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zipper problems

blessedtosew | Posted in General Discussion on

I just put in this centered zipper and as I sewed it in, all these little pleats showed up on either side of it.  Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I might fix this.  Is there a different way I could set in this zipper?  An invisible zipper I am afraid is out of the question because I can’t find one in the color of this fabric.

Pic of problem:

View Image


  1. starzoe | | #1

    Remove the zipper. Baste the seam with long stitches and iron it flat very well. Put the zip in place, you can hand baste it or pin it. Hand stitch the zipper in. The picture looks as though the stitches are really close to the teeth. If that's the case, move the stitches out further, almost to the edge of the zip tape.

  2. fiberfan | | #2

    The pleats are caused by having more fabric length than zipper length.  The problem is worse on the right side than the left, this means the fabric shifted differently when sewing up than when sewing down.

    I would take the zipper out and carefully baste or use wonder tape (water soluble double sided tape found in the notion section) to ensure that both zipper and fabric are even.  Don't stretch the fabric as that will cause other problems.

    One the fabric and zipper are smooth, sew one side of the zipper from the top to the seam and leave long threads.  Sew the other side of the zipper from the top to the seam leaving long threads.  Pull threads to the wrong side and knot to secure the ends.

    1/4 inch scotch tape will make a great guideline to sew the topstitching, center the tape over the seam and end the tape where you will turn the corner when topstitching.


  3. Teaf5 | | #3

    I agree with the other posters; you need to remove the zipper and start all over, even taking out the original basting along the seam line if you haven't removed it already.  Press the fabric carefully, then re-baste the seam line.  Press again. Pin and then loosely hand baste the zipper into place, going the same direction on each side (top down, for example).

    On the right side, lay a strip of 1/2 cello or masking tape down the center, trimming it at the bottom where you will want the stitching to go across.  Loosen your presser foot, if possible, so that the fabric isn't pressed so tightly as you are stitching.  Lengthen your stitch a bit, and use a zipper foot that you can adjust to glide along the tape guide. 

    Again, stitch both sides in the same direction (not going down one side and up the other) ending one after you've turned the bottom corner and other as you meet that corner.  Hold the top and bottom of the zipper/fabric taut as you stitch, keeping it flat while you let the feed dogs pull it through.

    A professional once recommended putting a zipper into scraps of the fabric before doing it on the garment.  Although I'm an experienced sewer, I do this anytime I'm working with a new or very expensive fabric.  That way, I can play with thread and pressure foot tension until it's just right.  Using a long machine stitch allows me to rip it out quickly, and running through the process once as a practice helps me to relax and do the final one more accurately.

    1. blessedtosew | | #4

      Thanks everyone.  I ended up doing a hand-picked zipper.  It took awhile, but I don't have any puckers.

  4. rekha | | #5

    You can get different colour and length of concealed zips from these sites



    I got some flesh coloured ones to put on a bustier. It works well.

  5. SAAM | | #6

    Another tip for the next time you put in a zipper is to stabilize the zipper opening with a light weight interfacing. Sherry

  6. User avater
    Becky-book | | #7

    The nice thing about invisible zippers is just that!! they are invisible, except for the little pull and that little pull can be painted with "model makers" or "Testors" paint to match your cloth. I don't mind leaving it white when put in a pastel colored garment!

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