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I have a love affair with hidden zippers. I never knew it, but apparently I do. They are nearly all I use. And honestly, they are easy.
It wasn’t until recently that a friend grabbed this costume I made and asked with disbelief, “how did you get this zipper on?”
“Um…with the machine?” I wasn’t sure what the fuss was all about. Apparently it’s not easy? I had no idea.
If you’re in the “It’s a hard skill” boat, then pin this for future use. I’m going to make it super easy for you.
You will need:
- Invisible zipper
- Zipper foot
- Sewing machine
First of all, don’t sew the two pieces you want to zip-up together–not even at the bottom. You’ll do that later. Right now you want both pieces separate.
- Heat your iron up to a low setting. You can always turn it up if you need to (though I doubt you will). You don’t want to burn this baby.
- Unzip your zipper. Locate the wrong side of the zipper (the inside), and iron the teeth flat. Iron these flat all the way down, making sure not to have any wrinkles.
- Place the right side of your garment edge against the right side of the zipper. Pin it in place using the top of where you want your zipper to be as your guide.
- Place your zipper foot on the correct side of your machine. (See picture.) You’re going to want to start at the top and sew all the way down past where you want your zipper to end/start (the bottom of it). Keep your foot up against the flat side of the coils as you sew. This is key.
- Keeping your zipper open, now line the other side of the garment up with the first one. The right sides should be together. At the top of your garment, tab/fold back where your zipper will begin and line this edge with the right side of the free edge of garment–right side to right side. (Just like you did on the first piece.) Pin together.
- Move the zipper foot to the other side of your machine. Sew just as you did the first piece. Keep up against the plastic edge of the zipper. (Click the image to enlarge.)
- Once both sides are sewn on, zip up your zipper and place your regular foot back on your machine. Finish sewing this piece together–i.e. sew the pieces together just below the zipper.
- After this edge has been sewn together, open your newly sewn piece and locate the bottom of where you want your zipper to start. Mark with a pin. Turn this piece so the zipper is perpendicular to the machine, and carefully using your hand to turn the dial on your machine (not your pedal), sew across the zipper. Your zipper will not open past this point anymore. Try not to go past your original seam, so that this doesn’t show in your final project.
- Proceed with the rest of your project as you normally would.
That’s really all there is to it! I use invisible zippers for pretty much all my zippers. The most important factors to success here, are that you have a zipper foot and you use an iron.
I always make sure when I’m washing garments with zippers that they are zipped before washing.
A Note About The Fox Pattern
- This particular project I made from this adorable fox costume pattern . I love it because it has complete pattern pieces for a fox, hedgehog, owl, and raccoon. It has size 1/2 through 4. I was pleasantly surprised after I opened it and started taking it apart that I could make different costumes out of each size. I made a fox of one size and an owl of another. Anytime that the same pattern can be used different ways for multiple sizes, this mommy is happy.
- The sizing of these patterns appears to be dead-on. If your child is a kinda-big size 4, then it won’t fit. If you’re talented, you can cut the pieces bigger.
- I would rate this as a beginning-intermediate pattern. If you understand hoodies, you’ll do fine.
- You will need stuffing for the hood as well as the tail. I did not buy anything extra for either. This is leftover white fleece from when I make feminine pads. All the leftover white pieces were stuffed into the hood and tail.
- These brown pieces were all taken from leftover felt from a peacock costume.
- The small leftover orange pieces were used to make the wings on the feminine pads. In true homesteader fashion, nearly nothing was wasted.
There are many sewing techniques you can learn to use only once. Placing an invisible zipper is a technique that you will use over and over once you understand it.