Author Topic: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?  (Read 16294 times)

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Offline bookish

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I love invisible zippers and use them alot (thanks to Sandra Betzina's 'recipe' in Power Sewing).  I can see why you need the seam open where you're putting the zipper in, but why the whole seam?  And does anyone um, cheat and sew up or baste the lower seam and then do the zipper?  Just wondering.
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Offline Surfer

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2006, 01:32:36 PM »
I do not know if I am cheating because I do not follow Sandra Betzina’s recipe.  I tried both ways with seam closed and open and I do prefer to sew the invisible zipper after I close the seam. But you need a longer zipper than necessary for the zipper opening.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2006, 10:46:28 PM by Surfer »

Offline Tatiana

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2006, 01:53:19 PM »
They do not have to.
Few years ago there was an article in the Australian Stitches writtern by Elna's technologist how to insert invisible zipper, and the first step was to stitch the seam up to the zipper mark. And this way it works very nicely. I personally never was able to make a decent seam at the end of the invisible zipper if I put the zipper in first and then stitch the rest of the seam.

Offline AnnRowley

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2006, 03:03:48 PM »
I also stitch the seam before inserting the zip. I find it easier to be accurate this way especially if I have to match checks or a pattern.
But you do still need the zip to be longer than the opening - I usually reckon at least 2".

You can trim the excess and bind the edge to give a really neat finish - like this and the previous photo.

Offline bookish

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2006, 01:14:01 PM »

Many thanks.  It's always good to know several ways of doing something.  Ann, if I can ever even baste as beautifully as you do, I will be a happy woman!
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Offline EricaB

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2006, 07:11:19 PM »
I have always inserted my invisible zippers after the seam.

Offline NancyK

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2006, 08:38:38 PM »
Ann, You cut off the excess and bind the bottom after you sew it in?   Where do you set the top of the zipper in relation to the seam.  ie, waist seam line for a facing.

Offline NancyK

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2006, 08:48:01 PM »
Ann I just went and viewed some of your beautiful clothes.  Wow!   I love your tutorial on the light weght check jacket.  Something to aspire to.

Offline deb

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2006, 11:25:51 PM »
I took a beginning skirt sewing class with Connie Long at G street Fabrics, and she taught us to sew the seam first, then apply the invisible zipper.  Works like a charm!

Offline Martha

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2006, 12:35:14 AM »
I would love the freedom of eliminating that dreaded step of finishing off the seam; after sewing the two sides of the zipper with the invisible zipper attachment.

Would one of you kind Invisible Zipper Goddesses please share your technique??

Offline AnnRowley

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2006, 11:30:33 AM »
Ann, You cut off the excess and bind the bottom after you sew it in?   Where do you set the top of the zipper in relation to the seam.  ie, waist seam line for a facing.

Nancy, thank you for your kind comments.

Yes, I cut off the lower end of the zip after I've stitched it in. I usually leave a bit less than an inch. I machine one side of the binding in place before trimming the zip, and then fold the binding  to cover the cut end and stitch again. Neat enough is OK, no one's going to see it!

There are two options for the top of the zip.

Either - the top can be just a fraction below the top edge so that when fastened the zip pull is right at the edge. I would usually do this at the neckline and sometimes at the waistline.

Or - the top can be about 1/4" below the edge so that a hook and eye can be sewn on for added strength. This isn't quite so invisible but it means that the hook can be fastened before closing the zip; putting less strain on the zip, and making getting dressed a bit easier!

Offline Betty F

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2006, 12:55:08 PM »
I've returned to sewing after a long absence, and invisible zippers are foreign to me.  I have only installed one, and it turned out fine However, I agree with Martha, that it would be very nice to know how to do it without that dastardly bit at the end where the seam has to be finished.

I'd love to see some instructions for doing it with the seam closed first.

Betty

Offline NancyK

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2006, 01:48:35 PM »
 :)  Ann thankyou so much for your explanation.  I am making a pair of pants with a cb invisible zipper and your advice is timely.

