Zippers

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By Sewing Contributor Jessica, from the blog “Life Sew Good”.  

Oh, for the love. (Can you just see me rolling my eyes?!) 

Seth Aaron, from Season 7 of Project Runway was the Zipper Super Star.  He used zippers all the time—and not strictly for practical purposes.  Why, oh why can’t I have this same love for zippers?  Probably because I pretend that I know how to sew them when really I don’t, which creates for major frustration and sewing projects that take way longer than they should.  So, instead of experiencing the same frustration I have in sewing zippers, learn from my mistakes and check out the tutorials that I have found most useful.

1.       Know what kind of zipper you need. 

*Are you using it on a skirt, jeans or other pants?  Sewing a centered or lapped closure is probably most appropriate.  There are several ways to do this.  This is one of the best video tutorials I found on how to do this.

*Are you using it on something more formal? Consider an invisible zipper.  Personally, I like to use this zipper on my skirts as well.  Now, here’s the deal with these puppies:  they are super easy IF you have a proper invisible zipper foot.  If you don’t, it’s way more work.  Coats & Clark makes zipper feet that work on various machines, but for the record, they won’t work on Brother machines, so order one; you won’t regret it.  The same woman who brought to you the best lapped zipper video, also made a very clear and wonderful invisible zipper video (Thanks, Susan) 

*Are you using it as an exposed zipper or decorative touch?  Make sure you buy a zipper that will complement your fabric.  There are many options out there, but if you don’t find what you are looking for, decorate your own zipper!  This is a really well done photo tutorial on how to install a decorative zipper.

2. Baste in a different color thread. 

Actually, I recently made this mistake in shooting photos I had intended for this post!  I was using brown thread on brown corduroy fabric and when I got to the point of tearing out my basting stitches, I could not tell which my basting stitches were and which my real stitches were.  It was especially problematic when they crossed.  Oopsy. 

3. Don’t skip steps.

If you really have an aversion to basting, then at least glue it or tape it for a few minutes.  If you want to have a finished, professional looking garment, then do it the right way the first time!

4. There are different methods to sewing zippers.  Find what works!

If you find one way that works for sewing your zippers, then stick with it; however, if you’re getting frustrated and not getting the results you need, then search other ways to insert your zipper! 

5. If you don’t do it a lot, you’ll forget. 

The only good solution to this is to sew many, many garments, so go for it!

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