How to Sew an Invisible Zipper

Eager for Picking Up More Sewing Tricks? Learn How to Sew an Invisible Zipper

Whether you’re about to get a grasp of how to sew a pillowcase or learn how to sew an invisible zipper, the best sewing tips and tricks are always welcome.

Dealing with the idea to sew a zipper in is already juicy, both for beginners and advanced sewers. 

Imagine not only knowing how to sew in zippers but also being able to make them invisible on your garment! 

We’re sharing step-by-step instructions to put invisible zippers into action.  

Made to sew sewing invisible zip
Image source: Made to Sew

How to sew an invisible zipper—basics

Invisible—also known as imperceptible—zippers are clever modern sewing inventions. They never stop putting us in awe.

They are incredibly useful and elegant. 

Mastering their installation in clothing takes some practice, but we’re here to learn. So, grab your zipper, and let’s level up your sewing expertise!

How to install an invisible zipper
Image source: The Girl Inspired

Invisible zippers are narrow zippers hidden in a seam made with nylon coils.

Check out what the types of seams are.

A side note for beginners: 

Invisible zippers differ from other zippers. For example, they don’t have exposed teeth in their structure. So it’s not a sewing method that makes them invisible. But the sewing methods also differ in invisible and regular zippers.

There are different types of zippers, just as there are different types of fabric, and so on. 

Invisible zippers come in various colors. 

Yet, in the best-case scenario—if you perfected how to sew your invisible zippers—nothing but the tiny zipper pull will be visible on the right side of your garment. 

Sewing an invisible zipper
Image source: Made to Sew

Other than color, features that vary among zippers are:

    • their materials, 
    • type of pull, 
    • length, 
    • and separating styles. 

Let’s have a quick look at materials and their usage with the help of Madam Sew:

Material

Where it works best

a metal zipper: brass or nickel

works great for jeans

a plastic zipper

is fantastic for a lightweight sweater

a stronger zipper 

use it for a winter coat

a lighter zipper

for a little girl’s summer dress

Zippers also have various pull styles, and “style” is our favorite part! 

To make them more stylish, think about installing clothing labels on your new fancy garments. 

Super Labels Store is happy to provide every sewing enthusiast—from individuals to the smallest start-ups and fashion designers to multi-brands—with customized woven labels.

After you learn to sew, you’ll wish for more. 

Labels are more! 

Labels by Super Labels Store add professionalism and a chic vibe to your clothing. 

You can go for:

to turn your casual dress into a fully-fledged fashion item. 

When it comes to zippers’ pull styles, we’ve got a bunch of shapes and sizes to choose from. 

Yet, it’s hard to classify them. Zipper pulls’ look depends hugely on the designers’ imagination. 

The pull appearance in invisible zippers is always alike—long and tapered.

Zippers’ length ranges from three to a hundred inches. We measure them from the top stopper to the bottom stopper.

There is also an option to buy zippers on a roll. With this model, you’re able to cut to the exact size for your piece of clothing.

You can also shorten a regular zipper (it’s less doable with an open-end structure).

Understanding zippers
Image source: Madam Sew

But what is an open-end structure? 

The classification of separating styles is binary: open-end and close-end.

According to Madam Sew

Separating style

Description Type of garment or accessory

Open-end structure

You need to have one end with a box and pin mechanism to separate and reassemble the zipper.

    • a coat, or 
    • a jacket;

Close-end structure

Your zipper will only have to open at the top.

    • a bag, 
    • pants, or 
    • the back of a dress;

Options are plenty, but the crucial part is choosing the zipper that fits your project best. 

Sewing an invisible zipper for beginners
Image source: The Yellow Peg

How to sew an invisible zipper YouTube tutorial

We can quickly learn to insert an invisible zipper in “the easiest way possible” with Sweet Shard. 

After all, who doesn’t like shortcuts?

Click the link below to watch a lesson on how to sew an invisible zipper video on the Coral YouTube channel:

To install a zipper, you’ll need a zipper foot. 

Most machines already have a zipper foot to sew a conventional (regular) zipper. 

There are also two other zipper feet that you can get: 

    1. an invisible zipper foot, and 
    2. an adjustable zipper foot;

How to install invisible zippers guide
Image source: Blog Fabrics–Store

If you don’t have them and want to start immediately, here is the good news:

You don’t need an invisible zipper foot to sew in your invisible zipper. You can also use a regular one. 

Yet, borrowing from the Jonag.Typepad blog, you need to know that:

“[The regular zipper foot] will do the trick if your machine has the ability to shift the needle over to the side. The notched areas underneath each side enable you to get your zipper closer to the needle (but not all the way, which is why you need to shift your needle over).”

There are a couple of more handy invisible zipper sew-in instructions online.

These blogs and videos will help you handle the topic “How to sew an invisible zipper with a regular foot”:

    1. Paper Dahl 
    2. Doina Alexei
    3. YouTube tutorial by WonderFil Threads:

Pillow cover with invisible zipper
Image source: Jonag.Typepad

Madam Sew reports that there are different techniques to install a zipper:

    1. centered
    2. lapped
    3. inserted or side placket
    4. separating
    5. exposed
    6. concealed
    7. fly front

Watch this energetic 7-minute-long “How to sew an invisible zipper step-by-step” sewing video tutorial.  

It’s by Angela Wolf on the Craftsy channel:  

And here’s how to sew an invisible zipper by hand in the company of Alameda:

No wonder watching this video takes longer than the previous one. The entire sewing process is slightly slower when done by hand. 

Isn’t it why Thomas Saint invented the first sewing machine in 1790? Indeed, he aimed at simplifying and fastening the process. 

