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How To Install A Conventional Zipper

Today we will learn to sew a conventional zipper. The technique requires some special supplies but it can be used on almost all kinds of zippers. There are a few ways to install a zipper, but in this article, I will show you the most basic and easy type, the centered installation.

If you haven’t bought a machine yet and want a model with a decent stock of accessories, check out articles on simple sewing machines for beginners at
CraftsSelection.com that you should consider buying. It lists budget-friendly models which can meet the needs of most beginners.

Supplies Required


A zipper foot

  • Many machines have a zipper foot that comes as standard. If you don’t have it, buy one. Sewing the zipper without this foot makes the task so much harder.
  • Depend on the fabric you want to use, choose the appropriate needle and thread for the job.
  • A seam ripper to expose the zipper once you are done.
How To Install A Zipper

If your zipper has fold marks, you want to take time pressing along the side to make sure it is nice and smooth.

If you feel needed, finish the raw edge of the opening with zigzag stitches before you start sewing the zipper on.

The interfacing should be a bit longer than the zipper and wider than your seam allowance.

Feel free to choose the seam allowance suitable for your project. I usually use ½” for home décor. Baste the seam closed by hand or by machine, your choice. Now press the seam allowance open.

Now turn to the right side and draw two stitching lines located ¼” from the seam. Turn the project again and place the zipper on the seam allowance so that the teeth are at the center of the seam.

I used to have the best computerized sewing machine for beginners that comes with an invisible zipper foot. If you want your stitches to blend in, consider using one like that.

Check out Sewing and Craft Machine Guides CraftsSelection.com
to learn more about sewing machines as well as helpful sewing tips.


Baste again by hand or machine to keep the zipper in its proper place. Use straight stitches and adjust the length to suit the fabric and the interfacing.

Fix the zipper foot on. In this case, you need to sew both sides in the same direction and go from the bottom up. When the needle comes near the pull, stop while the needle is in the fabric.

Lift the presser foot and tuck your hand under the zipper and move the pull away from the foot. Don’t try to sew around it as you will create wavy stitch lines.

My good sewing machine for beginners has a knee lift so this is fast and easy. You may want to install one on your machine. With it, you don’t have to take your hand off the project to move the presser foot.

A knee lift is handy in many other situations, including quilting. Now turn the right side so that it faces upward, and use a seam ripper to cut the open the basting stitches.

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Now that you know how to install a conventional zipper with your basic sewing machine. For more sewing guides, visit the website CraftsSelection today!
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