Today I’ll show you how to sew in the zipper. We’ll take the facing-zipper unit we constructed yesterday, and sew it into the skirt. This post has a ton of photos, which will help you follow along at home. Nothing we’re going to do is particularly hard or challenging, it’s just different from how you normally put a zipper in.
Catching up on the Sew-Along posts? Here they are!
- Crescent Sew-Along #1: Q&A and Schedule
- Crescent Sew-Along #2: Choosing Your Fabric
- Crescent Sew-Along #3: My Fabric Choice
- Crescent Sew-Along #4: Ready, Set, Prepare!
- Crescent Sew-Along #5: Supply List & Let’s Get Started!
- Crescent Sew-Along #6: Making the Muslin, Part 1
- Crescent Sew-Along #7: Muslin Part 2 and Gathering Tips
- Crescent Sew-Along #8: Grading It Up
- Crescent Sew-Along #9: Fitting the Muslin
- Crescent Sew-Along #10: A Pre-Sewing Checklist
- Crescent Sew-Along #11: Fusible Interfacing Tips
- Crescent Sew-Along #12: Sewing Slash Pockets
- Crescent Sew-Along #13: How to Reinforce Centre Front
- Crescent Sew-Along #14: Gathering!
- Crescent Sew-Along #15: Sewing French Seams
- Crescent Sew-Along #16: Sewing the Waistband and Waistband Facing
- Crescent Sew-Along #17: Waistband Trim Ideas
- Crescent Sew-Along #18: Attaching the Waistband
- Crescent Sew-Along #19: Adding a Lining
- Crescent Sew-Along #20: Sewing the Zipper to the Facing
Back to the zipper installation! Let’s get started. If you finished the steps in yesterday’s post, you should have something like this on your work table:
We’ll turn our facings inside-out like in the photo, with the interfacing side facing us, and the zipper tab facing us too. Turn the skirt so it’s right-side up, just like the photo.
What we’ll do next is sew the zipper to the skirt. It just so happens there’s a facing attached, too! So we’ll sew one line of stitching that connects the whole thing along the zipper opening.
We’ll pin the facing to the centre back opening. The great part is the stitch line that holds the zipper to the facing is going to be a guideline for sewing our next seam. See – easy!
If you’ve finished your edges, and removed any of the seam allowance, there’s a little trick to follow. On mine, I’ve removed about 1/4″ by turning and stitching my centre back seam allowance. So I’m going to align my facing with the imaginary raw edge that would be there, if I hadn’t trimmed it off!
This is hard to put into words, so take a look at the photo above. If that turned-and-stitch edge was unfolded, it would line up with the skirt waistband perfectly, right?
Now, we’ll sew along the original stitch line. Poke your needle through the original stitch line, and sew exactly on top of it.
Once the facing ends, sew all the way to the end of the zipper in a straight line. (If you have lining, yours will look a little different, as you’re attaching lining to the zipper too. )
After one side is sewn, sew the other side too. Wrap the facing around the skirt like so, making sure it’s not twisted, and sew the facing-zipper unit to the other side of centre back.
Pin and stitch this seam in the same way.
Still with me? Now, we’ll sew the top edge of our skirts. This is going to create nice corners at the top of our zipper!
This part is confusing, so watch closely. Fold back the skirt facing at the notch, wrapping the zipper tape seam allowances towards the back.
Here’s what it looks like from the front:
And here’s what it looks like from the back:
There’s about a quarter inch of extra waistband folded towards the back in this photo. If this is confusing, keep reading until the end so you can see what happens next. At the end of this post, you’ll be a master of this new technique!
Pin all around the waistline, matching sideseams, getting ready to sew the top edge. Repeat the folded-back waistband at the other side of the zipper.
Sew the top edge of the waistband, taking a 5/8″ (1.5cm) seam allowance.
When it’s all done, it will look somewhat like this:
We’re almost ready to see it all come together!
Before we trim the extra seam allowance, let’s check to make sure our zipper tops line up. (If not, we’ll go back in and sew down the one that’s too high, and check again…)
Turn the waistband right-side out, tucking the extra seam allowance into the corner as best you can. Can you see how it’s going to work now?
Zip up the zipper and check if the ends line up:
I think they do! They’re a smidge off, but not enough to re-do the zipper. Yay!
Trim the corners diagonally to reduce bulk.
Before trimming the waistline seam, there’s one last step. Let’s sew more twill tape along the waistline seam so it doesn’t stretch out. If you skip this step, your skirt will look fine, but it may stretch and loosen around the waist as you wear it.
Just like we did on the pockets, sew the twill tape to the waistline, stitching down the middle of the tape:
Trim along the edge of the twill tape, and turn waistband right-side out.
That’s it for today! Tomorrow we’ll understitch the facing, topstitch around the zipper, and secure the facing to the skirt. If this is confusing, leave a comment below! Trust me, it will start to become clearer as you follow along with a skirt in your hand.
Have an awesome Saturday, everyone!