Image credit: Fiona Hesford, SewGirl

What is an invisible zip?

This is also known as a concealed zipper. Whatever you call it, this fastening can give a brilliantly professional finish to your dressmaking projects and it's much easier than it looks! Don't be intimidated by invisible zips - follow this step-by-step tutorial and you'll be concealing zippers like a pro!

How does an invisible zipper foot work?

Invisible zips (aka concealed zippers) are a fantastic string to any dressmaker’s bow and this clever foot means inserting them couldn’t be easier. Sewing as closely as possible to the fastener is crucial in achieving success with invisible zippers, and this foot accomplishes that by slightly unrolling the zipper. Once it’s been fitted, your zip will simply look like a part of the seam.

How to Sew an Invisible Zip or Concealed Zipper


We don't recommend pressing a concealed zipper open before sewing as the heat may damage the coils of the zipper.


Begin by installing the left-hand side of the zipper using a concealed zipper foot to get a flawless finish.


Close the zipper and, on the unsewn side of the zipper, mark the waist seam point on the WS of the tape with a fabric pencil.


Position the zipper on the other side of the dress and temporarily pin. Baste the zipper in place around the waist seam with a needle. We recommend about an inch above and below the waist point.


Close the zipper and confirm your waist seam will match across the seam line or unpick and move until it will.


Stitch the other side in place with your concealed zipper foot and remove your basting stitches.


Top Tip!

Most machine manufacturers provide concealed zipper feet for sewing invisible zips into a range of fabric, from fine silk jersey to heavier wool and tweed. This foot is a must-have if to step up your sewing game – be sure to choose the right foot for your machine as they're slightly different.

More Expert Advice from Fiona Hesford

Fiona, the designer behind the SewGirl brand of patterns, has created an in-depth tutorial for inserting an invisible zip on her blog. She has a fantastic tip for using quilter's tape to make this process even easier! Pop over and have a read.

The SewGirl Cecily dress featured a concealed zipper at the side seam. You can find a full step-by-step photo tutorial for making the Cecily dress here and buy the pattern from Fiona direcly here.

The Cecily dress is available FREE to CraftWorld Premium members during the month of November 2021. Click here to find out more.

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