in the 5/8″ seam allowance – duh maybe this is a dumb question.


  1. Josefly | | #1

    I just looked at your blog, and wow! you've been busy sewing, haven't you? Good for you. Nice tops and jackets. About the side zipper, I think you can put a zipper in the side instead of the back - but the side seam is usually curved, so you need to be careful about applying fusible interfacing to the seam allowances to stabilize before installing the zipper, as you've probably read about in Threads, or on this forum. Are you thinking of a lapped zipper or an invisible zipper?

  2. Ralphetta | | #2

    Since the hips are always an area I need to reshape...whether made or RTW...I baste both sides up and pin the back seam, until I'm sure I've got the hips right.  Once you insert the zipper, you can't do any tweaking on the sides. I would leave a little extra seam allowance to work with on that side.  It shouldn't be a "big deal" to change it.

  3. mimi | | #3

    It should work out OK.  Give yourself a little more seam allowance on the side seam where you intend the zipper to go.  I would underline the seam with stabilizer to counter the strain of the pulling the zipper up and down.


  4. solosmocker | | #4

    I would love to see your blog. Any chance of a link here?

  5. fabricholic | | #5

    Hi Linda Faye,Where did you find such a cute cartoon on your blog? You have been very busy sewing. Good for you!Marcy

    1. LindaFaye | | #6

      Thanks for the imput about my zipper question!  I did stabilize the last front fly zipper I put in, and that is such a great ideal.  I really liked it.  I will try to remember to do that with all of my zippers from now on.  I'm thinking about a centered or lapped zipper for the side of my pants.  Thinking about making several pairs of capri pants for the spring/summer for work and for play.  Will also remember to make sure the curve fits on the side before zipper application as advised here.

      Thanks for the comments on my blog.  Something new I'm learning - still needs a lot of work though, still learning.  I have sewn quite a bit since September, but not as much as I wanted to, I skipped a lot of weeks.  My blog address is at the bottom of this post.  THANKS AGAIN FOR THE ADVICE.

      1. lorisews | | #7

        Some time back there was a Threads article on putting a zipper into the pocket of the pants, so it is hidden and is not in a curved seam like on the side of the pants.

      2. Teaf5 | | #8

        I often use lapped zippers in the side seam, always choosing the left side as I'm right handed and want a useful pocket on the right. Just make sure that the lapped side is on the front half so that the zipper teeth and pull aren't visible from the front. (I have to baste the seam, then mock up the zipper installation with pins in order to figure out where to start to make sure the lap ends up on the front half.)

      3. Cherrypops | | #9

        Thank you so much for placing your webpage link.

        I'm looking now. I like what I see.

        Keep working at it. Well Done!


      4. Josefly | | #10

        I don't think you will like a centered zipper in the side seam, so the lapped zipper sounds like the best option, unless you want an invisible zipper. A centered zipper almost always shows too much zipper when put in an area of stress, like the hip in pants. Lapped zippers were almost always used in side seams of pants before the front fly came into wide-spread use, even in women's trousers (the side seam was considered more feminine.) I remember as a girl wearing a belt buckled on the side, to accommodate side-zipped jeans - of course this was the dark ages. Then when girls started buying boys' jeans, the manufacturers took notice.In those old days, the instructions in zipper packaging almost always were for lapped application. I haven't bought a zipper in a package for such a long time, I don't know what the instructions say now - does anybody know if the lapped application is illustrated?

        1. LindaFaye | | #11

          Thanks Josefly; what you said about the lapped zipper makes a lot of sense.  I think it would look a lot better than a centered one.  I think I will use the lapped one.  Zipper instructions do include the lapped application on the package.  By the way, where do you but your zippers?

          1. Josefly | | #12

            >>>"By the way, where do you put your zippers?"I like pockets, so on quite a few skirts I've sewn in-seam pockets with an opening in the left hand pocket, and a button on the left side in the waistband - no zipper at all. I have more of a tummy than I wish I had, and so these skirts usually have a little gathering or a couple of pleats where darts would be in the front. In pants, I feel more comfortable in the so-out-of-fashion pleated trousers, with in-seam pockets and a front fly, and think they look better on me than smooth-front pants. However, I want to make myself some capris or cropped pants sans waistband, and I think I will use a centered zipper or an invisible one in the center back, but I like to add a button-tab at the top, to cover the top of the zipper. I have a couple of the old zipper packages, and I hang on to them for the great instructions printed inside, since I usually buy zippers without instructions.

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