3 Clever Zip Sewing Hacks

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I know that the thought of sewing a zip strikes fear into the hearts of many seamstresses, but there is no reason to be afraid. Zips are actually quite easy to sew once you know a few simple tricks.

My biggest tip for sewing with zips is to forget that they are zips. Sounds silly doesn’t it? It’s really not. I think that many people are confused because they open and close and they try to work out how to make the zip open and close as they stitch them. In reality you don’t need to worry about how the zip opens and closes when you’re sewing with it. All you need to do is just sew with the zip the same way you’d sew with any other type of trim.  Just figure out where it goes and use the correct sewing machine foot.

After you’ve mastered the art of the zip, try a few of these zip hacks to make stitching with your next zip even easier.
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ONE: Use a Zig Zag Stitch

Many people think that the only way to stitch in a zip is with a seam down each side of the seam that contains the zip. A friend taught me a fun trick a few years ago.  First stitch the seam that the zip will sit it. Make the seam allowance the same size as 1/2 of the zip width. Then place the right side of the zip on the wrong side of the seam with the raw edges of the fabric even with the edge of the zip.  Then simply zig zag in place.  Your zip is in the perfect spot.

All you need to do to finish the zip is stitch around the perimeter of the zip on the right side of the fabric and unpick the basting stitches.
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Two: Cut the Top

Did you know that you can CUT a polyester zip?  I figured this out a few years ago and have never thought of zips the same way since. Just use a good quality pair of sewing scissors to make sure you get a clean cut. If you’re inserting a zip into something with a facing (like a skirt or pair of trousers), don’t worry about lining up the zip perfectly with the top of the seam.  Those frustrating zip pulls always get in the way when you use that method. Instead buy a longer zip than you actually need and insert it a bit above the seam. Insert it then just cut off the excess at the top.  Just make sure to move the zip pull down before you do this. You also don’t want to zip the zip all the way up until after you’ve stitched in the facing.
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Three: Cut it any size you want

Need a 9” zip but can only find 12” at the shop?  If the zip is polyester you can cut it any size that you want!  Just be sure to move the zip pull down before you cut. Just a tip, you cannot do this with metal zips!

WRITTEN BY:   polkadotchair
 
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