Offline AnnRowley

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2006, 06:52:29 PM »
I've returned to sewing after a long absence, and invisible zippers are foreign to me.  I have only installed one, and it turned out fine However, I agree with Martha, that it would be very nice to know how to do it without that dastardly bit at the end where the seam has to be finished.

I'd love to see some instructions for doing it with the seam closed first.

Betty

Betty and Martha, just at the moment my sewing room is out of action - for how long I'm not sure - but I have made a note to myself that some instructions on how I do this may be useful.
I need photos to explain myself; I hope you understand, but I'll see what I can put together in due course.

I have to say here that the awkward bit at the end of the zip remains awkward in spite of my very best efforts!

fiberfanatic

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2006, 10:38:44 PM »
Hello all,

I have been lurking here since the beginning.  You are an inspiration! 

I've always inserted the invisible zips before sewing the seam and have learned not to have the dreaded bump at the end, but I still am unsure about what to do at the top.  Lately I go back and forth between leaving space for a hook and eye or not leaving space on skirts and dresses.  I'm not quite satisfied with the look at the top.  What do you all do?

Jeanette (who is boiling today with no a/c on the coast of CA) I have to go get in the car to get cool!

Offline Liana

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2006, 11:03:26 PM »
For a side zip on pants, I like to have the zipper right to the top, then put a small hook and eye on the inside, just to take the strain off the zipper, and to make it easier to zip up.  This is when I do a "Hollywood waistband".

Offline Surfer

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2006, 12:43:00 AM »
I do too use a small hook and eye to take of the strain from the invisible zipper, but sometimes I prefer to use a button and loop. see here
Els

Offline Liana

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2006, 01:15:31 AM »
That's so pretty, Els!  :)  I will have to try a button and loop next time.  Other than that, it looks just about like my hook and eye for placement, except I usually put it almost right at the top.

Offline AnnRowley

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2006, 10:21:16 AM »
For a side zip on pants, I like to have the zipper right to the top, then put a small hook and eye on the inside, just to take the strain off the zipper, and to make it easier to zip up.  This is when I do a "Hollywood waistband".

Liana, would you explain what a "Hollywood" waistband is, please?

Els, I too like your button and loop - great idea!

Offline Liana

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2006, 05:12:50 PM »
It's an elastic waistband technique that uses the elastic mainly as a stabilizer.  You make your pants as usual, with darts, closure, etc. while adding the width of the elastic above the point where you want the top of the pants to hit.  I put on the pants, put the elastic around them to hold them in place and mark all the relevant points, then stitch the edge of the elastic (matching the match points) to the top edge of the pants.  Fold the elastic and pants once to the inside and stitch in the ditch through the seams, and possibly the darts if necessary.  That holds it in place, and because of the darts and other shaping, it doesn't read as an elastic waist.  I like the top of the pants to sit just below or at my waist, and this works well.

Here's an explanation from Pam Erny, with photos of how it works.  She calls it the Comfy Waistband, and it truly is!

Offline Surfer

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2006, 06:07:56 PM »
I posted a small tutorial about sewing an invisible zipper with the underneath seam closed first.
You can see it at The Sewing Divas
Els


eta:  New link for tutorial...The Sewing Divas moved their blog.--Lisa (Admin/Mod team)
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 03:43:13 AM by Lisa »

Offline AnnRowley

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2006, 07:20:59 PM »
Thank you Liana and Els.

Liana, I must admit to a personal problem with elastic waistbands - the last resort of the elderly :) ! - but your method may perhaps encourage me to have-a-go. I now remember seeing it on something of yours - and you're not remotely elderly!!!

Els, great tutorial. Did you know that Pfaff now have an excellent snap-on invisible zip foot?  Using it finally persuaded me that I could get good results.  You don't have to change the needle position at all.
I've just visited the Pfaff website to try and link you to the details but can't find what I want - I'll post later if I can find any more info.

Offline Martha

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2006, 09:13:01 PM »
Thanks for all this great info! 