Installing an invisible zipper tutorial
Image source: Candice Ayala

How to sew an invisible zipper in a pillow?

We know the basics, so let’s start with something easy. Let’s pick an item that’s not exposed to the immediate attention of strangers—something private, something hidden.  

What about a pillow?

Let’s learn how to sew an invisible zipper in a cushion cover with Jonag.Typepad

For other instructions on “How to Sew a Pillow with an Invisible Zipper,” follow

Invisible zipper pillow cover tutorial
Image source: We All Sew

For our invisible zipper cushion cover construction with Jonag.Typepad, let’s grab these sewing supplies:

    1. one invisible zipper–at least 4 inches longer than your sewing fabric,
    2. one glue stick (i.e., Elmers),
    3. two fabric squares of the exact dimensions as your pillow form

And here are the steps to follow:

    1. Unzip your zipper.
    2. Iron the coils, so they uncurl and lay as flat as possible. 
    3. Lay your zipper—with a zipper pull faced down—on one side of the fabric.
    4. Mark both sides of the zipper. You can use, for example, a blue or yellow highlighter—Mark about 1.5″ from the end of your fabric. 

How to sew an invisible zipper in a pillow
Image source: Jonag.Typepad

    1. Glue along the entire edge where you will sew your zipper. Glue is more reliable than straight pins. You can put a piece of paper under to avoid having the glue on your ironing surface. 
    2. Heat set the glue with an iron. Set it on top of the zipper and press. As soon as the glue gets dry, it will fiercely hold a zipper.  
    3. Flip your glued part over on top of the other fabric piece.

Invisible zipper pillow cover
Image source: Jonag.Typepad

    1. Repeat the gluing process on the edge of this piece and iron.
    2. Make sure your edges and the marked lines match up.
    3. Now, you’re ready to sew!

How to sew an invisible zipper easy
Image source: Jonag.Typepad

Here’s the sewing part explained further by the Jonag.Typepad:

Steps

Extra tip

Place your zipper under the zipper foot 

Don’t start stitching at the very end of the pillow piece. Instead, start about 1/4″ before the mark you made. 

Shift your needle as close to the zipper coil as you can get.

Backstitch and start sewing the length of the zipper. Backstitch at the end.

Stop stitching just 1/4″ past the other side of the mark you made at the other end. 

Repeat that process on the other piece of fabric.

Put both fabric pieces the way that they face each other with their right sides. Pull the zipper to join them. Don’t pull it all the way shut. 

Now, you’ve got one pillow-cover-like accessory with hanging ends of the zipper. 

Let’s finish stitching the length of the zipper side.  

Pull your zipper “tail” up and out of the way.

As you see, learning how to sew an invisible zipper in a pillow isn’t hard. 

It just takes some time and patience. 

We’re almost at the end of the process.

Invisible zipper sewing tutorial
Image source: Jonag.Typepad

Otherwise, choose a sewing pins version.

Follow this if you don’t feel like incorporating glue into your sewing efforts.

Nina Lee is fabulous at neatly explaining the process where straight pins play the first riddle.

Invisible zip tutorial
Image source: Nina Lee

You can also follow Kenneth from Threads Sewing to learn how to sew an invisible zipper. 

His “how to sew an invisible zipper video” isn’t specific for pillows. Yet, it will work great as a zipper sew-in guide to any type of garment or accessory. 

The best invisible zipper tutorial
Image source: Carbon Chic

What should we do now to finish our pillow cover?

Here are step-by-step points to conclude this second part of the “Invisible Zipper” operation:

    1. Dab some glue on the un-sewn corners and heat set. You glued the ends of the zipper shut at the corners of a pillow-cover-to-be. The tails of the zipper are out of the way.
    2. Make the sewing line on each end, drawing a straight line from the end, and past the 1/2″ from the end of the zipper stitch.

Beginner invisible zip guide
Image source: Jonag.Typepad

    1. Move your zipper foot over to the other side, adjust your needle and stitch along your line past your zipper stitch. Backstitch.
    2. Cut the zipper tails off.
    3. Press the seam and unzip your zipper about halfway down the length of the pillow. Otherwise, you won’t be able to put your hand inside your pillow to turn it right side out. 
    4. Fold your pillow right sides together, glue and heat set the edges around the perimeter, keeping them even and lined up.
    5. Use a 1/2″ seam allowance and stitch all the way around, starting at the zipper edge. Backstitch at the spot where you would’ve pivoted.
    6. Sew again on the next side and backstitch at the spot where the two stitches intersect.
    7. Snip your corners off. Near the zipper, trim off a little of the seam allowance on the side to create sharper corners.

Invisible zip guide
Image source: Jonag.Typepad

    1. Turn the cover right and poke your pillows’ corners out with a chopstick point or a similar tool. 
    2. Lay your pillow cover flat and press your seams open.
    3. Here we are! Now squish your pillow form up and stuff it into your new chic cover. Don’t forget to stuff it also into the corners.

Thanks, Jonag.Typepad for this fantastic guide!

Making a pillow cover with invisible zip
Image source: Jonag.Typepad

How to sew in an invisible zipper in a dress?

There is an abundance of instructions on dealing with an invisible zipper online. We have chosen several links for your comfort:

She also mentions the following observation: 

“The thing with invisible zippers is that they’re not the sturdiest. As such, you don’t want to use them in a high-stress area or with a really thick fabric.”

Sewing tutorial invisible zippers
Image source: Carbon Chic

Invisible zippers tutorial video
Image source: The Yellow Peg

There are many more guides, but those seemed especially neat and clear. 

If you want to learn how to sew an invisible zipper on a skirt, dress, or cushion cover, reach out to these handy manuals.  

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