Skip to Main Content
Free Standard Shipping for orders over $60. View
  1. How-To
  2. Basics
  3. Invisible Zipper Tutorial from Gertie

Invisible Zipper Tutorial from Gertie

sewing

Invisible zippers are a very popular choice for garment closures. They disappear into a seam, making them virtually undectable—when inserted properly. They work best on light- to medium-weight fabrics.

An invisible zipper is different than a standard zipper in a couple ways. First, the teeth of the zipper are on the backside of the zipper tape, rather than the front. There’s a little ditch between the teeth and the tape; that’s where you’ll stitch the zipper in place. Secondly, the zipper pull is usually a teardrop shape. It’s important to match the color of the zipper pull to your fashion fabric, because the pull is the one thing that shows in an invisible zipper application. (Tip: I’ve heard of people painting their pulls with nail polish to get the perfect shade!)

Invisible Zipper Tutorial

It’s a good idea to baste your invisible zipper in place by hand before stitching it on the machine—I’ve noticed that this little step makes invisible zippers so much easier for first-timers! (Once you gain confidence, you can try skipping this step and simply pin each side before sewing.)

Yarnspirations Tip icon

Tips

I’ve heard of people painting their pulls with nail polish to get the perfect shade!

It’s a good idea to baste your invisible zipper in place by hand before stitching it on the machine—I’ve noticed that this little step makes invisible zippers so much easier for first-timers! (Once you gain confidence, you can try skipping this step and simply pin each side before sewing.)

Step 1

Construct your garment up to the point of inserting the zipper, but leave the zipper seam completely unsewn.

Step 2

On the zipper seam, press in your seam allowances 5/8”.

Invisible Zipper Tutorial

Step 3

Unzip your zipper. Open out the teeth of the zipper and finger press to get them to lay flatter, rather than curled in on themselves. As you’re pressing, take a look at the zipper teeth and tape. See that little ditch just next to the zipper teeth? That’s where you’ll be stitching later on in the process.

Invisible Zipper Tutorial

Step 4

Start with the left side (as you’re looking at it) of the zipper opening. Open out the seam allowance place the left side of the teeth face down on the crease of the seam allowance. Pin the zipper, and then baste into place, placing your basting stitches down the middle of the zipper tape.

Invisible Zipper Tutorial

Step 5

Repeat step 4 with the right side of the zipper tape. After pinning the tape in place, test closing your zipper to make sure your zipper tape isn’t twisted. Hand baste zipper in place.

Yarnspirations Tip icon

Tips

If your garment has a waistline seam, you’ll need to make sure that the waistline seam matches up on each side of the zipper. To do this, pin the zipper tape in place a couple inches above and below the waistline seam first. Close the zipper to test that both sides of the waistline seam match up. Test again after basting the zipper in place. If the waistline seam doesn’t match up, take out your pins or basting and try again until it does.

Step 6

Install the invisible zipper foot on your sewing machine. Here is a tutorial to help you do this: How to install the invisible zipper foot.

Invisible Zipper Tutorial

Place the left side of the zipper tape underneath the presser foot. See the little tunnels in the middle of your zipper foot? The tunnels hold the teeth down and out of the way of the needle. You’ll also want to make sure that the center foot is aligned with your needle.

Invisible Zipper Tutorial

Start stitching. You may need to keep finger-pressing the teeth open as you stitch down the zipper tape. It’s crucial that you stitch exactly in that ditch. If you stitch too close to the teeth (or worse, on top of them), the zipper will get stuck as you try to close it. If you stitch too far away, your zipper tape will show when the zipper is closed, and it won’t be an invisible zipper any more! If you accidentally stitch on top of the teeth, stop, remove the stitches, and try again. If you stitch too far away, you can try again without having to remove your stitches. When you get as far as you can go (the zipper pull will eventually stop you), backstitch and stop.

Invisible Zipper Tutorial

Step 7

Repeat step 7 with the right side of the zipper tape.

Invisible Zipper Tutorial

Step 8

Test your zipper application by opening and closing the zipper. Look good?

Invisible Zipper Tutorial

Step 9

Next we need to finish the seam. Close the zipper.

Invisible Zipper Tutorial

Step 10

Install a regular zipper foot on your machine (this will allow you to get close to the zipper without the presser foot getting in the way).

Invisible Zipper Tutorial

Step 11

Pull the bottom of the zipper tape out of the way. Stitch the seam closed, overlapping your stitches with the line of zipper stitching. The two lines won’t meet, but will be parallel to each other, about 1/8” away. This may seem weird, but it prevents a little bubble from forming at the base of the zipper. Finish the seam as usual and press open.

Invisible Zipper Tutorial

Step 12

Remove your basting. And you’re done!

Invisible Zipper Tutorial
Categories