Friday, August 31, 2012

Zipper Tutorial


A friend showed me how to put zippers in this way a couple years ago, and it's the best method I've tried. Once you get the hang of it they should only take you about 10-15 minutes to do. 

Cut your pieces of fabric out. I used 2 different shades of denim to show contrast. Obviously, if you were making a skirt or other item the fabric pieces would match :) If you were putting the zipper into a skirt, these would be the side or back seams.

Serge raw edges. If you don't have a serger, zig-zag the edges or skip this step.

Line up side seams and put right sides together. Lay the zipper on top of the fabric. Line zipper up with the top edge of the fabric. Place a pin right above the metal piece at the end of the zipper. Where the pin is, is the place where the zipper will end once it is sewn in. Pin the 2 pieces of fabric together the rest of the way down.

You can see it a little better here...

Sew from the pin to the end, leaving the space above un-sewed for the zipper

So that it looks like this...

Press the seam you just sewed and the un-sewed edges open

So that it looks like this from the back...

And this on the front...

I find old zippers at garage sales and use them to practice on. You can usually find them cheaper and in some pretty wild colors :) Avacado green zipper anyone?

Open the zipper and line upper edge with the top of the fabric. Pin so you can barely see the "teeth" visible underneath. You will be sewing it on the top side of the fabric, so this doesn't have to be exact... you can re-align it as you're sewing.

Pin it all the way down and up the other side

Pinned view from the back...

Zipper feet vary in appearance, this is what mine looks like. You can't sew close enough with a regular sewing machine foot, so you'll need one!

Put the zipper foot on your machine and move it (if it's adjustable) to the right side...

Start sewing at the top of the left side of the zipper. You just want the "teeth" of the zipper to be sticking out a little bit from under the fabric. Whatever is sticking out is what you'll be able to see when it's finished, so the closer the better.

The zipper foot (at least mine does) has a groove that makes it easier to keep it lined up as you sew...

When you get about an inch from the end of the zipper (this is a view from the underneath) stop sewing and with the needle down, close the zipper. I usually have to lift the presser foot so I have more room to get my hand under there.

With the needle still in the fabric, lift the presser foot and turn the fabric to sew over the end of the zipper.

It is bulkier here, so sew slowly to avoid breaking your needle. I usually sew it and then backstitch a couple times to make it more secure.

With the needle back in the fabric, lift the presser foot and turn the fabric to sew up the other side...

Sew for a couple inches, and then stop the machine with the needle down...

So you can open the zipper back up. Keep sewing until you get to the end.

Finished zipper!

Underside...

Close-up of the sewing at the end of the zipper. 

Hopefully this is clear enough to follow.  If you have any questions, leave a comment and I'll get back with you! Enjoy =)

1 comment:

Hannah B. said...

Thanks Julia! I was actually surprised at how easy zippers can be to put in...if you do them correctly. =)