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How to Add a Side Zipper to Any Garment

2018 July 5

Check it out! This is my awesome new sewing shirt, with an added side zipper (a new tutorial!) to make it fancy. Plus, it’s this sewing nerd’s most fun thing to do to wear my hobby. #youknowit

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

Today’s tutorial will show you how to add a side zipper to a garment with a side seam. (Yes – the bottom of pants too!) I used my trusty Union St tee pattern as a base for the embroidery and zipper. This will be my 5th I think!

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

This post is sponsored by Janome Canada. I am a Janome Artisan and have been loaned a Janome Skyline S9 sewing and embroidery combination machine as part of this program.

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

To sew the zipper, I used the Janome twin Dual Feed holder with the AD twin foot. My zipper was flat enough to topstitch it without using a zipper foot! This foot hooks into the AcuFeed system in the Skyline S9 to feed the top and bottom fabric layers through your machine at the same rate – creating amazingly flat and accurate seams, especially when sewing knits and quilting.

Embroidering on the Skyline S9 is an amazing bonus! I’ve wanted to put this saying on something for a long time and I was thrilled to be able to design and execute my very own embroidered sewing shirt. Guess how many other things I want to embroider this on now? #lol #embroiderallthethings #andsewonandsewforth

You might like these previous posts! 12 Tips and Tricks for Sewing with knits, Machine Embroidering, and more projects on the Janome Skyline S9.

Thanks for reading Thread Riding Hood. Don’t miss a post – come #alongforthreadride!

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zipper, tutorial

How to Add a Side Zipper to any Seam!

 

You will need:

  • Pattern and supplies for a knit garment with a side seam
  • Ballpoint needle (for sewing knits)
  • Zipper (in your desired length)
  • Fusible Interfacing scraps
  • Removable Marking Pen
  • Sewing Machine and Supplies
  • Optional: Serger

Prepare the garment

  1. Sew your garment, according to the instructions, until you reach the step requiring you to stitch the seam where you’d like to add your zipper.
  2.  Mark where the garment’s hem will finish on the seam you’d like your zipper. My hem is 1″ deep.zipper, tutorial
  3. Place the bottom zipper teeth at the hem mark. With the slider open and away from the hem, mark just above the zipper stop.zipper, tutorial
  4. Measure from the bottom of the fabric to the top mark and add 1″. Cut 2 pieces of interfacing 1″ wide by your measured length.zipper, tutorial
  5. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric on each marked edge.zipper, tutorial

Stitch the Seam

  1. Stitch the seam as per your instructions, stopping at the top mark. Press sewn seam allowances open or towards the back. NOTE: If serging, stop 2″ above the mark and stitch to the mark with a sewing machine. This allows the zipper area seam allowances to be pressed open.
  2. Draw a line on the back of your zipper just under the zipper stop. Also, mark two lines on either side about 1/4″ from the center of the zipper teeth. Place the zipper right sides together with the sewn seam (over the unsewn area) with the zipper slider away from the hem and the zipper stop along the previous zipper stop marking (shown here in blue). It is very important that the zipper teeth are well centered along the side seam!zipper, tutorial
  3. Sew along the marked line on the zipper from one 1/4″ marking to the area. Don’t worry that the zipper seems oddly placed, this will all work out!zipper, tutorial
  4. Turn the garment wrong side up and open the seam allowances. Mark two 45 degree lines from the center opening to the edges of the line you just sewed. Cut along these marks being careful not to cut through or past the stitches.zipper, tutorial

Finish the Zipper

  1. Press each interfaced seam back 1/2″. Fuse or glue them down if desired.zipper, tutorial
  2. Fold the excess zipper tape on each side of the bottom of the zipper to the wrong side at a 45-degree angle (left in photo), and then fold it up and out of the way (right in photo). Baste each side in place.zipper, tutorial
  3. Lay the shirt right side up on a flat surface. Pull the zipper down from the wrong side of the shirt until the zipper slider near the shirt hem. Align each folded side seam evenly on top of the zipper tape. Glue or pin in place.zipper, tutorial
  4. Topstitch around the zipper about 1/8″ away from the folded edges. Start at the bottom of one side seam and stitch around to the other side seam, pivoting at each corner.zipper, tutorial

Finish the garment

  1. Finish the shirt as per the instructions. When hemming, make sure the hemline and stitching match on both sides of the zipper for a professional finish.zipper, tutorial

 

Congratulations, you’ve sewn a Side Zipper!

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Sewing Machine: Janome Skyline S9 (on loan from Janome Canada as part of their Artisan program)

Knit Fabric: Heather Grey – 10 oz Cotton/Spandex Jersey Knit from Fabric Snob

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4 Responses leave one →
  1. July 5, 2018

    That’s a great tutorial. I’ll give it a go

  2. mom permalink
    July 6, 2018

    What a great idea! Love the pics too.

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