Essential Info

What types of fabric does this technique work with?
All fabric, except very fine kinds like chiffon, georgette or lace where different techniques are used.

Which foot should you use?
You’ll need a regular sewing machine foot, a regular zip foot for the regular zip and an invisible zip foot for the concealed zip.

Top Tip

Many machines already come with a zipper foot, but when buying a concealed zipper foot make sure it is compatible with your brand of machine

How to Sew a Regular Zip

Before you begin, neaten the raw edges of the seam so that you don't get any stray threads caught in the zipper teeth.

Lay the zip against the top of the seam and mark where the stopper is with a pin.
Remove zip and, with a tacking stitch, sew the seam as far as the pin, switch to a regular stitch, reverse-stitch and continue the seam. Press seam open.

Pin zip in place with the zip coils on the seam. Using a regular zipper foot, stitch the zip into position; you will need to wriggle the zip pull to get past it and have a straight line of stitching.

If applicable, pin the facing into position, turning back the seam allowance at the zip. Stitch in position.

How to Sew an Invisible or Concealed Zip

Before you begin, neaten the raw edges of the seam so that you don't get any stray threads caught in the zipper teeth.

Open the zip, place one side of the zip right sides together on the seam and pin in place. Use an invisible zipper foot to sew in place. Repeat for the other side of the zip, starting again at the top edge of the zip.

Close the zip. Change from an invisible zipper foot to a regular zipper foot and, starting a couple of centimetres before the end of the zip, stitch down the remainder of the seam. Get as close as possible to the zip. You can do this by changing the needle position so it as far right as it will go. Press the seam open and then press lightly from the right side over the zip and the seam.

Stitch the ends of the zip ribbon to the seam allowances to stop them flapping using the zipper foot.

The zip is now inserted but we are going to continue, showing you how to finish the facing. With the zip open and the seam allowances opened out, pin the facing in place, then stitch. Using the zipper foot stitch down the ends of the facing, sewing close to the zipper coils.

Trim and clip the seam allowance. Press the seam allowance towards the facing and under-stitch as far as possible, it may be difficult to get close to the ends where the zip is. Turn the facing to the inside and press. Add a hook and eye if desired.

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