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How to Match Seams Perfectly: Sewing Seams Across an Invisible Zipper

Concealed zippers, or invisible zippers, can be relatively quick to sew into a garment, especially with a specialty presser foot. When sewn properly, invisible zippers look sleek and neat within a seam. It can be tricky, however, to align horizontal seams that lay on either side of an invisible zipper seam, such as a waistband seam on a pair of trousers or the seam where the bodice is attached to the skirt on a dress.

Find out how to sew those seams so they match with this quick trick!

How to Match Seams Perfectly Invisible Zipper

For a general guide to installing an invisible zipper, refer to the Craftsy blog post “Sewing an Invisible Zipper in 10 Easy Steps.” The same technique will apply here, though I am recommending two additional steps to ensure all seams match perfectly, which I will outline in the directions below.

Step 1:

First, open the zipper and press the coils flat with your iron. Place the zipper, coils and tab side down, on one side of the garment. I always prefer to start with the left side of the garment. Pin and sew this side in place at the indicated seam allowance in your pattern.

Invisible Zipper Seam Match

Step 2:

Zip up the zipper. One side is still unsewn. Using your favorite marking tool, mark the position of the horizontal seam on that unsewn side of the zipper. This will serve as a guide as to where to position it on the other side of the garment.

Invisible Zipper Marking Seam

Step 3:

Open the zipper again. Flip the zipper so the coils and tab are facing down on the other side of the garment. Align your pen mark with the seam. Pin in place at just that spot. Sometimes I use a bit of Wonder Tape or fabric glue instead of a pin to avoid any shifting of the zipper at all.

Seam Matching Invisible Zipper

Step 4:

Take your garment to the sewing machine and baste the zipper in place at that seam line with a long stitch length for a couple of inches. Don’t worry about sewing in the whole length of the zipper or backstitching.

Baste in Invisible Zipper to Match Seams

Step 5:

Zip up the zipper as is to check the placement of the seams. Do they match across the zipper? If not, simply pull out the basting stitches and try again. Basting makes it easy to test and fix your zipper alignment so you don’t have to unpick and resew the whole side. It took me two tries for this sample to get it right, but it was still less than two minutes of my time!

Baste in Invisible Zipper

Step 6:

Once you’re happy with the zipper seam alignment, sew in that full side of the zipper with a normal stitch length and backstitching. Complete the seam below the zipper as usual. Admire your neat and professional seam intersection!

Perfectly Matched Seam across Invisible Zipper

This method would also work for fabrics with horizontal and directional prints, like stripes or plaids, or projects with decorative features like piping or rickrack that need to match across the zipper.

Mastering in Minutes: Zippers

Intimidated by zippers? Don’t be!

Craftsy expert Callie Works-Leary takes you step by step through 3 zipper insertions so you can properly prepare the seam, place the zipper and stitch it for a professional appearance. Get the Tutorial

5 Comments

zizou

merci une bonne idèe atoute aleur

Reply
Mary

Smart info. Thanks!

Reply
Jeanne

Thank you! After 50+ years of sewing I am still learning & this is something I have always struggled with. The basting idea is brilliant!

Reply
Candice

After how many invisible zippers, finally an easy “AHA” moment. I’ve come very close, but now I will expect perfection!

Reply
EDITH

DANG! You are good!
Where were you thirty years ago? LOL!

Reply

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