TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper into a Lined Garment



TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala

Before we begin, let’s go over a few sewing terms as it applies to this tutorial. This is just to help you follow along, especially if you’re a beginner. 

INVISIBLE ZIPPER – an invisible zipper is a zipper with very fine teeth. It is sewn into a garment in a way that it makes the zipper hidden in a seam, hence the term invisible. 
ZIPPER TAPE –  the fabric part of the zipper.
TAPE ENDS – the fabric part of the zipper, that extends beyond the teeth, at the top and /or bottom of the chain.
BOTTOM STOP –  the metal device affixed to the bottom end of a zipper to prevent further movement.  
HEAT SEAL – to seal / stop from fraying using heat. 
PRESSa fancier way to say Iron.
ZIPPER FOOTa zipper foot is a specialty foot that comes with your machine that allows you to install zippers, cording and piping. 
BODICE – the part of a dress (excluding the sleeves) that is above the waist.
LININGis the inner layer of fabric that allow for a neat inside finish by concealing the raw edges of seams.
RIGHT SIDE – the “printed” or “pretty” side of the fabric.
WRONG SIDE – the back or “ugly” side of the fabric.
BASTE STITCH -  the longest stitch length on your machine that makes a row of continuous stitches. These stitches are meant to be removed.
BACKSTITCH - Overlapping stitch made by starting next stitch at middle of preceding one. Your machine will have a button specifically for backstitching. Please consult your manual.
TOP STITCH –  a row of continuous stitches on the ride side of a garment used as a decorative feature.

DISCLAIMER:

Please note, this method may go against the industry standards of installing an invisible zipper, but it works for me! – call me rebellious! lol Since this tutorial is meant to show you how I install an invisible zipper in a lined garment, I will start the tutorial at the step where the pattern calls for the zipper to be installed.

PATTERN USED:

The Tadah Tea Party Dress by Tadah Patterns. Instead of a dress, I did a top by just shortening the skirt. The Tadah Tea Party Dress pattern does not come with a zipper option, so this could be considered a zipper hack. The only edit I made was removing (folding up) 1/4 inch from the back bodice pattern piece at the closure seam. (pictured below).

backbodice

FABRIC USED:

Daisy Paisley Collection from Michael Miller Fabrics set to release in mid September 2017. I’ll be debuting this entire collection plus more on our LIVE Fabric Fri-yaaay broadcast tomorrow on Michael Miller’s Facebook page HERE. You won’t want to miss it because I’ll be giving away this entire collection during the LIVE broadcast! *wink wink*

ALRIGHT ENOUGH OF THE BABBLE, LET’S GET INTO WHAT YOU REALLY CAME HERE FOR!

 


STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL ON HOW TO INSTALL AN INVISIBLE ZIPPER INTO A LINED GARMENT.

 

 STEP 1: PREPARE YOUR INVISIBLE ZIPPER

  • If your Invisible Zipper is too long, and needs to be trimmed measure and cut your zipper to the appropriate length. Assuming you’ve trimmed your invisible zipper, you will need to create a new bottom stop by simply hand stitching around the zipper teeth.
  • Trim the top tape ends of the zipper. Since the top tape ends will be sandwiched between the main  fabric and lining of the bodice, its important that you trim as close to the zipper stop as possible but leave a little length for heat sealing.
  • Heat seal both ends of the zipper using a candle or lighter. DO NOT place ends directly into the flame, hovering slightly above the flame will do the trick.

TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala

  • If you don’t have an invisible zipper foot you will need to press the teeth of the zipper away from the tape. Doing this allows you to sew in the groove as close to the teeth as possible. Press zipper teeth open by running iron along the zipper tape as close to the teeth edge (without going over them) as possible. Do not press for long or this will cause the teeth to melt.

TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala

STEP 2: POSITION INVISIBLE ZIPPER FOR SEWING

Unzip zipper. With the back bodice facing you we will be working on the LEFT back bodice piece first. Hold on to the LEFT side of the zipper, turn it over so that the RIGHT SIDE of the LEFT piece of the zipper is facing the RIGHT SIDE of the LEFT back bodice. [So “pretty “side of zipper and “pretty” side of fabric together]. Shift the bodice LINING away and then push the top of the zipper tape end as far up close to the neck seam as possible, pin the tape end down, and then  match the zipper tape with the edge of the main fabric and pin that down. Be sure to only pin the invisible zipper and MAIN fabric together – DO NOT include the bodice LINING. Take garment to the machine.

TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala

STEP 3: SEW LEFT SIDE AND INVISIBLE ZIPPER DOWN

Install your machines’ zipper foot to sew zipper down. You don’t need an invisible zipper foot, a regular zipper foot works fine. Now because I’m terribly OCD this is a 3 part step for me. You can choose to simply sew down once or you can try my method below:

  • Shift bodice lining out of the way, you will only be sewing the main fabric and invisible zipper together.  Once you have your garment set appropriately, use the dials on your machine to position the needle to fall somewhere along the zipper tape. Change your dials to the longest stitch length and WITHOUT BACKSTITCHING sew all the way down until right before the zipper bottom stop. You’ve just basted your zipper to the main fabric. THIS IS A TEMPORARY STITCH AND WILL BE REMOVED, but basting the zipper down prevents the zipper from shifting and allows you to sew the real stitches down more neatly.

TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala

  • Place your garment under the needle again,  adjust your stitch to a smaller length, position your needle as close to the zipper teeth as possible and sew all the way down until right before the bottom stop. REMEMBER TO BACKSTITCH AT THE BEGINNING AND END. You’ve just create your true stitches.

TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala

  • Remove basting stitches. This is what it should look like:

TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala

in-blog-ad-sewing_portfolio

STEP 4: ATTACH LINING TO GARMENT

Now that you have sewn the main fabric and invisible zipper together, flip the lining over from the neckline and pin down – sandwiching the invisible zipper between the main fabric and lining. RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER. Then fold the end of the bodice lining a 1/4 inch up from the bottom and pin. This is important for a clean inside finish and you’ll see why later.

TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala

With the needle at the same position, sew down the lining.

TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala

Turn the bodice inside out and WALLAH! You’ve just installed the first half of your invisible zipper! *hi5*

TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala

STEP 5: SEW RIGHT SIDE AND INVISIBLE ZIPPER DOWN.

Now its time to install the right side of your zipper, this is a tricky step, so pay close attention! You will take the RIGHT side of your zipper, turn it over (NOTICE THE MAGNIFIED TWIST) and match the zipper tape with the edge of the main fabric.

TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala

The RIGHT SIDE of the RIGHT piece of the zipper is facing the RIGHT SIDE of the RIGHT back bodice. [So “pretty “side of zipper and “pretty” side of fabric together]. Shift the bodice LINING away and pin. Be sure to only pin the invisible zipper and MAIN fabric together – DO NOT include the bodice LINING. Take garment to the machine. and REPEAT STEPS 3 and 4.

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT! You’ve successfully installed both sides of your invisible zipper!! *Double Hi5*!!

TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala

in-blog-ad-sewing_portfolio

BONUS STEPS FOR FINISHING THE ENTIRE GARMENT:

FINISHING THE BACK SEAM: Now we need to finish the back seam, to do this, zip up your invisible zipper, pin the back skirt seam together and sew down. I use the zipper foot to do this as well because it allows me to start right behind the zipper giving me a nice clean seam without any bulk or pull.

TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala

ENCLOSING THE RAW EDGES WHERE THE BODICE AND SKIRT ARE ATTACHED: Remember in STEP 4 where I mentioned that the folding up of that 1/4 inch at the bottom of the lining was important? Well here’s why!  Continue folding the entire bodice up 1/4 inch all around, enclosing the raw edges of the bodice and skirt between the main bodice and lining. Press and then TOP STITCH the bodice to secure the lining. Topstitching should be done on the right side of the bodice.  Take your time here and go slow so that your insides are as pretty as your outsides! You can also choose to hand stitch the lining to the bodice here that way there would be no visible stitches on the right side of the bodice.

TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala

Once you’re done, take a moment to admire your hard work and appreciate just how easy that was! *wink wink* Totally not as scary as you thought it would be right? Haha! I do hope you found this tutorial helpful. And thank you so much for stopping by today! I’ll leave you with some action shots of #thespirtiedone! Don’t forgot to join us tomorrow over on Michael Miller Fabric’s Facebook to get a sneak peek of this collection plus another set to release in September, and who knows, you might even get to win the entire thing! haha! Talk to you soon! xoxo.

TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice AyalaTUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper in a Lined Garment by Candice Ayala

love-candice

4 Comments on TUTORIAL: How to Install an Invisible Zipper into a Lined Garment

  1. Luks
    October 31, 2017 at 7:37 am (2 months ago)

    I’m seeing step4 – the lining of the dress is still not sewn at the back sides? Are they already sewn on the shoulders, neck and underarm?

    Reply
    • Candice Ayala
      November 2, 2017 at 3:59 am (2 months ago)

      Hi Luks, As mentioned in my disclaimer I stated I’m starting the tutorial at the part where the Tea Party Dress pattern calls for a closure. At this point in the tutorial, both the main and lining at the neckline, and arm holes are already sewn together and pressed. The only “raw” edges are at the back closure and the bodice bottom. =)

      Reply
  2. Iris
    July 27, 2017 at 9:01 pm (5 months ago)

    Nice and clear tutorial! Thx

    Reply

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