How to Sew a Zipper | DIY Zippers

Need to learn how to sew a zipper? Sewing a zipper onto a project is as tricky as it gets, at least when it comes down to the sewing basics. With this simple tutorial, you can get through this and on with the rest of your project in no time!

How to Sew A Zipper In A Seam Without Breaking A Sweat

Patience and steady hands are what you need to sew a zipper in a seam properly. These step-by-step instructions show you how to sew a zipper over an already closed seam. This sewing skill is helpful for any kind of project, from a pillowcase to a skirt, or a dress, pants, blouse, purse… Anything that zips!

What You’ll Need to Sew a Zipper:

  • Zipper
  • Two-Sided Zipper Presser Foot
  • Seam Ripper
  • Ball Pins (optional)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread
  • Measuring Tape
  • Masking Tape (optional)
  • Scissors

Step 1: Place zipper face down on the fabric.

For this sample, a scrap of fabric was used. Realistically you will be attaching your zipper to any seam that is already sewn and pressed with a 5/8″ seam allowance. Place the zipper face down on the back side of the seam.

Step 2: Pin or tape the zipper on the seam.

Align the zipper with the seam. Locate the center of the zipper and then tape or pin in place. In this tutorial, the sewer chose to use masking tape instead explaining that it’s more convenient. But of course, you can always use ball pins if you prefer.

Now that the center of the zipper is secure, start taping or pinning the rest of the zipper on the seam.

Step 3: Sew one side of the zipper.

Replace the regular presser foot with a zipper presser foot before putting the fabric into the sewing machine.

Set your fabric into the sewing machine underneath the zipper foot and stitch down one side. Do this until you reach 1/4″ away from the end of your zipper, then stop. Remember to always do a back stitch first before proceeding with a forward stitch whenever you start sewing.

Step 4: Sew the base and the other side of the zipper.

Once you’re done stitching one side of the zipper, turn the fabric and continue stitching the base. Stitch in a straight line.

Once you reach the end of the base, rotate the fabric and start doing a forward stitch once again. This time, you will have to sew the other side of the zipper.

Step 5: Remove fabric and cut seams.

After stitching all sides of the zipper, remove the fabric from the sewing machine BUT don’t cut the thread. Locate where the zipper pull is and then take your seam ripper and start cutting the seams above the zipper pull.

Step 6: Unzip the zipper.

Now that you’ve cut the seams, you can pull out the zipper pull hiding underneath the fabric. Before unzipping, make sure you remove the masking tape or ball pins at the back of the fabric. Unzip at least 4″ down the zipper.

Step 7: Complete the stitch..

It’s time to work on the zipper edges. Align the fabric with the zipper teeth and sew until you reach the edge.

Remove the fabric from the sewing machine and cut the thread. Put the zipper presser foot on the other side so you can work on sewing the other side of the zipper as well. Again, align the fabric with the zipper teeth and sew until the edge is reached.

Step 8: Cut the loose threads.

Cut all the loose thread at the front and back of the fabric. If you used masking tape, be very careful when removing it as it can tear the stitches apart.

You did it!

Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? You now have a functioning zipper! Sew the rest of your project normally.

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