Monday, March 30, 2009


Cynthia's Corner

Invisible Zipper Tutorial


The invisible zipper can add an elegant, subtle look to a garment. There is no topstitching on the garment so it gives the appearance of a seam. It is my favorite zipper to use.

I know some of you think invisible zippers are complicated but they are really very easy. Here is the technique I use to insert an invisible zipper.


Open the zipper and press the coils flat.

Before the coils are pressed...

...and after the coils are pressed.

Cut two 1 inch wide strips of interfacing the length of the zipper plus 2 inches. I like to use Fusi-knit. Cut the strips with the stretch going crosswise.


Press the interfacing strips to the wrong side of the fabric at the zipper opening. If you have a crosswise seam, press the seam open.

Once this is done, I then serge the interfaced edge.

Mark your seam allowance with a pencil or tailor's chalk.

One of the most confusing things about invisible zippers is remembering which way the zipper is inserted into the fabric. To solve this problem, finger press the seam allowance to the inside of the garment. Place the zipper between the two pattern pieces with the zipper pull facing you. Use four pins with colored heads and select two colors. Pick one color for the left and one for the right. Put one pin in the zipper tape and one in the fabric. This will remind you which side the zipper goes in.

Hand stitch the top of the zipper tape to the top of the seam allowance. This helps to prevent the presser foot from pushing the top of the zipper out of place.

At this point, I hand baste the zipper. Ugh! the dreaded hand basting.

This method works especially well if your garment has seams that will cross the zipper. It helps to keep the seams from shifting where they intersect.

Using our color coded method above, place the zipper face down with the coils facing away from the seam allowance. I use my standard zipper foot, and place the needle close to the coils
and stitch as far as I can.


Repeat the process for the other side of the zipper.

Now it's time to sew the seam below the zipper. If you are using an invisible zipper foot, switch to a standard zipper foot.

Start sewing about 1/4 inch above and over from the zipper seam. Rather than back stitching, I switch to small stitches and sew 1 inch below the zipper.
You can now switch to your straight stitch foot and finish your seam line.
Turn garment to the right side and press lightly.


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