Sew Invisible Zippers Easily

How to sew an invisible zipper by Nancy Zieman as seen on Sewing With Nancy

Sew Invisible Zippers Easily

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How to sew an invisible zipper by Nancy Zieman as seen on Sewing With Nancy

I often hear the stitching community say they are afraid of zippers. Today, I’d like to demystify the invisible zipper. It is one of the most useful zippers in garment/apparel and home décor sewing. The application is straightforward after you learn The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew! To seamlessly—pun intended—insert an invisible zipper into the seam use this modified approach, attaching the facing before sewing the zipper. It’s a new approach and one of my absolute easiest sewing tips. Conquer the zipper fears!

How to Insert an Invisible Zipper

  • Stitch the shoulder seams of the top or dress.
  • Fuse interfacing to the front and back neckline facing fabrics.
  • Stitch the shoulder seams of the facing pieces.
  • Do not stitch the center back seam at this point.
  • Align the facing to the garment, right sides together, matching notches.
  • Stitch the facing to the neckline.

How to sew an invisible zipper by Nancy Zieman as seen on Sewing With Nancy

  • Grade the seam allowances, using a pinking blade with a rotary cutter for the fastest and easiest results.

How to sew an invisible zipper by Nancy Zieman as seen on Sewing With Nancy

  • Press the seam allowances toward the facing.

How to sew an invisible zipper by Nancy Zieman as seen on Sewing With Nancy

  • Understitch, stitching the seam allowances to the facing. Use a multi zigzag stitch.

How to sew an invisible zipper by Nancy Zieman as seen on Sewing With Nancy

  • Flatten out the zipper tape, pressing the teeth to the outside.

How to sew an invisible zipper by Nancy Zieman as seen on Sewing With Nancy

  • Place a piece of tape or a pin above the zipper stop on one side of the zipper.

How to sew an invisible zipper by Nancy Zieman as seen on Sewing With Nancy

  • Mark the 5/8″ seam allowances along both sides of the center back seam. Begin marking at the neckline seam, and continue marking the length of the zipper opening.
  • Align one side of the zipper tape to the corresponding side of the dress, meeting the zipper teeth to the 5/8″ marking and placing the zipper top slightly below the neckline seam.

How to sew an invisible zipper by Nancy Zieman as seen on Sewing With Nancy

  • Pin one side of the zipper to the fabric.

How to sew an invisible zipper by Nancy Zieman as seen on Sewing With Nancy

  • Attach the Invisible Zipper Foot. Starting at the neckline seam, position the presser foot on top of the zipper tape with the needle stitching along side of the zipper teeth.

How to sew an invisible zipper by Nancy Zieman as seen on Sewing With Nancy

  • After stitching, close the zipper to check that the zipper stop is directly below the neckline seam.
  • Align the second half of the zipper at the top of the neckline, placing the remaining side of the zipper at the same distance from the top of the neckline.
  • Align the zipper teeth to the marking; pin. Then, stitch the zipper to the remaining side of the dress/top.

How to sew an invisible zipper by Nancy Zieman as seen on Sewing With Nancy

  • After stitching, check to make certain the neckline edges align.
  • Fold the facing over the zipper tape; hand stitch.

How to sew an invisible zipper by Nancy Zieman as seen on Sewing With Nancy

  • Pin the lower portion of the seam from the hem to the end of the zipper.
  • Move the invisible zipper foot completely to the left of the needle. Stitch from the zipper stopping point to the hem.

How to sew an invisible zipper by Nancy Zieman as seen on Sewing With Nancy

  •  Ta dah!

How to sew an invisible zipper by Nancy Zieman as seen on Sewing With Nancy

The Invisible Zipper technique, plus much more is printed in The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew.

How to sew an invisible zipper by Nancy Zieman Sewing With Nancy
Kudos to Diane Dhein, the editor, and Laure Noe, the illustrator, for making this book possible.
 

The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew chapters include:

    • Sewing Notions
    • Sewing Machine Confidence
    • Serger Spotlight
    • Patterns
    • Fabric Facts
    • Sewing Basics
    • Beyond the Basics

The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew by Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Watch Absolute Easiest Way to Sew (Part One, Part Two, and Part Threeon Sewing With Nancy online.


