How to Sew an Invisible Zipper in 10 Simple Steps

When it comes to sewing zippers, believe it or not, the invisible zipper is one of the easiest to insert. How is that possible, you ask? Sewing an invisible zipper is the one zipper application where no machine stitching is visible from the right side of the garment or project. All of the stitching is done behind the scenes, if you will, totally concealed within the seam allowances. It’s the primary reason for using this type of zipper in your sewing, but it is also what makes it the easiest to insert.

Inserting zippers can be intimating, but it doesn’t have to be. For expert, step-by-step instruction on inserting perfect slot seam, lapped, and yes, invisible zippers every time, sign up for the FREE Craftsy class Mastering Zipper Techniques with Sunni Standing.

An Invisible Zipper - Tutorial on Craftsy

An invisible zipper can be applied using a regular zipper foot with relative ease, but by all means invest in a presser foot designed for such applications. They make the application super fast and so much easier, making it well worth the investment.

Zipper Feet

Invisible zipper presser feet are often also referred to as concealed zipper feet. They can cost as little as $5 or as much as $35 depending on your sewing machine brand and model. Once you master the technique for applying this type of zipper, you will be less inclined to ever insert a traditional zipper again.

Most sewers are intimidated by the thought of applying this type of zipper, but the technique is rather straightforward and simple. As is the case with all zipper applications, the key to a successful insertion is the prep work done before any machine stitching begins.

Wondering how to sew an invisible zipper? Follow these steps to insert this type of zipper using an invisible, or concealed, zipper foot.

Step 1:

First and foremost, when applying this type of zipper it is best to do them when joining pieces are still in a flat state, or in other words, before corresponding pieces are assembled or joined together.

It is also important to note that when applying an invisible type zipper, the application is done from the right side of the project — contrary to all other types of zipper applications.

Measuring the Seam for the Zipper Foot

Step 2:

Prepare the seam edges. Finish or serge the joining seam edges before applying the zipper. Place the joining seam edges side by side, right side up. In the case of a dress or skirt application, do not sew in the back seam.

Then, place a mark ¾ inches from the top edges of both pieces using either a straight pin, chalk or fabric marking pen — anything that will not leave a permanent mark on the project. This indicates the placement of the zipper and ensures that both sides of the joined pieces align perfectly.

Step 3:

Next, mark a ⅝ inch seam line along the corresponding seam edges, again, with either straight pins, chalk or fabric pen.

Pressing the Zipper

Step 4:

Prepare the zipper. Open up the zipper and press out the curled zipper teeth so they lay slightly flat.

Pinning the Zipper into the Garment

Step 5:

With the zipper opened up and right side down (it makes no difference which side is sewn first), lay the zipper teeth along the marked ⅝ inch seam line and pin securely in place. Pinning in place should be sufficient if the fabric is stable. If the fabric is slippery or thick and more likely to shift during stitching, hand baste the zipper in place to keep it securely in place throughout the application process. Once the hand basting is complete, the pins can be removed.

Stitching the Invisible Zipper

Step 6:

To stitch the zipper in place, position the zipper teeth under the proper groove in the presser foot and stitch until the presser foot reaches the zipper stop.  Backstitch to lock and remove.

Stitched to the Zipper Stop - Invisible Zippers on Craftsy

Step 7:

With the joining pieces laying side by side, flip the piece with the zipper sewn in place. This puts the corresponding side of the zipper in position for placement.

Step 8:

Repeat Steps 5 and 6.

Inserting an Invisible Zipper

Step 9:

The last step is to sew the seam below the zipper using a regular zipper foot. Place the foot as close to the zipper stitching as possible making sure to move the zipper tail out of the way.

Step 10:

Complete the seam.

You might also enjoy our post on how to sew an exposed handbag pocket zipper.

To learn more about the basic sewing skills to make sure to have under your belt, definitely take a look at 40 Techniques that Every Sewer Should Know.

15 Comments

Gillian Marquis

These instructions and photographs are very clear and were a great help to me. Thanks.

Reply
Milia

Showing steps are very clear to follow but my problem my marchine is an old manual called singer, this is not an electric marchine and i haven’t got a regular zipper foot since i bought this machine. Please i need your help how will i get this and where will it from

Reply
Katherine

She’s using a special invisible zipper foot. Your local sewing machine repair shop can help you get the right one. It depends on the length of your machine’s shank.

Reply
Susan Wells

Thank you so much, I haven’t got a printer so I cannot print this off but I will be back to follow your instructions. So nice to find this site. recently attended sewing classes which I loved but they were expensive and far away ( a long journey) I was forced to leave before I learnt to put this type of zipper in but the money I saved bought my machine and I am a new person now I can sew, sew, sew. THANKYOU.

Reply
Terry

These instructions were so clear and easy to follow, I was allways afraid of installing this type of zipper and it turn out perfect! Thank you!

Reply
Beverly

Eureka! Just ordered an invisible presser foot for my machine. With your instructions and the right tools, I’m confident that my zippers will look professionally sewn! Thank you!

Reply
Katherine

The instructions mention making a mark at 3/4″, but don’t say further down how this mark is to be used.

Reply
Linda Reynolds

You are right. I did not make clear that the plastic zipper top at the top of the zipper should line up to the 3/4″ mark. When both sides of the zipper are lined up to this spot it ensures the top edge of the garment will line up perfectly horizontally.

Reply
Alannah

I am sewing a dress which has a long zip (22″ or 55 cm) going through the bodice and into the skirt. Both skirt and bodice is sewn, I just need to put the zip in. How would I finish the bottom of the zip in this instance?
Thanks,
Alannah

Reply
Linda Reynolds

You don’t need to finish the bottom of the zipper. The zipper is best put in before the back seam is sewn. Once the zipper is stitched to each side, then sew up the back seam. This essentially finishes the bottom. Hope this helps.

Reply
maryking

Wow! wow!! wow…..!!! Your instructions ar just so perfect. Tanx for making it lots more easier. I’ll sure put them to practice.

Reply
Linda Reynolds

This is my favorite zipper to install and the fastest. thanks

Reply
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Reply
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