Video tutorial: How to sew an exposed zipper

I think an exposed zipper is a neat little detail that can make a simple garment look more exclusive. I used it for the Trumpet skirt with exposed zipper and a matching top, and liked it so mutch I decided to make this video on how I did it. Below is also a written instruction to compliment the video. I hope you like it!

Tools and materials

  • — Sewing machine
  • — Iron
  • — Fabric marker
  • — Pins
  • — Measuring tape
  • — Scissors
  • — Fabric (for the garment)
  • — Interfacing
  • — Zipper


1 — Place the fucible side of the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric where the zipper will be placed. The interfacing should be a little wider and longer than the zipper tape. Place an iron cloth on top, and press for a few second to glue the interfacing to the fabric. Repeat on the opposite garment piece where the other half of the zipper tape will be placed.

2 — Measure the amount of seam allowance from the top of the garment (or where the zipper will be placed) and make a mark. This will be referred to as the horizontal line. Place the top of the zipper teeth on this mark and lay it flat on the fabric. Make a new mark at the bottom of the zipper teeth. Line up the opposite garment piece and make a mark at the same spot.

3 – Determine the amount of zipper tape you want to be visibel in the finished garment. Add this measurement to the amount of seam allowance you use/in the pattern. Using this measurement, make several marks parallell to the raw edge of the garment piece.

4 — Baste along the marked line. When you reach the horizontal line, pivid the fabric piece and keep basting.

5 – Place both garment pieces on top of each other making sure they are perfectly parallell. Pin them in place from the horizontal line and all the way down. Stitch with regular stitches.

6 – Measure up 1,5 cm from the horizontal line and make a mark. Make a diagonal cut from this mark towards the corner of the bast stitches you made in step 4. Press open the seam allowance along the basting stitches with the wrong sides together, and all the way down.

7 – Turn the garment over with the right side out and place the zipper on the inside of the garment so that the metal piece on the bottom of the zipper is barely visible from the outside of the garment. Pinch the garment and the zipper as you turn the fabric over so that yo can see the bottom of the zipper, and two triangles of fabric from the diagonal cut you made in step 6. Pin the zipper to the triangles, and stitch in place.

8 – Align the folded line of the fabric to the zipper teeth with the amount of zipper tape you have chosen to have visible. From the right side of the fabric, pinch the fabric and zipper in place as you turn the fabric so that you can see the zipper tape. Pin the zipper to the seam allowance, and stitch along the basted stitches.

9 – Make sure the zipper runs smoothly before you repeat step 8 to the opposite garment piece.

10 – Finish the zipper by removing any visible basting and cutting away loose threads.

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