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Nancy Zieman The Blog

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41 Comments

  • Maga
    June 9, 2016

    Thank you for all the great tips and tricks you share!
    I absolutely love the look of piping and my mother was a whizz at inserting them. Of course she taught me but I thought it old fashioned when I was in my late teens. Now 40 years later I would love to add piping to necklines, pockets and seams but am struggling to get a good even look. My mother past away nearly 15 years ago so nobody to ask. I want to make my own piping like my mother did using up scraps and inserting it so please could you possibly do a post on piping from scrap to finish? TIA

  • Mary
    June 9, 2016

    Thank you for the zipper tutorial! I can’t wait to try this method.
    Besides zippers, the other technique that I struggle with is buttonholes–both the correct spacing and positioning, and sewing them without distorting the fabric.

  • CarolR
    June 9, 2016

    I like this easier way to insert invisible zippers. Finish the top facing first makes more sense than cutting one edge of the facing piece first. I could never decide which side of the facing needed to be trimmed before sewing.

  • Alice
    June 9, 2016

    Your instructions are fantastic and I especially appreciate all the photos. I have never seen that foot before, so more on feet.
    Thank you!

  • Jan
    June 9, 2016

    Stretch fabrics, t-shirt knits, etc. came out at a time after my high school years with home ec classes, so I missed out on how to sew them. Consequently, I avoid them. I would appreciate a basic “how-to” with those types of fabrics, please.

  • Marti Morgan
    June 9, 2016

    My MAJOR issue is increasing bust darts to accommodate a too large breast measurement and still look “decent” And a note for the invisible zipper, do you cut off the top of the zipper that is longer than the next line or just fold it over into the interfacing?

  • Carol
    June 9, 2016

    Buttonholes! I always try to avoid them when picking patterns. Also, bound buttonholes look great so how about reviewing the procedure. In school many years ago we all made clothes with bound buttonholes. Actually, your book would be a great addition to any sewing library! Thanks!

  • Joanne P.
    June 9, 2016

    I am one of those who avoid putting in zippers, so would use your instructions and techniques with zippers to change that.

  • Shelia Ward
    June 9, 2016

    I also use fabric glue to hold my zipper in place if I am worried about leaving pin holes in my fabric. I love this post. Thank you for helping with the zipper mystery.

  • Shelia Ward
    June 9, 2016

    Will the invisible zipper foot be available in any stores? Would love to have one. Thanks

  • BevM
    June 9, 2016

    Question: Why did you not leave space at the top of the zipper for a hook or hanging snap? I need help fine tuning Serger flat overlock seams.

  • Elizabeth
    June 9, 2016

    I also avoid zippers much of the time, especially invisible zippers. I love these instructions for the invisible zipper! I’m definately going to try this soon! Additionally, I avoid buttonholes whenever possible.

  • Lynn Poulin
    June 9, 2016

    Zippers! Any type of application has been my nemesis! Thank you for this tutorial on invisible zippers.

  • KayZee
    June 9, 2016

    Thanks for another great tutorial. I do have a question, though. How was the piece of tape, positioned at the top of the zipper, used? It didn’t appear to be used to hold the zipper in place. I do not “fear the zipper”, but I do struggle with sewing the lower seam after inserting the invisible zipper. There is often a bump/bubble where the zipper stitching and lower seam stitching meet.

  • Starla
    June 9, 2016

    Every zipper tip I read helps me and gives me more confidence.

  • Teresa
    June 9, 2016

    The hardest thing for me is collars. Your recent post on collars has helped but I seem to be a total inept at collars. ;o(

  • Karen Lyles
    June 9, 2016

    I really like the tip to use a pinking rotary cutter…how simple is that!

  • Tina
    June 9, 2016

    Zippers are always a challenge for me. Thank you for all your help. I can always count on you for help when I need it by watching a show or your tips on your website.

