Learning how to sew is a long and enjoyable road of new discoveries that can last a lifetime. There are 101 ways to achieve the same effect and very few of them are wrong. For students learning to sew professionally this can sometimes be a frustrating thing, as they prefer a straight answer to the question “How do I do this?” For home sewers there can be an additional hurdle of learning from instructions but not from a person. You often learn all the right skills, but you are not necessarily sure why and when you need to apply them.
So today we give you a step by step on how to insert an invisible zip into a garment, using an invisible zipper foot. Enjoy!
1. Lay your zip tape along your centre back and make a pen mark where it matches the waist seam. The top edge of the zip tape should reach the top of your garment. Make sure you have a mark on either side of the zipper tape. You can ignore this step if you don’t have a waist seam in the middle of your zip and proceed straight to step 2.
2. Open your zip and iron the the teeth slightly away from the tape to make it easier to attach. Use a cool setting or you will melt your zip!
3. With the right side of the garment facing you, lay the right side of the zipper tape right side down on the left hand side of your garment opening. Pin in place and match the waist mark you made earlier (if this applies to your garment): the mark on the zipper tape should align with the waist seam.
TOP TIP: If you want to make sure your zip stays in position, you can at this stage machine tack the zip in with a regular zipper foot or even a normal foot if it fits. This tack line will never be seen and makes sure you can focus on inserting the zip. You can see the machine tack running along the edge of the zip tape in black thread in the photo below.
4. Start stitching from the top by slotting the zip teeth into the left groove of the invisible zipper foot. Sew as far down as you can (until you meet the zip pull).
5. Now turn your garment inside out so you can pin the other side of the zip.
6. Sew from the top by slotting the zip teeth into the right groove of the presser foot. Sew as far down as you can.
7. Press the centre back edges of your garment lightly and admire your work.
8. Close the zip and join your seams with a regular zipper foot. Pin your seam right sides together. You will have to start a little bit above and away from your zip stitch to avoid the bulk of the zip puller. Also pull out the end of the zipper tape, like in the photo below, so it’s not in the way.
We hope you learnt something new and feel ready to tackle an invisible zip on your next garment!