Do they frighten you a little bit?
They used to scare me. I developed a love a of sewing by making quilts….which, of course, don’t have zippers.
But when I tried to sew my first zipper, I realized it wasn’t too hard.
And I know you can learn how to sew zippers, too.
Because I’m not quite an expert, I’ve compiled a list of 7 resources to help all of us learn how to sew zippers. These tutorials and videos are among the best of the best online – and if you check them out, soon you’ll be sewing zippers like a pro!
(just a note – this post contains a two affiliate links, where I could earn a small commission if you click and buy anything. Thanks for your support!)
Learn how to sew zippers
1. Don’t know what zipper length to buy?
Zipper length is determined by the distance from the top of the slider to the stop at the end. If you want a super-detailed analysis, check out this chart on YKK-USA.
So this is a 10-in zipper, below:
2. Fusible interfacing is your friend.
A strip about 3/4- 1 1 1/2in wide by the length of the tape is all you need. I personally like these fusible tapes by SewKeysE. As Maris of Sew Maris notes in her fabulous zipper tutorial, “Because the zipper tape fabric is ALWAYS firmer than the garment fabric…fusing the garment fabric will help prevent that rippling you hate so much.”
So true. (Just make sure you do this before basting the zipper closed!)
3. Pins are not your friend when securing your zippers before sewing.
But you know what is? Dritz WashAway Wonder Tape (from my Amazon affiliate). Stick this tape on the back of your zipper tape (I know, too many “tapes” in this sentence) and you’re good to go. It’s helpful in every case, as shown in this tutorial by Janelle of Emmaline bags. And it’s essential when sewing on laminated fabrics, as I share in my duffel bag tutorial on Sew Mama Sew.
4. You don’t have to use an invisible zipper foot when you install an invisible zipper.
Really. Here’s a tutorial on how to sew an invisible zipper with just a regular zipper foot.
5. A lapped zipper might actually be easier.
Sometimes installing a “centered” zipper can be tricky, even though most patterns call for them. If you’re not getting great results with a centered zipper, try a lapped zipper. Threads has a couple of great tutorials on lapped zippers, here and here. They’re not to be feared, either.
6. Prefer video to step-out photography?
Here’s a free excellent video series: The Craftsy Mastering Zipper Techniques Class. I’m a Craftsy affiliate, and they have excellent classes to purchase – but the zipper class is free!
In Sunni Standing’s Craftsy Mastering Zipper Techniques Class you’ll learn everything about zippers, including how to shorten a zipper (but not how to lengthen it, lol). I’m showing it in contrasting thread here for photographic purposes only!
7. Feeling adventurous, and like you’ve got your basic zipper skills down?
Learn how to sew a fly-front zipper in this excellent tutorial by Jen of Grainline Studio!
….So….there you go.
Learning how to sew zippers isn’t scary – really, it’s not. With these great resources, and some practice, you’ll learn how to sew zippers like a pro!
Many thanks to my sponsor, the Zipper Island, for sending me some fantastic zippers to work with!
Deanna McCool writes for sewmccool.com. To make sure you don’t miss a post, please follow SewMcCool by e-mail (the link is at the top of the right-hand column) or join me on BlogLovin’ – the button is just below the e-mail feed box! 🙂