Basic Construction--Putting in Zippers

Zippers come in different types, weights, and lengths. The most common is the conventional zipper, which has a stop at the bottom. Such specialty zippers as invisible, separating, decorative, and heavy-duty are also available. The pattern envelope recommends the zipper type and length for a project.


Before putting in a zipper, several actions should be taken.

• Check the zipper package. If the zipper tape is 100% polyester, press the tape to remove any folds. If the tape isn't 100% poly ester, preshrink the zipper.

• Stay-stitch any curved or bias seam lines to prevent stretching.

• If seam allowances are less than 5/8” (1.5 cm), stitch seam tape to the edge for extra width.

• Check the pattern guide sheet to see whether the zipper should be stitched before or after any facing is attached.

• Check the length of the zipper opening, or placket. Place the zipper teeth, or coils, 3/4” (2 cm) from the top edge of the fabric. If a fastener will be sewn above the zipper, place the zipper 1” (2.5 cm) below the top edge.

Mark the fabric where the coils end at the bottom of the zipper.

• To shorten a zipper, machine zigzag or whip stitch across the coils in one place to form a new bottom stop. Cut away the zipper 1/2” (1.3 cm) below the stitching.

• Stitch the garment seam below the zipper marking, using a regular machine stitch.

Backstitch 1/4” (6 mm) to secure the seam.

• To prepare the zipper opening, machine-baste it closed. Be sure to match plaids and stripes carefully. Press the seam open. After the zipper has been put in, you can clip the basting threads every 1” (2.5 cm) for easier removal.

== Wiki Sewing ==


The catch-stitch is a very strong hemming stitch. It is a great stitch to use in hems that could get caught in heels or have unusual stress put on them. Unlike other hand stitches, a catch stitch is sewn from left to right.

1. Hide the knot inside the hem edge, bringing the needle out in the edge of the hem.

2. Move approximately a quarter inch to the right of where your previous stitch was formed, and make a small horizontal stitch that only picks up a few threads of the fabric, inserting your needle from right to left.

3. Pull the needle through the fabric and make the exact same stitch in the outside of the hem forming X shaped stitches; repeat until you've finished the hem.

TIP --- Time Saving: Save your hand sewing for watching television, waiting in doctors' offices, or waiting in the car while your kids finish soccer practice.

Pack it in a tote bag with needle and thread so you have it ready to sew when you have time that would be wasted otherwise.

<<== Wiki Sewing cont. ==>>


Zippers can be sewn in several ways, known as applications. Zippers are typically applied with machine stitching, which requires a zipper foot attachment for stitching close to the zipper. If sewing a zipper by hand, use a pickstitch. Always stitch both sides of a zipper in the same direction to prevent any wrinkles or puckers in the zipper placket.

To choose the right application method, refer to the pattern guide sheet. Application instructions are also in the zipper package. The most common applications are for centered, lapped, and fly-front zippers. A different procedure is used for invisible zippers.

Centered Zipper Application

For a centered zipper application, follow these steps:

1. Machine-baste the seam and press open.

2. Place the zipper face down on the open seam allowance. Center the zipper coils exactly on top of the basted seam. Hold the zipper in place with hand basting or sewing tape. See Ill. 1. Basting Centered Zipper 1

3. Spread the garment flat, right side up. Mark the bottom zipper stop with a pin. Attach the zipper foot.

4. Begin stitching at the lower end of the zipper on the right side of the fabric. Stitch across the end, pivot, and stitch up along one side 1/4” (6 mm) from the basted seam.

5. Begin again at the lower end and stitch the other side in the same manner.

6. Pull the thread ends at the bottom to the wrong side of the fabric and knot.

7. Remove the machine basting and press. See Ill. 2. Completed Centered Zipper 2

Lapped and Fly-Front Application

To apply a zipper with the lapped or fly-front application, follow these steps:

1. Machine-baste the seam and press open.

2. Open the zipper. Place it face down on the back seam allowance with the coils at the seam line. Pin, baste, or tape in place.

3. Machine-stitch through the zipper tape and seam allowance only, from the bottom to the top of the zipper. Use the zipper foot to stitch close to the zipper's edge. See Ill. 3.

Stitching First Lap 3

4. Close the zipper and turn it face up. Smooth the fabric away from the zipper, forming a narrow fold between the zipper coil and the basted seam.

5. Machine-stitch close to the fold, beginning at the lower end of the zipper. Sew through the folded seam allowance and zipper tape only. See Ill. 4.

6. Open out the fabric and place the zipper face down on the front seam allowance. Turn the tab up and pin in place.

7. Machine-baste through the tape and seam allowance only, starting at the top of the zip per. This will hold the zipper in place for the final stitching.

8. Stitch from the right side of the garment, beginning at the lower end of the zipper. Stitch across the bottom, pivot, and stitch up the lap side. Stitching should be 3/8 to 1/2" (1 to 1.3 cm) from the seam. See Ill. 5.

9. Pull the thread ends to the wrong side of the fabric and knot.

10. Remove the basting stitches and press.

Invisible Zippers

An invisible zipper is a special zipper that looks like a plain seam on the outside of the garment. All you see is a small pull-tab at the top of the seam. Generally, if your pattern calls for a zip per, you can choose conventional or invisible.

An invisible zipper is applied before the rest of the seam is stitched. You'll need a special zipper foot, usually available where you purchase the zipper. This foot holds the zipper coil upright during stitching so you can stitch very close to the coil, making the zipper invisible on the outside of the garment. To apply an invisible zipper, follow the directions provided in the zipper package.

Sewing on Fold 4; Completed Lapped Zipper 5

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Wednesday, 2012-04-11 15:16