January 10, 2011


....In my ongoing effort to make my fashions look more professional, I incorporated this RTW Style Zipper Facing Application that was mentioned by Erica Bunker in her recent interview on the Blue Gardenia Blog.  You can find that tutorial here.

When I first looked at the tutorial it seemed easy enough to pull off.  But I just could not figure out how to make it work with a lapped Zipper.  After concluding that this wouldn't be so easy after-all, I stored the link for future reference.  But something pulled me back for a second look.  This time I actually READ the instructions, rather than READING the pictures, if you get my drift.  (I'm quite often guilty of doing that).  I discovered that it was meant to be used with an invisible  zipper rather than the lapped type (DUH!).

Last Monday I had made up my mind that 2011 is high time to make installing invisible zippers "Second Nature", rather than just using it here and there.  Hancock's had a 30% off sale on zippers so I picked up a few.

I figured that forcing myself to install them one right after the other I could finally get them done without second guessing.  So that is what I've worked on for the last day and a half.  After installing and removing  a zipper in my current project, I think I've finally settled on this video to clarify instructions.  Using this method the zipper went in with ease.     QUESTION:  Has anyone heard of or know where I could get the "RIGHT SIDED FOOT" mentioned in this video???

Now back to the RTW Zipper Facing:  This little gem helped eliminate bulk that is always created by the facing seam allowance, and solved the question of how to finish the end of the facing rather than just folding it back and whip stitching down.

So here's my second finished project of the New Year.  Same McCall's pattern as the last skirt, which I think I'll retire for a while and move on to my Vintage 2011 Sew Along skirt.  I've got the vintage skirt and a dress still weighing heavily on my mind.  School is out tomorrow due to storm warnings, so I have a reprieve of sorts and actually have another day to sew....


  1. Thanks Faye for this wonderful post! This is also on my list this year, to learn to do professional looking zippers!!!

  2. Now can you show me how to do a lapped zipper? I can sew an invisible zipper no problems, but a lapped zipper brings me out in a cold sweat!

  3. I use a narrow zipper foot instead of the right side foot. I believe they mention right side foot because it is narrower than a standard foot. I really should make that skirt a few times this year. It's my TNT skirt pattern.

  4. Thanks for the zipper links! I hand pick most of my zippers because I have such trouble installing them otherwise. Everyone says that invisible zippers are the easiest. Maybe they actually will be now for me too, now that I have seen you links!

    Cute skirt :)

  5. I've just bookmarked that tutorial! thank you! We'll see how it goes :-)

  6. Have you got ice and snow? We have about 8 inches of snow so far.
    I've put in a couple of invisible zippers recently. The hardest part for me was matching the waistlines. I was making little dresses.
    I'm going to check out your installation process that you are talking about.
    I don't insert many zippers since I sew little dresses, but sometimes they just work better than buttons.
    I love your skirt!

  7. Hi Faye, thanks for posting this tutorial. I want to improve how I do the facings on invisible zippers. In terms of that foot you asked about -- I'm like CarlaF. For that last stage of sewing up the seam below, I just put on my regular zipper foot and slide it to the side, out of the way of the zipper. Works fine.

  8. I have a big old plastic foot that works on right or left with the invisible zipper. I don't know what a right sided foot actually is! Of course, I only learned the invisible zipper installation last year, and everyone told me they don't make feet for them any more *sigh*

  9. Faye great skirt! Love the fabric! Thanks for the tip on the invisible zipper! I need practice too! I use an adjustable zipper foot that you can move either to the right or left. You should be able to find one to fit your machine here...http://www.sewingmachinesplus.com/zipper-cording-feet.php. Good luck!

  10. I wonder if an old and busted zig-zag foot could be...ahem...coerced into becoming a right-hand foot. =) The foot she used looks like it was broken or cut in half.

  11. The right hand hinged zipper foot in the video is for an industrial sewing machine. It also comes in a left hand version.

    An adjustable zipper foot will also work, providing you with the ability to adjust to the right or the left side of the machine needle.

  12. Oh, to conquer ANY zipper technique!

  13. What a great goal for 2011! I have to remind myslef how to put in a zipper every time I do it. Having it be second nature would be great.

  14. I'm with Carol! I've installed dozens of nice-looking invisible zips but have no idea how to do a lapped one.

  15. Thanks for sharing this zip tutorial, it is really a wonderful tutorial :-)




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