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underarm zipper

MaryinColorado | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi!  Does anyone have suggestions on underarm side zippers for a spaghetti strap top?  My daughter in law is learning to sew and is making summer tops.  She is concerned that the zipper will be uncomfortable.  I did send her the article from Threads on inserting invisible zippers and my tube turner gizmo.  She is a brave beginner to start out with silky lined tops with a sheer overlay, tiny straps, and a zipper!    I think she is a bit shy about joining the forum yet.  Mary L


  1. cafms | | #1

    The zipper pull will not irritate the under arm area if she will put it in upside down.  In other words put it in so that the zipper closes by pulling towards the lower edge of the top.  It would be the same proceedure as a neckline zipper application only the bottom edge becomes the neckline.  The closed end of the sipper should stop at least an inch from the top edge or go far enough to release in the bust area. I have done this many times and either an invisible or regular zipper will work.  The underarm area is then smooth and comfortable.

    1. MaryinColorado | | #2

      What a great idea!  Thanks sew much!  I called my DIL and she wants to try this.  She lives over an hour away so our sewing time will be much more productive thanks to your suggestion.  Now maybe we can complete the top in one day.  With escalating gas prices this is a great help.

      What do You use for a closure at the underarm?  Hooks  and eyes? button and elastic thread loops? 

      You really saved the day.  I just love this forum!  sew appreaciative, MaryL

      1. FitnessNut | | #3

        "What do You use for a closure at the underarm?  Hooks  and eyes? button and elastic thread loops?"I'm not sure I understand your question, Mary. You sew the side seam closed for about 1 1/2" or so, from the underarm down. You then insert the zipper so that the tab ends at the hemline. You don't need any further closure. An invisible zipper is my choice for this application - it is light and you can barely feel it when wearing the garment.

        1. marijke | | #6

          This is how I've done this as well: invisible zipper in a side seam that's sewn closed for about an inch or inch and a half at the top and about sema width at the bottom, the rest is the invisible zipper.  I used the technique for inserting invisible zippers from a recent Threads and it worked beautifully. 

          I did notice that a purchased top I have has the zipper going all the way to the top, with a small hook and thread loop at the top (which ends up being awkward to try to close!).


      2. cafms | | #4

        Complete  the seam as you would a seam in a skirt below the zipper. Just work on the garment upside down till the zipper is in place then think of it as a seam.  In this case you might also have a facing or binding to finish the armhole area.  At the bottom by the zipper pull I don't put anything - the zipper holds it together.  Be sure to take into consideration the hem on the bottom edge and place the zipper so that the pull stops at the hemline not the edge of the fabric.

        1. MaryinColorado | | #5

          Thanks to both of you. It makes sense to me now.  Hopefully this will work, will let you know. 

           I was thinking it would have to be opened under the arm to put it on and take it off.  Will know more when I see the pattern again.  She showed me several that she bought that are very similar.  I am thinking that it is quite fitted around the bust like a bra, spaghetti straps, and the rest loose and flowing to the hem with a sheer overlay. Very feminine on her petite frame.  Mary

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