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zipper placement

rouquinne | Posted in General Sewing Info on

do underarm zippers have to go on the left side?

i am making Simplicity 3823 for a party next weekend and the zip placement is left underarm. it would be soooooo much easier for me on the right. and it should be all about what makes it easier for us right?



  1. jatman | | #1

    I try to think of it as the reason why I sew - so I can make things my way!


  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    The left side is just a convention; you can put it wherever you like.  A more visible or design feature, like a pocket or lapel embellishment, might look funny on the opposite side, but a zipper shouldn't be obvious anyway.

    Just be careful to sew the overlap so that the zipper teeth are visible from the back but not from the front!

  3. moira | | #3

    If you use a concealed zipper it really won't make a difference where you site the zip.

  4. zuwena | | #4

    I agree with everything that's gone before and especially recommend the concealed zipper.  Moreover, if there are no neckline issues, a concealed zipper down the back would also make it easier to get into.  Thing about that also.  Z.

    1. stitchagain | | #5

      The side is located on the left side so that you use your right hand to zip it (left hand holding the bottom taught).  If you are left-handed it could be on the right. 

      This topic is making me consider putting a side zipper in a fitted dress I am about to make.  It calls for a 24" back zipper, but I could only find a 22" zipper in the correct color.  The back zipper was already discouraging me, both unsightly and uncomfortable.

      Does a side zip have a one sided lap to the back? Is there anything else I need to know?  I'll have to check a vintage dress.



      1. moira | | #6

        A side zipper will have the lap on the front edge with the back edge being sewn right next to the teeth. That way there are no workings showing in the appearance from the front. Don't know, Stitchagain, if you've read all the other posts on this, but I recommend a concealed zipper if you want the zip to hide away. They're easy to insert if you just have the right foot.

        1. stitchagain | | #8


          What's a concealed zipper?  It that what I call a invisible zipper?

          I have used a lot of invisible zippers- like putting them in but have found that they don't quite have the same "hand" (drape) as regular zippers.  It might not make much difference in the dress I am about to make which is fairly fitted, lined and wool crepe (ish sort of fabric).

          My sister's name is Moira.  You don't by any chance live in the Berkshires?

          stitchagain (really Kate)


          1. moira | | #11

            Yes, it's the same thing as an invisible zipper. I know what you mean about the 'hand' but if the fabric is anything but the very finest, that doesn't create a problem. In fact I've used them even in fine fabrics and they've been all right. I just completed a lined fitted embroidered wool dress for a customer and the unseen-ness of the zip just finished it off perfectly.Glad you have a sister with my name. I don't come across other Moiras much so I've thought at times it's a strange one! And I'm in the UK, so not likely to bump into you I don't think!

      2. Ralphetta | | #7

        I remember when lots of dresses had side zippers.  The last thing i do is put on my dress, so it won't get wrinkled, etc.  With a side zipper that means I'd have to pull something over my head after putting on my makeup.  Also, I have broad shoulders and had a small waist, so there wasn't any excess space as I struggled to get it on.  I love things I can step into without mussing my hair and make up.

        1. stitchagain | | #9

          Wouldn't make a difference to me I don't wear much make up, and my hair-do is very wash and wear.  Do you know about the masks they sell that you can wear.  I don't know where to buy them but the clothing store I work in has them in their dressing rooms. 

          It seems to me that I read somewhere a recommendation about using side zips, that they are more concealed and great in fitted garments.  Also, lately I have been interested in vintage garments.


          1. Ralphetta | | #10

            First, you don't need a mask.  Do what models do for quick changes, just put a regular headscarf over your head and hair and stick the 4 corners between your teeth,  pull on the garment, release the corners and  you're ready to go.  It's cheap, really fast and washable.. You don't have to mess with ties, snaps or any of that drivel.  I keep a couple of cheap polyester scarves for that purpose

            I've alwasy disliked the extra bulk of the side zipper when viewed from straight ahead.  That extra lap of fabric never bothered me in the back, but I didn't like the bump on the side, I thought it added weight.  I know...I am vain!

            Edited 11/23/2007 5:06 pm ET by Ralphetta

            Edited 11/23/2007 5:07 pm ET by Ralphetta

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