No need to hide! How to insert a concealed zip

Hello all!

So I've decided to make a return to sewing and blogging after a rather epic break, and what better way to start up the posts again, than with a tutorial! I hope this one will be very helpful to everyone out there - do let me know how you get on.

For some reason people seem to be scared of zips - there really is no need, they are fantastically fun little beasties and despite the teeth - don't bite ;-) I am a massive zip addict.

There are many different ways of inserting zips depending on what you are using them for, but today we're dealing with the elusive concealed or hidden zip. These are fab for skirts and dresses where you don't want any obvious closures/openings to be apparent. The garment will just look like it has seams, all nice and smooth... Concealed zips come in all sizes and colours and they are the ones with no teeth showing, they just look like a strip of tape with a pull tab at the top. I will use contrasting zip and thread to demonstrate where to sew.

Concealed zip
Step 1 - Lay out the pieces

Unlike sewing a seam where you put your fabric together right sides facing, we will be working with the fabric the right way round. The print/good side facing you. Lay out the pieces and zip to see what you are doing.

Step 2 - Pin on the zip

All you need to do know is flip the zip over so the back faces you. Unzip it all the way down. Place the right hand edge of the zip (now upside down) onto the right hand edge of your pattern piece and pin it in place. I tend to mark where stitching will finish with a pin going across the zip. Mark this point about 1cm above where the end of the zip/pull tab now lies.




Step 3 - Stabilise the zip

Ignore this step at your peril!! You now need to take your zipper foot and attach it to your machine. (A zipper foot allows you get get up close and tight to the edge of the zipper teeth for a nice straight line). Sew the tape to the fabric piece BUT just sew straight down the tape, no need to be neat or close to the teeth at this point, this line of stitching is merely for holding the zip in place. If you miss this step out you may find the next step very difficult as the zip will wiggle around all over the show!
Zipper foot

Sew straight down the zip tape, no need to be neat!

Zip is now firmly attached to fabric
 Step 4 - Conceal the zip

Now your zip is secured into place where it needs to be, we can attach it properly for the 'concealment' to occur. Go back to the top of the zip and get it secured under the needle with a few stitches. Now you're ready to go. A concealed zip has teeth which curl under the tape. You need to peel back the tape with your nail or finger to reveal a little sewing channel. Keeping a finger pressing the zip tape back revealing the channel, sew a line all the down to the bottom, being careful not to catch the teeth themselves. Your zipper foot allows you to get right in there.


Press back the teeth to reveal the sewing channel
Sew in the channel
Step 5 - Check it worked!

Trim the loose threads and flip the fabric over. Voila! One side of the zip is complete and can't be seen behind the fabric!

Step 6 - Attach the other side

Now repeat on the other side. Flip the zip again so it's back faces you and attach the far left to the far left of your next fabric piece. Pin, switch sides on your zipper foot, sew the stabilising line and then sew the concealment line. Turn the fabric over and you can now see the zip is in place and not visible from the right side!
Now do the other side - left side to left side
Swap sides on the zipper foot

Zip it up!
Step 7 - Finish the seam

Fold the pieces together, right sides facing as if you would for any seam. There is now a line of stitching where your zip is. Continue from this line to pin the rest of the seam together. Keeping your zipper foot on, stitch the seam from where the zip stitch line ends, to the end of your garment seam. Open the seam up and you're done!






Step 8 - Done!

Flip your garment over to try and admire your handy work...zip....what zip?? :-)



Let me know if this was of any use at all, happy zipping!

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