Invisible zipper (Sewing tutorial with or without special foot)

Learn different methods to sew an Invisible zipper / concealed zipper - with an invisible zipper foot and with an ordinary zipper foot
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 invisible zipper sewing

The Invisible zipper (also called the concealed zipper or the hidden zipper) is a dream come true for a true couturier who is looking for a perfect fastener.  The best thing about invisible zippers is that when stitched on a seam, it looks like the seam and nothing like a zipper opening. It disappears into the seam but gives you a fantastic opening, with just a peep of the zipper pull.

What more do you want from a true blue fastener?

There are many ways of attaching an invisible zipper. The simplest way is to attach it with a special invisible foot. But you can very well attach the invisible zipper with the ordinary zipper foot you get when you buy a  sewing machine.

How to put in an invisible zipper with an ordinary zipper foot

You need a zipper opening seam and a long invisible zipper (1 inch longer than the opening) in preferably the same colour as your fabric and a zipper foot on your sewing machine.

Interfacing strips for the zipper opening and hand sewing needle and thread are also welcome. If you interface the area behind the opening, it will give strength to the area. All experts interface zipper openings.

zipper foot zipper pressure foot with adjusting screw

Steps to sewing invisible zip

Step 1

Mark a 1/2 inch or 5/8 inch seam allowance on both edges of the fabric. Mark the zipper opening (where you will be attaching the invisible zipper) as well about 1″ less than your invisible zipper. Mark this line about 1/8″ smaller than the regular seam beneath the zipper opening(refer to the picture below). 

Finish the edges of the cut edges now.

sew the fabric pieces together with basting stitches
Sew seam differently with a 1/8 inch difference.

You can attach / press an interfacing strip to the zipper opening seams on both sides. This will reinforce your seams.

This step is highly recommended on kids’ dresses and frequently worn clothes of adults as the zipper undergoes lots of pulls and pressures.

Step 2

Open the zipper and use an iron to press the tape flat, as the tape curls to the back from the coils. Do not press the plastic coils.

Step 3

Sew the seam closed with long basting stitches till the mark for the zipper opening.

The rest of the seam has to be sewn with regular stitches. Remember to start the ordinary seam with back stitching; otherwise, it will unravel when you open the zipper seam.

sewing hidden zips -press open seams

Press the seam open.

Step 4

Using a seam-ripper, cut the seam open for the zipper.

the look of the seam
Cut the basting stitches of the seam open

Step 5

Keep the zipper face down on the right side seam, right on the pressed fold of the fabric ( fabric is, ofcourse, right side up).

The coils should be running along the seam line ( over the pressed fold) and the tape should be within the seam allowance.

Using a hand sewing needle and thread (use a contrast coloured thread) baste stitch the zipper coil . You will remove this stitch later.

sew invisible zippers on clothes -Baste stitch the zipper coil
Baste stitch the zipper coil

Step 6

Position your zipper foot  on the LEFT side of the needle. Adjust the needle position so the needle will stitch along the teeth.

Stitch from the top along the tape as close as possible to the coils, all the way to end of the seam opening. As you stitch Uncurl the zipper tape with your fingertips, push them aside, then sew (this is important).

Back-stitch to reinforce the stitching. You should start with a backstitch to anchor the thread at the top. Stitch from top to down. When you reach the end of the zipper opening make a diagonal stitch to the zipper coil (or backstitch).

Step 7

how to sew invisible zipper - Baste stitch the other part of zipper coil
Baste stitch the other part of the zipper coil

Now close the zipper and pin / baste stitch the other side of the zipper coil to the other side of the opening from the back of the fabric as in the picture above. 

the concealed zippers attached to seam opening -open the zipper
Open the zipper

Open the zipper. Move zipper foot to the other side of the needle and make sure that the lower edge of the garment is even.

Start stitching the other zipper coil (again very close to the zipper coil). You will have to close the zipper at one point as you continue stitching to the end

sew invisible zippers-sew close to the teeth
Sew close to the zipper teeth

Close the zipper and see if everything is alright – the zipper tape and coil should be almost invisible from the outside except for the pull

sew an invisible zipper

Step 8

Pull the zipper end to the back neatly and hand stitch the free end at the bottom of each zipper tape to the seam allowance.

Add a fabric loop and a small button or a hook and eye at the top  if you want a more secure opening. Some do this at the back as well.

How to attach the invisible foot without finishing the full seam

If you haven’t bothered to finish the seam before attaching the invisible seam, very well –  if that is how you prefer to do it.

Attach the invisible zipper first.  Then finish the rest of the seam the following way – keep the fabric right sides together. Pull the zipper end to the right, out of the way of the seam.

Gently  and carefully lower the needle by hand-turning the wheel to the last stitch you have made for the zipper. You can stitch 1/8 ” to the left of this last stitch. Back stitch and start stitching down to complete the seam.

How to sew an invisible zipper with a special invisible zipper foot

sewing machine feet -invisible zipper foot

This special foot has two grooves underneath. The zipper coil goes into this groove and makes it easier for you to stitch closely along the coils. No need to even iron the zipper tape flat and risk burning of the zipper or twisting and turning to keep the coils straight or worrying about not being able to stitch close to the coils. 

mermaid skirt pattern - sew with the invisible zipper foot
Sew with the invisible zipper foot

Directions to do it are the same as earlier – but here, you place the zipper coil in the groove of the invisible foot

Start stitching at the top of the zipper and continue until the foot reaches the end of the opening.

When you sew the zipper on the left side of the opening, adjust the needle to the right so that the needle will fall on the right side of the zipper tooth.

skirt with flounced hem - place needle to the right when you sew the left
Place needle to the right when you sew the left part

When you sew the zipper on the right side of the opening adjust the needle to the left so that the needle will fall on the left side of the zipper tooth.

skirt with flounced hem
Place needle to the left when you sew the right part

Invisible zippers are a great addition to well-finished great looking garments. Remember to keep the zipper closed when washing the garment to ensure that it is not damaged.

You can learn how to attach an invisible zipper on a skirt with a waistband here in this post on sewing a skirt with a flounce hem.

flounce hem skirt

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Invisible zipper (Sewing tutorial with or without special foot)”

  1. I am a sewing teacher I am very happy to find all the necessary information & my teaching data in one place that was very good and pleased me and it is organized my teaching topics
    thank you very match

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