Slip Tips – Invisible Zipper

Hi there, I’m Angie Knowles of sewityourselfslipcovers.com with episode episode 5 of Slip Tips, my video tutorial series where I share some of my favorite tips, tricks and tools of the trade for sewing custom slipcovers and other home décor items.

In this episode I’m going to show you how to insert an invisible zipper. Invisible zippers are really really handy on some of your more delicate projects like pillows and shams where you don’t want the bulk of a regular zipper.  A lot of people are afraid of invisible because first they think you have to have a special foot, you don’t, and they think they are really difficult. But once you do a few, you will find out they really aren’t so difficult after all. So lets go to the sewing machine and I will show you how easy it really is.

Ok, we are at the machine and we are ready to put our zipper in. Now, I’ve taken and pre-pinned my zipper, yes I’m going to use pins for this. I’ve to the zipper pinned so that the top edge of my zipper is at the top edge of my fabric. The zipper is face down right side against the fabric with the edge of the zipper tape along the edge of my fabric here. So I’ve lined the top edges up and I’ve lined the edge of the zipper along the edge of the fabric, the zipper tape is right sides down.

Now let me step back a bit here, before I did this, I pressed the zipper teeth. When you get an invisible, the teeth are kinda rolled over back onto the tape. Using a warm iron press the teeth so they are flat. Don’t get your iron too hot, because you can melt the teeth. So we are going to sew this down and I’m going to have to move my zipper foot to the other side of the needle. Now on this first pass, I do not try and get close to the zipper teeth. I’m just going to secure it in place, I will come back later and get close. I will stitch down as far as I can.

And now I’m going to come back again and get close to the teeth. I stitch as close as I can without stitching over the teeth, because you can damage them and ruin the zipper. It is trying to curl up on me, so I’m just going to fold it out of the way and try not to stitch my fingers and again, just stitch down as far as I can. Now I’m going to zip it up and take a look and see how close I am and see if that is good enough. And as you can see, that is pretty darn good.

Now I have the second side pinned. As you can see, I have the top edge even and the edge of the zipper tape against the edge of the fabric. The zipper tape is face down, right sides together on the fabric. I’m going to have to move my foot to the other side of the needle. Now a lot of people would want to stay on the same side and stitch from the bottom up this time. But if you start off stitching from the top down, you need to stitch from the top down on both sides. If you don’t do that, your zipper will end up a little wonky, a little out of alignment from each other. Again, I’m not going to try and stitch close to the teeth, I just want to secure this in place right now. Stitch down as far as you can. Now we’ll go back and get close. Again I’ll zip it up and take a look and see how well I’ve done. Take a look at that! You can’t even see that zipper. So now it is time to close up our seam.

Now it is time to close up our seam. I forgot to mention in the beginning, I don’t close my seam until after I insert the zipper. I’m going to have to move my foot over to the other side of the needle. I need to be stitching over here, and my needle is over here. That is the nice thing about using an adjustable foot for this, you can just move the foot to whatever side you need, and you don’t have to buy a special invisible zipper foot. I’m going to start my stitching about ½” up from where I ended my stitching when I sewed the zipper on. I want to get close, but I don’t want to get to close, if you try to get to close you will end up with a little pucker where you start your seam and it will be quite noticeable. Lets take a look at how it looks from the front side.

Ok, here is our finished zipper, and you can see, you don’t see the zipper. You can see the seam, but you don’t see the zipper tape. Now I’m going to zip this down, you will see where the zipper stops. The zipper just stops at that red line I drew on the fabric. And you see there is a smooth transition between where the zipper stops and where I started stitching to close up the seam. By not trying to get to close in there, I got it just the right amount. So you that there is a nice smooth transition, the zipper is in there, nice and pretty, you don’t see the zipper tape. And that really wasn’t that hard.

So give it a try using these techniques and if you have any questions, you can always contact me on sewityourselfslipcovers.com. There is a contact form on the site I’ll be more than happy to answers any questions you have.

I hope you have enjoyed this video and will come back for more. Oh, and don’t forget, sign up for the weekly newsletter at sewityourselfslipcovers.com.