How to sew a centered zipper
A centered zipper is sewn into a seam, and as the name says, it is centered behind, and once sewn in, two laps are created at either side. They are commonly used in skirts, dresses, and pants, as well as cushion covers and handbags. This is a great technique to have under your sewing repertoire belt as it's such a useful zipper.
In this tutorial, we'll show you how to sew a centered zipper using directional sewing, which avoids the fabric from shifting in different directions once the zipper is sewn in. If this is your first time, perhaps get some practice by trying this as a sample before you sew the centered zipper into your final project.
You will need:
- A regular zipper at the legth required for your project
- Fabric (either your project, or sample fabric cut into two rectangles longer that your zipper)
- Fusible interfacing
- Chalk or fabric pen
- Stitch ripper
- Zipper foot for sewing machine
THE CENTERED ZIPPER
- For extra stability and to prevent the zipper from rippling when sewn into the seam, add interfacing or tricot tape to the opening area where the zipper will be applied. Cut a strip of 1" (2.5 cm) width interfacing approximately 1-2" longer than the zipper opening.
- Apply the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric at either side of the opening, Finish the fabric edge with a finishing stitch before installing the zipper.
- Consider the seam allowance of your project, the length and position of the zipper. Mark the end of the zipper with chalk on your fabric.
- Machine-baste the portion of the seam where your zipper will be sewn. Backstitch at the zipper end point and sew the remainder of the seam with a regular stitch. Press the seam open.
- On the right side of the fabric, draw a mark with chalk or a fabric pen 1/4" (6mm) around the basted portion of the seam. This will be the topstitch line for your zipper.
- On the wrong side of the fabric, center the zipper facedown onto the basted portion of the seam and pin it in place. The upper stop should be approximately 1/4" (6 mm) away from the top edge of the fabric.
- Hand baste the zipper in place.
- Remove the machine basting stitches from the seam. This will allow you to lower the head of the zipper wile sewing.
- Using the regular zipper foot with the needle sew to the left, sew along the topstitch line on the right side of the zipper.
- When you reach the corner of the topstitch line, drop the needle into the fabric, raise the foot and pivot to sew the lower topstitch line.
- End the stitch at the seam and do not backstitch. Instead, leave a tail thread to finish the stitch in a later step.
- Switch the needle to the right side of the zipper foot. Follow the topstitch line on the left side of the zipper.
- Press at the left side corner and sew across the lower topstitch line, ending the stitch at the seam. Do not backstitch. Again, leave a tail thread to finish the stitch.
- Thread a needle with the tail threads and pull then through to the wrong side of the zipper.
- Tie the tail threads together with a knot to neatly finish the stitch.
- Remove the hand-baste stitches.
- The finished centered zipper with tidy topstitching.
Thanks for following along in this tutorial. I hope you learnt something new and that this helps to make your sewing adventure more fun and fulfilling! If you want use this tutorial again, use this badge below to save to your Pinterest sewing board.
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