I wanted to add that quite some time ago, I woman I met online who used to work in the industrial end of sewing advised me to use my thumbnail to open up the zipper, in lieu of using the iron. 

I run my thumbnail over the zipper a few times, and it comes out fine, less the extra trip to the ironing board, and risk of melting the zipper as well.

Offline bookish

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2006, 10:13:30 PM »
This is wonderful!  Many thanks, Els, for the neat tutorial.  Pictures are really worth thousands of words.  I have a Bernina and use the buttonhole foot with its little ridges for invisible zippers and that works well.  I don't know if Pfaff's have a similar foot but it's worth a try.
Thanks again.
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Offline fzxdoc

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2006, 01:44:17 PM »
Els, what a great tutorial, including the wonderful photos.  Thanks so much for the information!

Kathryn

Offline LindaF

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2006, 01:53:12 PM »
Els,
Thank you for tutorial.  I am going to look this up the next time I insert an invisible zipper.
I prefer invisible zippers over lapped zippers.  And now with your tutorial it will be even easier to insert.
Linda
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Offline Surfer

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2006, 01:55:47 PM »
Thanks ladies and you're welcome.
Ann, I know that Pfaff made an invisible zipper foot, but I get a fine result by using the usual zipper foot.
Lorma I do set the needle to the outmost left, on my Pfaff which is 6 steps from the center.

Offline Jodi B.

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2006, 05:41:10 PM »
Els, I tried this yesterday and it worked fabulously!  It's the neatest and most stress free invisible zipper application I've done yet.  I can't wait to put in more of them!

Jodi

Offline Surfer

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2006, 06:13:52 PM »
Jodi, I am happy to know that it worked for you, enjoy all the future zipper sewing in your projects .

Offline NancyK

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2006, 02:46:19 PM »
After reading Ann Rowleys description of putting in an invisible zipper  in a sewn seam and her beautiful finish of the cut end I have put in at least 3 that look fabulous with less stress and they didn't have to be ripped out before I got them right.  Thanks to all the people who posted on this topic.  I have been sewing a long time, but since becoming a member of this and other sewing discussion groups my sewing has not only gotten better, but I have gotten a whole lot more sewing done.

Kirsten

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2007, 06:31:03 AM »
I posted a small tutorial about sewing an invisible zipper with the underneath seam closed first.
You can see it at The Sewing Divas
Els

I am coming about a year later, sorry.

Are the instructions for sewing in a invisible zipper, sewing the seam first, still available somewhere? It is exactly the info I need. Must have moved somewhere, or someone has got it. Please share it with me. I will put my skirt on hold for now.

Kirsten

Offline Surfer

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2007, 08:00:45 AM »
Kirsten, yes you can still read the tutorial I wrote on The Sewing Divas blog click here

Good luck.

Kirsten

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2007, 01:57:50 PM »
Kirsten, yes you can still read the tutorial I wrote on The Sewing Divas blog click here

Good luck.

Thank you so much for your tutorial !!!!! ;D

My zipper is in, and its looks PERFECT. I have sewn invisible zippers before and I love them, only the seam was never neat.

Kirsten

Offline artsyfartsystitchwitch

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2009, 11:59:56 PM »
I think inserting with the seam sewn is the answer!!! I've always sewn the seam by machine until about 1.5" below the zipper stop, then hand sewing the rest of the opening!!!  I've gotten VERY good at hand-sewing that little opening invisibly!!!  I wll definitely try sewing the seam first on teh next skirt I run up!!!  i don't mind the hand sewing, but I think having the seam already sewn would be a better way & would eliminate a little time without compromising the results. 

Abbie

Offline Surfer

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Re: Invisible zippers-why do they have to be inserted before you sew the seam?
« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2009, 12:09:38 AM »
Quote
Thank you so much for your tutorial !!!!! ;D

My zipper is in, and its looks PERFECT. I have sewn invisible zippers before and I love them, only the seam was never neat.

Kirsten

You're welcome.

 

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