We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Even the most experienced sewer might struggle with zips, possibly avoiding adding them to their handicrafts as a result. That is why we’ve put together these easy tips on how to sew a zipper so you can have another skill in your sewing tool kit.
For your first zipper project, it is best to use a nylon coil zipper as they are widely available, in case you need to practice some more. The next step is to make sure everything you need is to hand, including your fabric piece, which should be double the height of your zipper pouch and the same length as the zip, and your sewing machine.
Then machine baste the zip opening closed, sewing along the edge where you want it to be fitted eventually. This temporary stitch is intended to keep the seam in place, so you don’t need to backstitch the end points.
Once you have done this, turn the fabric upside down and open the seam allowance before ironing it flat. Pin the zip into place, positioning the top so it is above the line of the garment, making sure you are working on the wrong side of the garment.
After it has been held into place securely, and with the fabric now facing the right way round, start stitching the zip. Put your first stitch just after the zipper pull, ensuring you do not work too close to the mechanism. If you have a zipper foot on your sewing machine, it will keep the stitches close to the centre of the seam; however, for those who do not have one, it is important you sew close together, so the zip remains secure.
Carry on stitching all the way round the zip, backstitching once you reach the zipper pull again to secure it. Once the zip is firmly attached, you can cut the basting stitches with a seam ripper, being particularly careful so you don’t snag any of the fabric or your permanent stitches.
Once you have mastered zips, you can have a go at making large embroidered tote bags, purses and accessories.