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Sewing a zipper is easier than you think. It can seem daunting, considering all the steps involved. We can break it down and make it easier to do. Below, we will explain how to sew in a zipper using a sewing machine.

Supplies

There are a few items you need to collect first.

  • Zipper foot for your sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Marking pen (with disappearing ink)
  • Seam Ripper
  • Zipper – refer to the pattern for the type and size

Step 1 – Seam

Check your pattern for the seam width, then return to the fabric and fold over the raw edges of the left and right sides using that measurement. Iron the fabric to set the seams.

Step 2 – Basting

Place the fabric on the table with the right sides together. Move the pattern over the fabric and use the pen to mark the top and bottom of where the zipper goes.

You will now baste the fabric along the length. Adjust the stitch length on your sewing machine to 5 or 6 (you want a longer stitch.) Using a half-inch seam, start at the bottom and sew the fabric together all the way to the top. Basting will hold the fabric in place and make it easier to add the zipper. Don't worry; you will be removing the basting later.

Step 3 – Ironing

Move the fabric to the ironing board, and with the wrong side facing you, unfold it to show the basting. Iron the basting flat.

Step 4 – Zipper Placement

Return to your table and place the fabric wrong side up. Close the zipper and place it over the basted opening. The teeth of the zipper should match the future opening. The bottom mark you made earlier on the fabric should match the last tooth on the zipper.

Insert pins along the left and right sides of the zipper. Also, insert a pin vertically at the bottom to connect both sides of the zipper about a quarter inch below the teeth.

Step 5 – Time to Sew

Open the zipper. Install the zipper foot in your sewing machine and set it for the right side. Insert the fabric so that the bottom left side is under the foot. It will place the foot on the fabric side of the zipper. Stitch to the top of the fabric. Remove the pins as you go along so you don't sew over them.

Move the zipper foot to the left side and repeat for the right side of the fabric. Rotate the fabric so the bottom of the zipper is in line with the foot and stitch to join the existing stitching.

Step 6 – Finishing

Use your seam ripper to remove the basting. Be careful not to snag the fabric. Open and close the zipper several times to ensure it works smoothly.

Sewing is a fun hobby and a great way to spend an afternoon. Now, you can add zippers to clothes, pillows, and other crafts which will allow you to take your sewing projects to the next level.


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