Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Insert a Lapped Zipper

This technique is courtesy of Sandra Betzina.


  • Interface both sides of the seam allowance where the zipper will go, using the non-stretch direction for greatest stability.
  • Mark the level of the bottom stopper on the seam allowances.
  • Machine baste the opening closed, to the bottom marking, and then sew the seam closed with a regular stitch length.
  • Open the zipper and place face down on the wrong side, lying right over the basting line, with the zipper stop above the bottom mark (makes it easier to sew in without breaking a needle).
  • Flip the garment piece out of the way and pin the zipper tape to the seam allowance. This will be the underlap.
  • Sew from the top down with the zipper foot, closing the zipper and moving it out of the way near the zipper stop, to sew past the bottom of the zipper.
  • Flip the garment to the other side so that the zipper is by itself and right side up. Form a small fold of fabric close to the basting line and stitch in place through  the doubled up seam allowance and zipper tape.
  • Stitch the other side of the zipper to the seam allowance, with the zipper closed. The zipper will  now lie to one side.
  • On RS, lie ½" Scotch tape along the basting line and use as a guide for topstitching the zipper in place. If the fabric is stretchy, fuse Steam a Seam under the seam allowance to stabilise it.
  • Open out the basting stitches and press towards the fold.

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