Is Your Invisible Zipper End Scratchy?

You know what I mean, right? The lower end of an invisible zipper can be scratchy and bothersome. Sometimes it can even poke its way into undergarments, if the length is right. (So annoying!)

What if you’ve shortened the zipper, and have a cut end that looks like you cut it yourself? (Which you did, but we don’t want it to look that way if we can help it.) What can we do?


cover the ends of your invisible zipper with fabric

Oops, I didn’t trim my threads before taking photos.. and didn’t seem to take any after trimming them. (The dreaded Hairy Garment!) Ah well. Imagine there aren’t any hairy loose threads distracting you from the main point of this photo – the fabric-covered invisible zipper end!

On my Hazel Dress, I shortened the invisible zipper, and thought I would cover the end so it’s pretty as well as comfortable.

It was quite dark when I did this, so my photos aren’t the greatest but I thought I’d mention how I did this, in case you wanted to try it on your next scratchy zipper end. (And also for my own records. Sometimes I forget what I did, it’s nice to read through my own posts as a reminder.) It adds a nice finishing touch and softens a stiff zipper, to make your garments more comfortable to wear!

How to cover a scratchy zipper end:

Cut a small rectangle from scrap fabric. I wish I’d measured mine before sewing it up now, but it was about the width of the zipper plus seam allowances, and four times the width of the zipper for the length measurement.

Press under the seam allowances on either side, so that the zipper cover (we’ll call it that from now on) is the same width as the zipper tape.

Press under the other ends too. Sew to the zipper, with the inside of the zipper facing you, as shown in the photo below. You’ll wrap the tab up and to the front, so it’s easy to sew from the right side.

sew one end of the zipper cover to the zipper

Next, wrap the folded end around to the front, and line up the folded edge with the line of stitching you just sewed.

wrap zipper cover around end of zipper

Stitch all around the zipper cover as shown, pivoting at the corners. When in doubt, stop short of each corner, as it’s easy to overshoot and sew off the edge. (Ask me how I know!)

sew all around the zipper cover

(And don’t forget to trim those stray threads.)

I hope this helps! I know these aren’t the greatest photos, but it’s challenging to photograph black fabric late at night. The point was to give you an idea of how to cover the ends of your zipper if you wanted to try it on your next project!

Have you ever done this with your zipper end? Any tips to add?

28 Responses to Is Your Invisible Zipper End Scratchy?

  1. Kacie March 7, 2013 at 6:35 am #

    Haha the hairy garment!! Awesome tip – I love how beautiful this looks. I’m still working on forcing myself to slow down and take the time to finish my garments correctly, so I’ll have to try this out on my next project. You always have such great tips/tricks – thanks for that!

  2. Diane @ Vintage Zest March 7, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    Great photos or not, awesome tip! It seems so obvious now that you’ve posted it, but I would have never thought of it. My last few garments haven’t needed any invisible zippers, but my next one does. Thanks!

  3. Stephanie March 7, 2013 at 6:58 am #

    Awesome, just what I needed as the only thing bothering me about my Alma Blouse was the scratchy zipper!

  4. Sam March 7, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    In answer to your title question – YES!

    Such a simple solution, but so effective – and pretty. I KNOW I’ll use this one!

  5. CGCouture March 7, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    I’m going to try this on the top of my zipper, because they always irritate the skin near my armpit on blouses that have side zips. It should work at both ends, and that will save me from making some sort of bias tape finish over the entire length of the zipper. Thanks for the idea! :-)

  6. Lauren M March 7, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    This is a huge “aha” moment! Such an elegant solution…thank you so much for sharing. I think this definitely fits with your post about making “handmade” clothes look less “homemade.” Nice polished finish!

  7. Angela March 7, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    Clever idea and nice work! Thank you!!

  8. Erin B March 7, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    This is something I’ve done for years. I worked through college and grad school at my in-laws’ upholstery shop and this is how we finished all zipper ends because we used 100yd coils of zippers and just cut the length we needed and added a slide so they had no stops on either end to keep the slides from falling off. It also adds strength to the zipper for things like cushions that will be stretched beyond their natural limits when being stuffed.

  9. Lessles March 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    Excellent idea, thanks Tasia.

  10. Juli March 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Love this! Wow, this is such a great tip – and it looks so neat and professional, which the sewing geek in me absolutely loves! I’m definitely going to try this on the next dress or skirt I make. Thanks! :-)

  11. Truly Myrtle March 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    Clever. Looks pretty too :)
    I’d not thought of doing this, but it’s the little finishing touches that can make something really special isn’t it! Definitely will give it a go… soon :)

  12. Bec March 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    Great idea, and it looks pretty:)

  13. Sarah March 7, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    Great idea – such a simple thing to do but adds an extra level of finish – perfect! Will def try that next time.

  14. Sandra March 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    What a great tip. This gives a nice couture finish.


  15. Julianne March 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    Very clever idea! One could also use a piece of ribbon and save the hemming (because sometimes we are all that lazy!)

  16. nikole March 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    I was taught never cut the bottom of a zipper, always cut off the top

  17. Kelly March 7, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    This looks great! I really like the idea of using this finish at the top of a zipper too. It looks very professional!

  18. Karen Carr March 7, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    This is a great tip – I will definitely use it as quite often the bottom of my invisible zippers catch in my tights and make a hole! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Carol March 8, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    You might try sewing 1/4 in. satin ribbon on each long end of zipper first, then apply ribbon to end leaving about 1/4 inch to turn under on each side. This from “High Fashion Sewing Secrets from the World’s Best Designers” by Claire B. Schaeffer (Rodale, 1997)Or apply self fabric strips– sewing to front of zipper (right sides of fabric and zipper together), then wrap around to back and stitch in the ditch from the front side. If you have a facing or underlining you can catch stitch the covered zipper edges to hold the zip in place.

  20. Velosewer March 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Now that makes perfect sense.

  21. Petra March 9, 2013 at 2:10 am #

    Oh WOW! So simple – you’re a genius! I’ve been known to raid the first aid kit at parties for a band-aid to stick over the scratchy bit that ripped tights and skin. Thank you for this!

  22. Mie @ Sewing Like Mad March 9, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    I am totally new to your blog but will check it out after I left this message. But I know I will follow you on Blogloving because I love finding sewing blog where people can actually sew – it is not always the case I think ;-)
    That is a great, beautiful and pro way to finish off a invisible zipper.
    If you are in a hurry you can also – VERY CAREFULLY – use a lighter and melt the end so it is not sticky anymore. It is literally a matter of mili seconds…don’t hold the zipper end into the flame just swing it quickly through the flame a couple of times.
    This tip also works with ends of different types of ribbon.

  23. grenouille March 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    Simple yet brilliant! I’m glad you shared.

  24. Sue March 18, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    hahaha…!!! i wasn’t alone.
    Thanks sooooo much for great tip.i am going to repair my all zippers now.


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