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Inserting the Zipper in your Saucy Skirt - Step by step - The Creative Curator

Today is the day we start sewing up our Saucy Skirts… I’m really excited to see your results, so today is a big day for me!

DAY 8: Inserting The Zipper

If you haven’t already downloaded it, grab my 18 step sewing guide from the free resources library. (Pleas note: You do have to be a subscriber to access it!)

This guide will be super duper useful as a reminder of the order you need to sew your skirt!

Inserting the Zipper: Step by step

In the same way you constructed your toile, you will now make the skirt, starting with inserting the zipper:

  1. I use the iron to press in the required seam allowance first, on two of the panels. I added a 1cm seam allowance to my pattern, be sure to check how much you added to yours!
  2. Measure the length of your zipper from the first tooth to the bottom tooth – don’t include the zipper tape!
  3. Measure this length from the your planned stitch line of your waist seam down (this is minus the seam allowance!) and mark in a notch.
  4. Sew together the two pressed panels matching the notches, from the zip end point to the hem.
  5. Press the seam open so it lies nicely. Pressing is key to having a beautiful finish!
  6. Pop your chosen zipper on the worktable in front of you, with the zip still closed and the right side facing up towards you.
  7. Lay the two attached panels flat on your work space, with the wrong side of the fabric facing down, so that it is laying on top of the zipper.
  8. Line up your zipper so that it sits nicely in line with the pressed edges. You may notice the the seam allowance is wider than the zipper tape, or vice versa. This is ok.
  9. Using a needle and thread, hand tack the zipper tape to the seam allowance of the panels.
  10. Be careful not to go through the main fabric unless you are inserting a zip with visible top stitching, as the needle holes may show. Tacking and not pinning the zipper is important as it will hold the zip in place before you sew it in permanently with the machine – pins have a tendency to buckle the fabric and give a less accurate finish.
  11. Once the tacking is complete, pop the required zipper foot onto your sewing machine. If doing a regular centred zip, the general zipper foot will work, but for an invisible zipper you will need to use an invisible zipper foot for the best outcome!
  12. Open the zipper half way – this will allow some wiggle room for sewing.
  13. Sew through the zipper tape and seam allowance only, unless you plan to have that visible topstitching!
  14. Sew down one side to the notch you made earlier. You may have to pause, lift the machine foot while the needle is still down in the fabric, and carefully wiggle the zipper pully up towards the waistband to make the second half easier to sew.
  15. Backstitch, trim your thread, and now sew the second side as before.
  16. Your zip should be perfectly inserted. If it looks good, remove the tacking stitches.
  17. Give it a little press, but not too much steam as we don’t want the fabric to wrinkle.

Okiedokie… If that was your first time inserting a zipper, you will have found it a tad stressful I’m sure! So, we’ll leave it there for today. Pop your skirt to one side and take a deep breath. Tomorrow, we move onto the next stage! 🙂

RECOMMENDED READING: If you know very little about zippers, check out my Pesky Zippers post here which will offer a little more info on the types of zippers available! And in case you missed them, here are the links to Day 6 and  Day 7 of the Saucy Skirt Sewalong.

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