Learn How To Sew
What a wonderful invention: a zipper that does
everything that a zipper is suppose to do, but
that does not distract from the elegant design
of the garment. The invisible zipper is not
exactly invisible, but it is designed so you do
not actually notice it. It is perfect for snug
fitting garments, soft elegant fabrics,
wherever you want, but really do not want to
see a zipper. The challenge is to learn
how to sew zippers.
The invisible zipper is sewn
into open seams before the seam is ever closed.
No top stitching on the face of the garment
gives their presence away. They simply hide out
of sight out of mind until you need them.
Understanding how to sew invisible zippers
makes fashion sewing much more fun.
If an invisible zipper
breaks, and it can not be repaired the zipper
must be replaced. To understand how to best
replace the invisible zipper, we must first
understand how the zipper is originally
Learn how to sew invisible
zippers. Think of the zipper as simply
part of the seam, you will find installing an
invisible zipper to be quick and easy.
The following is a seven
step process explaining in detail how to
install an invisible zipper.
• First, choose the seam
where you want to install the zipper.
• Second, lay the zipper and
fabric good sides together.
• Third, pin the zipper in
place to prevent it from moving accidentally.
(You may baste the zipper I place, use pins to
hold the zipper in place, or carefully just
begin sewing the zipper in place.)Then using
the correct invisible zipper foot and straight
stitch the zipper to the fabric. The zipper
foot is designed with two special grooves in
the bottom of the presser foot to allow the
teeth of the zipper to pass through under the
foot without snagging or otherwise being
• Fourth, carefully sew the
zipper onto the fabric feeding the teeth of the
zipper through the groove of the invisible
• Fifth, sew the opposite
side of the zipper in the same direction as the
first. This is critical. It must be directional
sewn to insure proper hold and function of the
• Sixth, After sewing the
zipper in place, sew the rest of the seam
toward the zipper.
• Seventh, finish the seam
as usual. (If the fabric is a fabric that tends
to fray, zig zag to overcast the edge.)
• Your invisible zipper is now installed.
Complete the garment as usual.
Now time has passed and that
invisible zipper is broken. What do you do? How
do you replace an invisible zipper?
The hard part is taking the
old zipper out. When ready made clothing is
manufactured with invisible zippers, they seam
is often sewn with a serger whose stitches are
more difficult to remove than regular sewing
stitches, but it can still be done. So take a
deep breath and relax. It is not as tough as it
sounds. Yes, it is more difficult because you
may actually have four threads finishing
holding the zipper in place. And yes, one of
those stitches may be a zig zag overlocking
stitch. But you can do it! The old adage
applies here: “As you sew, so shall you
Start by taking a sharp seam
ripper and sliding it under the threads of the
zig zag stitch and cutting the stitches about
ever half to three quarters of an inch along
the seam. Then turn the seam over to the other
side and gently using the probe or finger of
the seam ripper lift the broken threads out.
Repeat this process for the straight stitch or
basting stitches. Finally, clear away the
pieces of thread and remove the zipper.
You can learn how to sew and
Replace Invisible Zippers faster and easier
than you might think. The steps to
understanding how to sew zippers are not as
complicated as the appear.
Once the old zipper is
removed, check the condition of the fabric. Is
it worn and torn? Or, is it still in pretty
good condition? If it shows some wear, but you
are determined to rescue the garment, use a
piece of stabilizing tape along the back of the
seam allowance and install the new zipper just
as if everything were brand new.
Donna Trumble is a professional designer,
seamstress, author, sewing educator, and sewing
business owner. She leads several
Sewing Show And Tell groups in her stores
guiding participants to shop sewing machines
and learn about sewing and quilting.
David Trumble is a sewing
professional, author, semi-retired minister,
sewing machine technician, and CFO of Temple
Sewing And Supply, Inc.