How to Sew a Zipper – Perfect for BEGINNERS

A simple and easy step-by-step tutorial on how to install a standard zipper using the centered method. All you need is some tape and a longer-than-you-need zipper. That way, the zipper pull will be well out of the way of your sewing.

Agnes A-line Skirt

I used this same zipper installation method on the Agnes A-line Skirt. Alternatively, you can baste the zipper down instead of using tape but I found the taping technique to be faster which made sewing the skirt THAT much quicker. This flattering A-line skirt goes from sizes 0-30 (waist 24”-53”) and is available in the shop.

1. Stabilize the center back zipper opening with a 1” wide fusible interfacing extending about 1” past the zipper opening. Then, zig zag or serge the raw edges on the center back.

2.After pinning the two back pieces RIGHT sides together, mark the Zipper End. Baste along the seamline from the waist to the zipper end marking with a long straight stitch, and then backstitch. Stitch from the zipper end marking to the hem with an average stitch length. Press the seam open.

3.Mark the Zipper End with a pin so that you can see it from both the RIGHT and WRONG sides of the skirt. On the RIGHT side, mark a guide (with a fabric pencil or chalk) 1/4” from each side of center back along the zipper seamline. Be sure to have the zipper pull extending a few inches past the skirt waist before shortening your zipper. Sew a bar tack across the zipper teeth. Then, cut 1” below the bar tack.

4.Place the RIGHT side of closed zipper along the WRONG side of the center back seam with the zipper pull extending past the raw edge of the waist. Line the zipper teeth to the center back seam and then baste or use strips of Scotch tape to hold the zipper in place. The tape can be easily peeled off after topstitching. 

5.Flip the skirt over onto the RIGHT side and sew along that guideline with an average stitch. 

6.Remove the basting stitches or the tape. Also remove the basting stitches along the center back. 

Do not clip off the extending zipper just yet. That will be done AFTER the waistband is attached. Check out the step-by-step waistband tutorial here. 

And, that’s it. A beautifully installed zipper! 

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