How to Sew Zippers

Now you want to iron open your seam allowance. Okay, and then we’ll be ready to place our zipper and sew it in. Okay now we have our garment with the seam allowance pressed open, that’s our zipper opening, the seam allowance pressed open. So what you want to do is grab one side of the seam allowance and fold the garment in half like this so that the seam allowance is hanging over by itself and the rest of the garment is off to the side. Okay, and we’re going to place the zipper so that the zipper pull is even with the top of the garment, the top of the waistband, and that it’s facing down on the center of the seam like this.

Now you want to pin this zipper tape to seam allowance, making sure that this zipper pull is centered on the zipper seam, and you can take this excess zipper and just zipper tape there and pin it in place. And now, you take a look (move that pin out of the way), you take a look at the teeth and it should line up on the seam line like that. You just sort of roll it down and hold it in place and put a pin in. I’m pinning the zipper tape to the seam allowance. Now I’ll lift it up again and roll it down so that the zipper teeth are laying right on the center of that seam and continue down placing the zipper teeth on the center of the seam and then pinning the zipper tape to the seam allowance.

And go down as far as you can to pin it. Next we’ll be basting the zipper in place where we have pinned it. Here I’ll show you how to install a conventional zipper (regular zipper) with an overlap. This is used for side dress seams or skirt seams. What will need is a regular zipper foot, the garment pieces which will be two regular zipper or conventional zipper and some pins. O.K. to start we’re going to baste our garment together where the zipper will be installed. So the length of the zipper and usually you sew the seam up with a regular stitch and just baste where the zipper is going to be installed.

You want to place your fabric on the machine using a 5/8 seam allowance or whatever your pattern requires and you want to set your stitch length to a basting stitch so the largest stitch that you can do on the seam on the stitch length and do not knot the threads just baste that down the length of the zipper and then the remainder of the seam you can change the stitch length back to a regular stitch length about 2 1/2 and just knot it a little and continue down to the bottom of the garment. O.K. Okay, now we’ll iron the seam allowance open.

Just open up the seam allowance like this and with the tip of your iron you want to iron that down. Now if you have a fabric that does not press well, this one actually presses very well, if you have a fabric that doesn’t press well and you want a nice crisp pressing, what you can do is take that rolled towel, something cool and whenyou press, you can take the cool towel and just hold the pressing down. That allows the fabric to cool in the flattened position.

Now you can also use a book in the same way. So as you are pressing the fabric, you just place the book and the book will cool the fabric in place as you’re pressing. And that way you can get a nice and flat crisp seam allowance. It has a zipper opening here for lots of storage. A front Velcro pocket and a zipper strap that you can swing over your shoulder like that or you can separate like this for a backpack wearing like this. This is what we would need to make our zipper strap backpack carrier. A nice fabric, usually a upholstery fabric or this is a drapery fabric, something a little bit heavier.

You don’t want to use anything light even though we would be doubling it. So upholstery fabric, drapery fabric they work great. You would need about one yard of fabric. You would need thirty inch or a thirty-six inch right between thirty or thirty-six inches of a heavy duty zipper. This is a nice heavy duty zipper and you would need also a twelve inch heavy duty zipper. You can get away with it regular zipper for the twelve inch one but you definitely need a heavy duty thirty inch or a thirty-six inch zipper. You would need about a half a yard of iron on interfacing. A few inches of sew on Velcro, you need some pins, scissors, and a roller. You should probably have a fit your machine with a heavy duty needle. Like a jeans needles because we are going to be sewing multiple thickness of the fabric and you want to have a nice sturdy needle. Usually a jeans needle is what you would need and just a matching thread.

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