  • De
    June 9, 2016

    The instructions for inserting an invisible zipper are superb! I can hardly wait to try this. For so long, I have avoided using invisible zippers because I was not sure how to insert them properly. Now I have the confidence to try. Thanks, Nancy!!

  • ROBIN, TX
    June 9, 2016

    Zippers are my problem.

  • Kathy G
    June 9, 2016

    Thank you for all your helpful hints. I would like to see more information on alterations for large size figures, especially for larger busted women and adjustments in the tummy area.

  • LindaC in AZ
    June 9, 2016

    This invisible zipper technique is probably the most helpful to me. I’ve been sewing zippers into garments for over 40 years, but I never learned properly how to sew an invisible zipper. I’ve done it, but they never have turned out quite right. I don’t understand why people say they are the easiest type of zipper to sew. They aren’t for me.

  • Lori
    June 9, 2016

    Thanks for the zipper tutorial. I sew most often with knits, and seldom need to insert a zipper. Unfortunately, when I need a zip, I have to relearn. Buttonholes pose the same problem for me, so I would love tips to correctly sew them.

  • Jean
    June 9, 2016

    I have put in a number of invisible zippers and it takes me forever. I love the idea of putting the neck facing on first before inserting the zipper. I will try this on my next project. All ready to wear garments have invisible zippers so how hard can it be:)?

  • Bonnye
    June 9, 2016

    Buttonholes are a problem for me. I would like a review of bound buttonholes.

  • Jan
    June 9, 2016

    Love those straight side seams – so easy to finish. But what to do when there is a pocket in those side seams? Help! Thanks for all the handy tips and your wonderful presentation.

  • Anne Z.
    June 9, 2016

    Thanks for all the sewing tips, tricks and knowledge you have shared over the years.
    My biggest sewing challenge is sewing professional looking hems in knit fabrics. Even when I usea a double needle, I get a wavy edge or my thread breaks when sewing.

  • Gail Beam
    June 9, 2016

    I love all of your great tutorials! They are always so easy to follow. I would like to know how to insert a zipper into an already made sweatshirt, t shirt, jeans etc. that is just for looks or to add a zippered pocket.

  • Cassy L.
    June 9, 2016

    I am still confused about choosing knit fabrics. The big box store that I have to travel to is not helpful and just points to the knit section when I ask something simple, like what does a ponte knit look like. I wonder if there is a source for clearly labeled samples?

  • Kim H
    June 9, 2016

    I am a big fan of the wrapped corners on garment pieces.

  • Brenda Ackerman
    June 9, 2016

    I have learned so many great sewing tips and tutorials from watching you over the years. When it comes to quilting I am intermediate…with sewing I consider myself a very close beginner, even though I have been doing it for years and have made many outfits and items.
    Putting zippers in is the hardest challenge I try and avoid but occasionally have to face. Well they just always seem so hard and never look very good. So any help in this area would be a blessing! Thank you so much for all of the wonderful things that you do for us!

  • Teri Parker
    June 10, 2016

    Help on fitting patterns for myself. Love your great tips!!

  • Alice
    June 11, 2016

    I love the actual pictures accompanying the written descriptions. If the words confuse me, I can usually figure out what you are saying by looking at the picture.

  • Alice
    June 11, 2016

    I love the actual pictures of the written descriptions. If I don’t understand what you are trying to say, I can usually figure it out from the picture.

  • Karen
    June 12, 2016

    I love invisible zippers, lately I have had to take in lapped zippers and often they do not line up would like tips for that.

  • Ell
    June 13, 2016

    Bindings.

  • Amelia McNairy
    June 19, 2016

    The best sewing tip I learned was from you, Nancy. I love your technique of inserting a zip in a purse or bag top.

  • Katie
    June 22, 2016

    Thank you for all your excellent tips over the years. I think your wrapped corners are revolutionary!

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    March 19, 2017
  • Barb Tait
    March 21, 2017

    Thank you for this book. I am going to get this for my grand daughter as I am not always with her to show her how to do a task. Your zipper tut certainly helped me with a problem.

  • Anna
    July 27, 2017

    So simple! I’m so very pleased thank you!!

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