There’s no better way to get ready for the next season than by going back to the basics! Today we’re taking you through a quick and easy tutorial on lapped zippers. Knowing how to sew a lapped zipper is an essential sewing skill, and it’s easy! Read on to learn how to sew them like a pro.
What You’ll Need:
- Skirt pattern or top or dress pattern with a center-back zipper
- Fabric according to the pattern envelope
- Zipper foot
- Zipper (length indicated on pattern envelope)
- Fabric-marking pen or chalk
- Matching all-purpose thread
- Position the zipper on the seam edge, aligning the zipper upper end with the opening upper edge. Mark the top and bottom zipper stops. This is the zipper opening.
- With the fabric right sides together, sew a 5/8” seam up to the zipper opening lower end; backstitch.
- Baste the remainder of the seam. Press open the seam.
- Open the zipper and place it right side down with the coiled edge along the seamline. Pin the zipper to the left seam allowance. Move the zipper pull a couple of inches up so it’s out of the way to begin machine stitching.
- Position the zipper foot to the right of the needle.
- Stitch from the lower edge to the upper edge along the stitching guideline on the zipper tape, moving the zipper pull out of the way when necessary.
- Close the zipper, and turn it face up to form a fold in the seam allowance. Bring the fold close to, but not over, the zipper coil. Push the rest of the garment to the opposite side so it’s out of the way of the stitching area.
- Position the zipper foot to the left of the needle.
- Stitch from the lower edge to the upper edge close to the folded edge, stitching through only the folded seam allowance and the zipper tape.
- Turn the garment to the right side; press.
- Pin carefully through all the layers of the lap, making sure it lies smoothly. Hand baste.
- Position the zipper foot to the right side of the needle.
- Topstitch across the zipper lower end and up the side 3/8” to 1/2” from the seamline.
- Near the upper edge, the zipper pull might get in the way. Leave the needle in the fabric, and raise the presser foot. Reach under and carefully push the zipper pull down out of the way. Then finish sewing the upper edge.
- Remove the hand and machine basting.
And you’re finished! For more great tips on installing zippers, check out the latest issue of Sew News to learn how to install three more zipper types, plus we’ll show you how to alter a basic A-line skirt pattern to add a zipper and pleat. The end result is adorable!