Install the Zipper simple slot-seam zipper

It's highly possible that you may learn to love sewing zippers.

There are many options for installing zippers. We're going to walk through a simple slot seam zipper, which is a classic. For best results with any method, stabilize the zipper area with 1.25" wide interfacing or stay tape.

(This dress can also use a lapped zipper or even an invisible zipper, if you trim off 1/8" from the center back seam on both sides.)

To get started, hold the facings out of the way. Pin the waist seam at the stitching line so your zipper sides stitch up evenly.

CB seam is 5/8"

Baste stitch the center back (CB) seam from the neck/facing edge to the notch in the skirt.

Baste using the longest stitch length your machine offers at the 5/8" seam allowance

Once you reach the notch, backstitch then reset your stitch length to normal and continue stitching down to the hem edge.

Press the CB seam open. The following photo shows how you can place the teeth directly on top of the stitching line.

You will align the right side of the zipper teeth directly over the seam line

Use double-sided wash away basting tape (or a glue stick) to hold the zipper in place. Place some to either side of the CB seam, then pull away the protective paper.

Double sided wash away basting tape is a valuable secret weapon.

Sewing the zipper is much easier if you can keep the zipper pull out of the way.

You will fold the excess zipper tape out of the way when you're done installing the zipper.

Baste Your zipper to the dress by pressing the zipper tape to the basting tape with your fingers as you move down the CB seam.

It's easy to align the zipper of you move slowly.

When you reach the metal zipper stop, place a pin just above (or otherwise mark) this location on the right side (outside) of the dress. This is your "stop stitching" guide and will prevent you from breaking a needle by accidentally sewing over the metal zipper stop.

If you wish to use pins instead of tape or glue, pin through all the layers from the outside of the dress as shown below. If your pin points face the top of the dress, you can easily pull them out as you sew.

Alternatively, use a ton of pins.

Install your zipper foot and move the needle position all the way to the left. Beginning in the facing/neckline seam, with the CB seamline to your left, stitch using a topstitching length (3.0) to sew all the way to the notch that you marked with a pin. Backstitch and clip the threads.

Have a look at your instruction manual if your zipper foot doesn't look like this one.

Next, move the needle all the way to the right and stitch the other size of the zipper all the way to the notch all the way from the top.

Leave the needle in the fabric so you can pivot and sew across the seam to meet the stitching you just completed. Backstitch across the seam and cut the threads.

Stitch across the zipper tape and back.

If you always stabilize the zipper area, you likely will never see this rippling, but we start sewing at the top down both times in order to achieve symmetry.

Minimal bumpiness, totally fixable.

Pull out your basting stitches, unzip and re-zip your zipper, then blast it w/ the steam on your iron. Voilá! A beautiful zipper installation.

A quick blast of steam makes it all better!
Created By
Karen LePage
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