Centered Zippers & the Sewing Sample Dictionary!

I recently took a college sewing class and absolutely loved the way the instructor taught the course. We kept all of our practice samples neatly organized in a binder so we could refer to them in the future! It was so helpful!

As a result, I decided to create my own Sewing Sample Dictionary. A reference book to help me organize my sewing samples.

To make your own Sewing Sample Dictionary, print out the templates and instructions for each sample.

Follow along on with the instructional video to create your sample. Then, use sheet protectors and a 3-ring binder to store your samples.

COVER:

The Centered Zipper Sample is my first addition to the Dictionary!

Tools:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Zipper Foot
  • Basic Sewing Supplies
  • Hand Needle and Thread
  • Fabric Marking Tool (I use air erase markers)
  • Grid Ruler
  • Seam Ripper
  • Iron
  • Sewing Stiletto or Purple Thang (The wrong edge of your seam ripper will also work)
  • Serger (Optional)
  • 3-Ring Binder (For Sewing Sample Dictionary – Optional)
  • Sheet Protectors (For – Sewing Sample Dictionary – Optional)

Centered zippers are one of the most common zipper applications. They are quick and simple after a bit of practice. There are a lot of different techniques out there, but this is my favorite!

Do you always end up with wobbly stitches or horrible backstitching around the zipper pull? Have to redo your zipper over and over before it actually looks nice? Never again! With a few simple techniques, your zipper can look great the first time!

To make this sample I used two rectangles of fabric. Each measured 4.25 x 7.5 inches. I also used a 5-inch nylon coil zipper. (NOTE: If you don’t use a nylon coil zipper you cannot sew over the teeth as shown in the video.)

Place the fabric right sides together and sew a 5/8 inch seam allowance using two different stitch lengths. The upper stitch length will be 5.0 (basting stitches) so they can be removed later. The bottom section will be stitch length 2.5 as they will remain. The transition point is where the zipper’s opening will stop and the seam will begin.

Press the seam flat to set the stitches. Then, press the seam open. Serge the edges to finish. Serging is optional but very much recommended if the zipper will be in an unlined garment.

Turn the fabric right side up, and draw your stitch line. This will be three sides of a rectangle. Draw a line 1/4 inch to the left and right of your seam. Start at the top edge and stop where your stitches change length. Connect the two at the bottom.

Now, we will attach the zipper.

Turn the fabric right side down and place the zipper right side down on top of it. Make sure to leave enough room at the top for seam allowance. I usually place my zipper so the top stops are 7/8 of an inch from the top edge.

Hand-baste the zipper in place along the edges. The basting stitch should not be on your drawn line as it will make them difficult to remove later. It is tempting to skip this step, but I highly recommend that you don’t. It only takes a minute and it really improves the quality of your zipper application. It also provides a greater chance of success the first time!

From the right side, sew the zipper in place by stitching exactly on your draw line. Make sure your zipper foot is on your machine. Use stitch length 2.5 or whatever is appropriate for your fabric. Be sure to use a sewing stiletto or purple thang to move the zipper pull out of the path of the stitch line when you sew. You do not what to hit it! If you don’t have a sewing stiletto the back edge of your seam ripper works great as well, just take care not to accidentally cut your fabric.

Remove the hand basting stitches as well as the machine basting stitches (length 5.0).

And you are finished!

Now all you have to do is add the zipper to your Sewing Sample Dictionary!

Centered Zipper Sewing Sample Dictionary Template:

Centered Zipper Sample Pattern:

Quick Overview:

Detailed Instructions:

What to add more to your Sewing Sample Dictionary? Here is some more information on zippers!

Zippers are used absolutely everywhere! Once you start sewing with zippers, it is important to know what all of the bits and pieces are called. Zippers can be intimidating to the new sewer. Being familiar with the components and terminology will help clarify sewing instructions and patterns and make them easier to use.

Sewing Sample Dictionary Template:

Printable Diagrams:

Instructional Video:

Happy Sewing!

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