The key to perfecting invisible zip insertion is to use an invisible zip foot – this really is essential. Once you have that, the invisible zip insertion method is probably the easiest of all zip insertions.
The invisible zip foot
An invisible or concealed zip foot has grooves underneath it, through which the teeth of the zip slide so that the needle stitches extremely close to the teeth if not under them! This closeness is essential for a perfectly stitched invisible zip. The zip has the teeth on the underside of the zip, so that from the right side all that is seen is the zip pull. Plus the zip tape is sewn to the seam allowance only – hence no stitching on the right side of the garment.
HANDY HINT: Buy a zip at least 2.5 cm (1”) longer than required as you cannot stitch right to the bottom invisibly, so will effectively lose the last inch of the zip’s opening.
To insert invisible zip
1. Fold seam allowances to wrong side along seam line and press to form crease at fold. Do NOT stitch any of seam into which zip is being placed.
2. Open out seam allowance and with fabric RIGHT side up, place opened zip, face down on the seam allowance, with teeth along the crease. Pin in place.
3. With INVISIBLE zip foot stitch from top, with zip teeth in groove under the foot. As you stitch, gently uncurl zip teeth so that stitching is actually under the teeth which will curl back after being stitched. Go as far to bottom as possible. Back stitch a little to secure.
HANDY HINT: If preferred anchor zip tape in place first by stitching tape to seam allowance only, down middle of tape, using a REGULAR zip foot.
4. Repeat for other side of zip, stitching it to other seam allowance, again from top to bottom with teeth in line with crease of seam line.
5. Change foot back to REGULAR zip foot. Pin remainder of seam together and then start stitching from base of zip stitching to end of seam. Back stitch a little at start to strengthen stitching at base of zip.
This article has been written by Wendy Gardiner
Illustrations by Jane Bennett, tel: 023 92 412687