There is just no getting around the fact that in order to sew your own beautiful clothes you need to be able to master certain skills and techniques. One of these has got to be the neat insertion of a zip into your garment.
I thought we could take a look at how to apply a concealed or invisible zip. It gives a very polished, finished look and can be used wherever you would use a regular zip.
If you are used to inserting conventional zips the method of sewing in a concealed zip can seem a bit unusual or backwards at first.
Before you start
You will need a special concealed zipper foot for your sewing machine, these are different for each manufacture.
How to sew a concealed zipper
Do not stitch the seam where the zip is to go at all before you put the zip in! (this is the part which takes some getting used to!)
Open your zip completely. Place it in position on the outside/right side, of your fabric. The top stop should be 1.25cm/ ½ inch from the seam line at the neck edge for a dress or top and the same distance down from the waist for a skirt or trousers.
Pin the zip in position, you can baste it in position here if you are new to this method or you think the fabric might move about during sewing.
Using your concealed zipper foot attachment, place the groove of the foot over the teeth of the zip with needle on the zip tape. you may need to adjust the position of the needle on the sewing machine so that the stitches will be nice and close to the teeth, but not so close that they catch on them.
Continue to stitch down the length of the zip, go slowly if you need to, to ensure good positioning. Sew until your zipper foot comes into contact with the slider at the bottom of the zip.
Repeat the same process for the other side of the zip. You will now be using the other groove in the zipper foot and may have to change the sewing machine needle position again.
Remove any basting stitches.
When both sides of the zip are attached you can sew the remainder of the seam closed. Do this with the zip closed, using your regular sewing foot. Avoid catching the bottom of the zip in the seam as you sew it. You can secure the bottom ends of the zip to your seam allowance either by hand or machine stitch.
I have used this method on the centre back zip of my Dallia dress, with a hook & eye above it to secure the fastening.
Take a look at all the new patterns in my pattern store which updates regularly as new PDF downloadable patterns are added.