December 09, 2020
Check out our in-depth video on sewing an invisible zip! This tutorial was created as part of the extra content for the Ella skirt, which you can buy here. But naturally, you can use this tutorial for any pattern which uses an invisible zip!
I have been developing my invisible zip technique for years, and have tried every way of sewing them! I have combined all the things I've learned along the way into my own ultimate method. I absolutely love this pinless way of sewing. And if it scares you to sew without pins, don't worry, I have some handling tips, and even some examples that show you what not to do. If you still prefer to use pins, of course that's okay too! Sewing is all about doing it the way that makes you happy.
You can watch the whole thing below. If you want to skip to different steps in the video, there are clickable time-stamps in the description of the video (click here to see the video on YouTube, where you can view the full description). For a written summary of the steps, see below. We also have a super-abridged version of the video, which is right at the bottom of the article! Consider it a cheat sheet if you're already familiar, or just want to get the gist of it.
Fuse the part of the seam where the zip will be placed, fusing past the zip notch by 2cm (3/4").
Finish the edges with an overlock or zig zag stitch.
Sew the seam, right sides together up to the zip notch, backtacking securely at the notch. Press open
Place the zip right sides together with the garment. Sew from the top down, using an invisible zip foot. Stop and backtack when you get to 3mm (1/8") away from the seam.
Zip the zip up and check your base is aligned correctly. Confirm your alignment is correct with a pin and then basting the base with the machine (using a standard zip foot) for about 5cm (2"). The pin check is just a little insurance. In my experience, trying to go too fast and skipping your quality control checks often wastes more time than you save, which is why I now always take that little extra moment (from experience, unpicking invisible zips that's you've rushed the sewing on is not that fun)!
Unzip the zip, and place it right sides together with the other side of the seam. Sew from the top down, again backtacking 3mm (1/8") away from the seam.
Now that you've done all the sewing, you just need to bring the zip pull up through the small hole in the seam (this can be a little bit fiddly, but have patience!). Now you can zip it up and press. Time to celebrate!
Below is the super-abridged version. You might find it helpful if you want a quick refresher!
That's it! I hope this tutorial really helps you achieve invisible zip success, and dare I say it, even invisible zip joy! If you have any questions or have your own invisible zip tips and thoughts, leave a comment below.
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