How to Sew a Zipper

How to Sew a Zipper

Sewing a zipper can seem like a very daunting proposition for new sewers. People new to sewing often stay away from patterns with zippers, fearing that they will not be able to sew the zipper into place.

In truth, if you take the time to learn how to a sew a zipper you will realize that it can be a straightforward task. With a few simple tips and tricks of the trade, you can be sewing zippers like a pro.

Imagine a life without zippers. How would you fasten your clothing? In fact, before the zipper was invented, clothing was secured by dozens of buttons and hooks. But let’s be honest, that doesn’t sound very practical. In today’s life, we just quickly “zip it up” and we’re ready to go.

What Color Zipper?

Zippers are a great closure that gives a nice finishing touch to your outfit. Zippers are all around us, you will find them on clothing, bags, purses and even on tents and sleeping bags.

If you have never sewed a zipper before it can be a bit overwhelming like what kind do I need, what color do I need, etc.

If you want your zipper to bit more concealed then use the same color as the material for example if your sewing a zipper on a pink dress and you would like it to be concealed use a pink zipper.


Or if you want your zipper to stand out and give a pop in color then use a different color than the fabric you will be sewing the zipper on. The yellow zipper gives a nice burst in color for the grey and white pencil bag.

Types of Zippers

Let’s discuss what types of zippers you can find. You can find one with metal teeth. You can find some with plastic teeth. Some are super long and some are super short especially the zipper for a pants. Selecting the right zipper depends on what effect you want the zipper to have on your gourmet.

Zipper Presser Foot

The first thing you will need to do before sewing a zipper is to make sure that you have a correct zipper foot for your sewing machine. This usually comes with the sewing machine.

Unfortunately, a normal sewing machine footer will prohibit you from getting the job done successfully. If you don’t have a zipper presser foot, then you can get a zipper presser foot from your local sewing machine store or here. When purchasing a zipper presser foot, remember to get the zipper presser foot that is specific to your sewing machine.

Basting Tape, Clips or Pins

You will also need basting tape,clips or pins to hold the zipper in place while sewing it to the fabric.

If you are wondering what is basting tape, then here is a description. Basting tape is two-sided tape that you can use to hold the zipper in place while sewing it to the fabric. Once the zipper has been sewed onto the fabric, you can through the garment into the wash and the basting tape will be washed away.

Steps of Sewing a Zipper

Step 1

Take your zipper and place it face down on your fabric. Line it up with the edges of the fabric.


Step 2

Attach the zipper to the fabric with wonder clips, pins or basting tape, whichever you prefer.

Step 3

The point where you will start sewing is just passed the pole of the zipper. Note that the pole of the zipper at the top will get in the way when you sew next to it. Therefore, bypass the pole at the beginning.

Step 4

Place the zipper and the fabric under the zipper presser foot.

Step 5

Line the edge of the fabric up with the presser foot to give yourself a guideline to ensure you sew in a straight line.

Step 6

Do a forward and backward stitch.

Step 7

Now, sew slowly to the end of the zipper while removing the clips as you get to them.

Step 8

Do a back stitch at at the end and cut your threads.

Step 9

The top part of the zipper still needs to be sewed. So zip the zipper to the area that you have sewed.

Step 10

Place the top part of the zipper and the fabric under the zipper presser foot and do a back stitch

Step 11

Sew right down along the same line until you get to the part you have already sewed and then do a back stich.

Step 12

Now, you need to attach the other side of the zipper. Take your fabric sewed to the zipper and place it face down on the other piece of fabric. Line it up with the edges of the fabric.

Step 13

Clip the fabric onto the zipper. Once again, you can use pins or basting tape instead.

Step 14

The sewing start point for this side of the zipper is right at the bottom of the zipper.

Step 15

Place the fabric & zipper under the foot presser. Keep in mind that you will only sew until before the pole of the zipper.

Step 16

Make sure you sew with the same seam allowance as you did on the other side.

Step 17

Sew the fabric to the zipper and stop before reaching the pole.

Step 18

Now, you need to sew the last piece at the pole of the zipper. Unzip the zipper to the area that you have sewed.

Step 19

Start at the top of the zipper and sew to the area that has been sewed.

Step 20

To give it a nice finishing touch you can iron the fabric right next to the zipper, but be careful if you have used a plastic zipper because the iron can melt the zipper.



Now you see sewing a zipper wasn’t so hard after all. By using the steps above you can confidently sew a zipper.  As with anything else, practice makes perfect.  So, get sewing!

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