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How to Insert an Invisible Zipper

Install the perfect invisible zipper from start to finish.
 
Inserting an invisible zipper is a technique many sewers try to stay away from. But we hope once you watch this video, you'll have more confidence and you'll trying sewing in an invisible zipper. Please note, for demonstration purposes, we used contrast thread and a contrast zipper. For your project, you will want to use thread and a zipper that matches your fabric.
 
Tools you will need:
 
  • Invisible zipper foot
  • Seam gauge
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Straight pins
  • Interfacing (cut into strips 2cm- or ¾''-wide)
  • Fabric marking pen or pencil
  • Installing the zipper:
 
  1. Iron a strip of interfacing onto the wrong side of the fabric in the seam allowance where the zipper will be sewn in.
  2. Mark the bottom end of your zipper opening with a small notch. Note that the zipper should be about 5cm (2'') longer than the zipper opening.
  3. Finish your raw edges (if required) using a zig-zag stitch or a serger.
  4. Sew the seam from the hem to the zipper notch. Press the seam open. Lay the zipper centered over the pressed seam allowance to show you the placement of the zipper (i.e. how close the edges of the zipper will be to the edge of the seam allowance).
  5. With the zipper closed, place the zipper face down on the seam allowance, lining up the top of the zipper with the top edge of the fabric. (Note that we will begin with the LEFT side of the body when working on a centre-back zipper).
  6. Machine-baste the zipper in place using a long stitch length and sewing down the middle of the zipper tape. For this operation, you will be using a conventional presser foot. End your basting at the end of the zipper opening by stitching off the edge.
  7. Turn your work around. Now baste the zipper onto the seam allowance on the right side of the body. For this operation, we sew from the bottom of the opening to the top edge of the garment. You will want to pin the top of the zipper tape to the top edge of the garment so you know your work will be even.
  8. The next step is tricky. We want to open the zipper all the way to the bottom. You will have to slip the pull-tab down and grab it between the zipper and the garment.
  9. Change the presser foot to an INVISIBLE ZIPPER FOOT. The needle should be lined up with the centre groove of the invisible zipper foot.
  10. Again we will start working on the garment LEFT SIDE. Place the top of the zipper under the ZIPPER FOOT and line up the zipper teeth with the groove on the left side of the foot. Lower the presser foot in place. The foot should ''uncurl'' the zipper to allow you to stitch close to the teeth. Start sewing from the top edge of your garment. Your stitches should be very close to the zipper teeth without stitching into the teeth. Continue to sew until you have reached the end of the zipper opening. Your notch in the seam allowance will let you know when you're at the end. Raise the presser foot and pull your work away from the machine. Pull your threads to the underside of the seam allowance and tie them off.
  11. Turn your work around to sew the zipper on the garment RIGHT SIDE (not the fabric right side). For this operation, we will sew from the bottom of the zip opening up to the top edge of the garment. Place the zipper under the foot and line it up the way you did for the other side. Lower the presser foot and sew making sure to start from your notch point. Again, you will need to pull your threads to the underside of the seam allowance and tie them off.
  12. Now it's time to close the zipper. Flip the zipper pull to the back of the zipper and gently pull the zipper closed. Take a look at the right side of your garment to see how well your zipper has turned out. You should not be able to see the zipper from the right side. If you can, now's the time to open your zipper again and try sewing a little closer to the teeth. You do not need to remove your previous stitching.
  13. Once you are satisfied with your zipper, close it and gently press it from the right side. Take care that your iron is not too hot - you don't want to melt your zipper.
  14. Gently pat yourself on the back to congratulate yourself on your professionally installed zipper!

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