Having the know-how to apply all sorts of zippers is an essential skill that every sewer should learn and even master. Remember that a well-executed zipper insertion is the key to giving any project a clean, professional look. Otherwise, if done poorly, it results to a dead giveaway especially when the project is deemed homemade.
As with any other sewing techniques, the secret is to understand the steps involved up front, including the things needed to do the proper preparation before the first stitch is sewn. Proper marking, positioning and basting all help to ensure zippers are centered properly. That every stitching is straight and even; and, they start and finish where they are supposed to.
To some, zippers are considered as an intimidating technique to execute. Although it’s true that almost all type of zipper applications have their own set of techniques and rules in terms of inserting them, there are some standard, useful tips that can ensure they’re installed properly.
(Picture from www.upout.com)
Try buying a zipper that is longer than required or the usual standard for a project. What makes many zipper applications look bad is the stitching that appears on the public side of the project. The biggest problem contributing to this is that darn zipper tab that gets in the way when sewing the final stitching. Nothing looks worse than a stitching line that is not straight or goes wonky as a result of having to go around the zipper tab.
(Picture from www.sew4home.com)
Remember that both measuring and marking – when done accurately – makes all the difference. This is most especially when zipper applications are made more straightforward compared to others. The secret is in the prep work that needs to be done before any real sewing begins. Accurate measuring and marking can help make the process both simple and easy.
(Picture from www.craftsy.com)
Remember baste, a technique used to ensure precision and to hold zippers in place. Hand basting before sewing is always a good thing. When it comes to applying zippers, in particular, it has plethora of benefits. One is that it prevents the top fabric from stretching or shifting about, so stitching lines are straight and don’t pucker. Second, it helps keep the zipper teeth properly centered within the seam opening. Above all, if stitching needs to be redone, no repining is necessary. This is a great tip for those applying a zipper for the first time – it’s just good insurance.
(Picture from www.craftinessisnotoptional.com)
As much as possible, apply zippers to flat pieces. Also, you can try to apply the zipper while the fabric pieces are still in their flat state. In other words, typically before side seams are joined together. This just makes sewing them so much easier. It’s not always possible, but if you can move up the zipper step in the sequence of assembly, just go for it.