Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Zip It! Lesson III ~ Invisible Zipper Installation

"Snidely Ziplash"

So glad you could join me for another zipper tutorial as we conquer the fear of the elusive INVISIBLE ZIPPER!! For years I avoided even trying to install an invisible zipper. According to my seamstress sister, so much easier to install than a centered or lap zipper... NO TOPSTITCHING! Nice. We'll see just how simple installing an invisible zipper can be! Let's get started!

* An invisible zipper 
* Fabric pieces where zipper will be placed 
* Lightweight fusible interfacing
* Measuring tool
* Removable marking tool
(I used a Pilot Frixion pen, marks disappear when ironed)


 Also extremely helpful:  Zipper Foot, and an Invisible Zipper Foot attachment.

If your machine did not come with an invisible zipper foot, it may be purchased separately.  Or find a generic invisible zipper foot.  These are around $3 and come with a varying size shank to fit most machines. Instructions: Prepare the zipper. If you are using your regular zipper foot, press the zipper tape so the coils lie flat. This is helpful, but not necessary with an invisible zipper foot. 

Cut your zipper to length, if necessary, and zig-zag over coils for a zipper stop 

 Prepare the fabric. Fuse lightweight interfacing along edges where zipper will be installed.


Draw or press a line at 5/8" (or required seam allowance) on right sides of fabric.


Pin zipper to fabric edge, right sides together, 
aligning zipper coils with 5/8" drawn seamline.  
Zipper pull should be face down. 


Stitch. Adjust needle if necessary, and stitch close to zipper coils, 
removing pins as you get to them. 
 Stitch until the presser foot reaches the zipper stop. 
Backstitch at beginning and ending. 

Close zipper to test if it zips smoothly.


Align and pin remaining zipper edge in place, 
right sides together, zipper pull again facing right side of fabric.


 Adjust needle again if necessary to stitch close to zipper coils.
 **Stitching from top to bottom each time will help to keep fabric aligned,
 if trying to match plaid or motif. 


4) Finish lower seam: Close zipper. Pin to align remaining seam allowances together.
 Change to your regular zipper foot. Stitch as close as possible to the zipper's 
ending stitches and continue to stitch seam to the bottom of garment.


Press seam open. 

Stitch zipper tail to seam allowances only. 
 By the way, it's a good idea to clean-finish seams 
(serge edges, overcast, zig-zag, or trim with pinking shears).


Give a light press over the zipper, and your installation is complete! 
You can hardly tell the zipper is there.  The blue thread shows through a bit 
on the sample, but otherwise the seam should appear... well, "seamless."


Troubleshoot: If zipper will not glide easily, stitches may be too close to the coils.  
If you can see the zipper tape, stitches may be to far from the coils. 
If the plaids or motifs don't match up like you wanted, rip it out and do it again.  
Or just call it good, whatever you can live with. ;)  

Your garments will have that professional finish!

Vogue gored skirt pattern #V7910  featuring Riley Blake Designs' Yellow Ombre' Dots 
Made by Lauren Stott (yes, my cute daughter!)

That concludes this mini-series on zipper installation.  Check the previous links listed below, and stay tuned for more fun tutorials to come!
Zip It! Series:
Zip It!  Lesson I ~ Easy Exposed Zippers
Zip It!  Lesson II ~ Easy Lapped Zipper

Comments from RBD

  1. Great toot. It's been many years since I've done any clothing projects. This is a great refresher. Thanks. Ps. Good job, Lauren. Your skirt is kick' in!
    by Lcdaman 
    August 06th, 2013 at 4:52 p.m.
  2. are you kidding me...look at those circles lined up perfect....xxxx
    by mdm samm
    August 09th, 2013 at 8:07 a.m.

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