How to insert an invisible zip


I am currently waiting on the official photos back of our wedding so that I can share some with you and you can see the bridesmaids dresses! It was the most amazing day and I think the ladies looked great .

I have been trying to  get my head around what I next what to sew! I think cos of the bridesmaids dresses I have not thought about what I want to do next at all.

Anyways, in the mean time I have been finishing up a skirt that I had started a while back and thought about the fact that I always have to remind myself about the order of sewing in an invisible zip so would document it for me and others. So hopefully this will be useful..

First off, you will need a contrasting colour thread, matching thread to your item, a regular machine foot, a regular zip foot and an invisible zip foot. Apologies in advance, it is not easy to see the difference between right and wrong side on this fabric. Also, some photos didn’t come out as well as I’d like but I’ve finished the zip so can’t go back and re-do!

I like to tack stitch the seam allowance to line up the zip to.

So I try to start on the same side of the skirt. It looks a bit backwards to other sewing stuff as it’s sewn to the right side of the fabric.  The zip faces towards the right side of the fabric. Measure down 1.5cm or the seam allowance down from the top of the skirt in my case, to check the zip stops below the seam line.

Then tack stitch the zip into place with a regular zip foot. Line up where the stitches will be when you have sewn in the zip, just under the teeth when led flat. Tacking in the zip helps as you haven’t got to negotiate pins and keeping it all straight when using the invisible zip foot. Plus you can check it’s looking all good before taking the plunge in sewing in properly cos it’s a pain in the ass to unpick.

Looking good? Then go ahead with the matching thread and invisible zip foot, remember to centre your needle position. I did not and ended up snapping the needle in two! Live and learn..

I know that some invisible zip insertion tips suggest lightly ironing the zip to open it up to sew closer to the teeth however I find this means that I sew too close and then have difficulty in opening and closing the zip! Plus always a bit tentative on ironing near plastic. So what I do is to just gently push the teeth of the zip up to point vertically, like in the photo above, to help get close to the teeth, which makes the zip invisible!

We have to make sure the seam of the waistband matches on each side so close the zip and cut a notch in line with the seam already sewn. This will help line it all up without a pin later on. When cut open the zip again.

Next up, fold the item/skirt the other way round so you have right sides together. Fold it so you can access the right side of the other back seam (as below) so that the zip can again face towards the right side of the skirt/item. The zip should still look like it’s the wrong way round with the zip pull facing inwards. I’ve kept my tacking stitches in place for now.

Pin and tack the zip the same as the first side using the contrast thread and regular zip foot. When all good and the seam matches on both sides, use the invisible zip foot and matching thread. When done, turn out to wrong sides together and you should have this!

So turn it wrong sides together again and pin and stitch the back seam up to close to the bottom of the zip. Make sure you move the needle position back to it’s normal state so you get the proper seam width, again I didn’t do this on mine and had to unpick it!

The next bit is the tricky bit to make look nice in my opinion. Get the bottom of the zip tape out of the way, move it away from the skirt. Use the regular zip foot again to follow the line of the seam you have created from the bottom of the skirt towards the zip and sew for as far as you can towards the seam line made from the invisible zip foot. The regular zip foot will help you get closer to the seam line when navigating around the zip pull and stopper. Keeping the tacking stitches also helps keep an eye on where the seam should go.


Next up, take out all the tacking stitches, turn out the right way round and give it a press! Ta Da! A pretty sharp looking invisible zip!

I hope this has been helpful, I’m hoping it will remind me not to make the silly mistakes I regularly do!


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