Inserting An Invisible Zip – Best Method?

How successful do you find inserting invisible zips? After a lot of practice I find it’s more ‘hit’ than ‘miss’ these days but it’s still not unusual to find me cursing and unpicking.

Last year I discovered a great tutorial by Janet Moville. Foolproof Invisible Zip Insertion.

The first time I tried this I was really impressed.
I always used to hand tack the zips in first but this method doesn’t need this as you machine tack the zipper in.
Marking lines across the zip and on to the seam allowance helps with lining up any horizontal seams (midriff panels, waist seams in dresses).

Before I found this method I used to leave the seam below the zipper open and stitch it up when the zipper had been sewn in. The problem I found with this was that this area would never lie flat and there was always a lump which I had to try and press out. My other problem was never stitching close enough to the teeth.

I now have the Janome foot for my machine but previous to that I used the Hemline roller invisible zip foot.

hemline invisible zipper foot

hemline invisible zipper foot

The hemline foot was a bit difficult to get on to the shank of my machine, it was a bit of a tight fit but once on it worked really well. The roller at the front of the foot would keep the teeth pushed to the side and you could get a close stitch. Unfortunately after a few years the plastic parts started to break. I’m not that impressed with the Janome foot, I find I can’t roll the teeth away as easily so I’ve ended up using the standard zipper foot that came with my machine. It’s  the type with only half a foot so I can get a close as I like to the teeth.

4 bridesmaid dresses waiting for hemming

4 bridesmaid dresses waiting for hemming

I have just finished making 4 bridesmaid dresses with invisible zippers up the back using the Janet Moville method. I only had one c*ck up. The dresses were fully lined and bagged out so the side seams were unstitched when I put in the zips. On one I twisted the dress before I sewed the centre back seam. I didn’t discover this until the zipper was completely stitched in. I calmly unpicked the zip and the centre back seam and started again.

not a great photo but I'm happy with how the zipper looks and how seams are lining up

not a great photo but I’m happy with how the zipper looks and how seams are lining up

fiinished bridesmaid dress

finished bridesmaid dress – this was one I made last year in purple, the most recent ones were aubergine

Which method do you find the most successful?






4 thoughts on “Inserting An Invisible Zip – Best Method?

  1. Those bridesmaid dresses are beautiful Helen!
    I had never used an invisible zip before last summer, but I found the Coletterie video on You Tube was very helpful. I’m still no expert in zip insertion though, I can never get the top bit right!

    • I know what you mean with the top of the zipper. Sometimes I use hook and eye at the top sometimes not. I tend to use a hook and eye when I’ve accidently inserted too low down!

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