Simple Sew Brigitte dress Sewalong. 7: Insert the zip
Today we are going to insert the zip into the centre back seam of your dress, and when we’ve done that, you’re almost finished!
You should have a concealed zip for this dress. If you bought a regular zip then you will need to insert your zip in a different way, and I found a good tutorial with a video too here. If you bought a regular zip and you want to do a lapped zip, rather than a centred zip, then you might want to check out this tutorial instead.
When I sew concealed zips, I don’t use pins or glue or basting stitches, nor do I have a special concealed zipper foot. I just use my regular zipper foot. The first thing I do is press the zipper so that the zipper teeth are no longer curled inwards, because I need to be able to stitch as close as possible to the zipper teeth. Below you can see I have pressed one side of the zip and not the other (the top is pressed, the bottom is not) – this is to show you the difference. You need to press both sides of the zip prior to insertion.
Unzip the zip, then line up the top of one side of your zip with the top of the corresponding back dress piece. I line up the very top of the zipper teeth with the neckline, which means the zipper tape itself extends beyond the top of the neckline. That’s fine: it means you can fold it down inside your facing later, and there won’t be any need for a hook and eye at the top of your zip. Put your zipper foot on your machine, and anchor your zip by inserting the needle at the very top of your neckline (not the facing), as close to the zipper teeth as possible. So at this point, mine looked like this:
Stitch down the length of the zip as far as you can go before the pull starts to get in the way. As I said before, I don’t pin or baste, I just hold it in place as I sew down, but you may prefer to do it differently. Backstitch at the bottom, then remove the fabric, swap your zipper foot to the other side, and sew the other side of the zipper to the other back dress piece in the same way.
Once both sides of your zipper have been sewn to the dress, you can sew the remainder of the seam below the zipper tape. I keep my zipper foot on for this, and, pulling the bottom end of the zipper as far out of the way as possible, I begin to sew the centre back seam, overlapping slightly with the end of the zipper as shown below:
Sew at 5/8″ all the way down, then press your seam open. You will still have a bit of zipper tape extending beyond the top of your dress, but now that you have inserted the zipper, you can tuck that into the facing and slipstitch the facing in place on the inside of the dress. This helps keep the facing in place, and of course tidies up the end of your zipper.
This is how your concealed zip should look from the outside:
We only have one more stage left: hem your dress! We’ll be doing that on Sunday, so see you then.
Just in case my tutorial made absolutely no sense to you, you could try following the tutorial on Colette’s website here – explained by professionals! 🙂