How is everyone’s Fuchsia coming along? There is only one more step after we insert this zipper! I tried to be as inclusive as possible with this tutorial so you can refer to it any time you need to insert an invisible zipper in any project. Ready? Let’s go!
First thing I like to do is press the zipper. This is a totally OPTIONAL step, and you can pull it open as you stitch if you do not want to press it. If you do want to press it first, put it on a polyester (low heat) setting and do not press over the coils. You want to press the coils open to create the “ditch” the stitching should go in.
The next picture shows the zipper with one side pressed so you can see the difference the pressing makes.
Since we finished all our seam allowances in the last step, we can start right in on the zipper. Measure down 1/8″ more than the seam allowance from the top of the waistband. Our seam allowance is 3/8″ so I measured down 1/2″ and marked a line. (with a Frixion pen!) Make this mark on both sides. This mark shows us where to place the top stop of the zipper. Not the top of the tape, the zipper stop will go right below this mark.
I use pins to place my zipper, but a great alternative is to use Wonder Tape. It is sticky and holds the zipper in place exactly where you need it, yet washes away with water after you have completed your stitching.
If this is your first time inserting an invisible zipper, watch the pictures closely to make sure you are placing it correctly. While inserting it, it may look a little twisted, but if you follow the pictures, it will come out great.
Pin (or wonder tape) the right side of the zipper tape to the right side of the project.
It is best to sew an invisible zipper with an invisible zipper foot. These feet are not very expensive and definitely help get in the groove next to the coils to make sure the zipper is truly “invisible” when it is finished. However, you can use your regular zipper foot and we will discuss both ways.
While sewing, be sure to peel back the coils to make sure the needle can get as close to them as possible without actually stitching through any coils. Stitch as far down as you can–the zipper pull will eventually stop you.
This picture shows the zipper being inserted on the left hand side, but make sure to pull the coils back as you sew on both sides
Using a regular zipper foot and pulling back the coils
After sewing the first side, go ahead and zip up the zipper so we can make a marking where the zipper needs to match up seams.
Now we want to mark the match points. (I only had a 9 inch zipper so mine does not go into the scallops, but if yours does, do this same marking where you want the scallops to match.) Draw a line exactly where the waistband seam is on the opposite side of the zipper. (and the scallops if necessary)
Now unzip the zipper, and use those placement lines to match the seams while pinning (or wonder taping) the zipper to the other side.
matching the mark to the waistband seam
Look closely at the above picture to orient the zipper correctly. The right side of the zipper goes to the right side of the fabric and the coils face away from the opening. Where the zipper pull is at the bottom will look all twisted and weird. This is okay.
Go ahead and sew down this side as far as you can while again pulling the coils out of the way of your stitching. Here is a picture of what the zipper will look like after stitching. The seam below the zipper is still not yet sewn.
Go ahead and test the zipper to make sure it has been sewn up the right way and that the seams match where you want them to.
close up of seam below zipper that is not yet sewn
If you are pleased with how invisible the zipper is and all your match points line up, then go ahead and fold the right sides of the fabric together so we can sew the lower part of the seam.
I sew from the bottom of the seam up to about 1/2″ from where the zipper stitching stops and I use my regular foot. Make sure to pull the bottom of the zipper tape out of the way so you do not sew it in the seam.
close up of zipper stitching and seam stitching from bottom of garment
Lastly, put on your regular zipper foot and attach the stitching together while holding the bottom of the zipper tape out of the way.
see how I am pulling the bottom of the zipper tape to the side so it is not caught in the stitching?
All done! The more you do these zippers, the more they are easier than regular zippers. I love invisible zippers!
All done! oops, I forgot to press…ignore the wrinkles please
completed inside of invisible zipper with seam allowances finished with seam binding
How did it go???
If you do regularly insert invisible zippers and they are not truly “invisible” when finished, try pressing the coils before beginning as written above, and also using an invisible zipper foot and pull the coils back while sewing. The easiest way to make an invisible zipper not invisible is not sewing close enough to the coils. But sew too close, and you might sew into the coils and you won’t be able to do the zipper at all! It is a fine balance, but after a couple time, you figure it out and then it works every time!
Only one more step to finish our Fuchsia! We will attach the waistband facings and have a beautifully clean finish, all attached to the zipper, and done completely by machine!! No hand slip stitching required. Then I want to see everyone’s finished Fuchsia!
Still need to get your Fuchsia? It is free in the shop! Missed any of the other sew-along posts? They are all compiled right here!
Any questions? Leave us a comment here or email us! Also, check out our new Pinterest board on tutorials. I am pinning all sewing tutorials and projects that look helpful. It is a great resource to find the help you need when you need it. I refer to it all the time!
Post your Fuchsia pictures to the Fuchsia Flickr Group and when the sew-along is finished, I will do a round up of all the beautiful finished garments–a Parade of Fuchsia’s!