There must be hundreds of ways to put in a zip. Lots of people swear by the method they use & won’t use any other. I use 3 different zip placements for my dressmaking & tailoring projects. I never use concealed zips, as they are the weakest zips you can buy & due to the way they are made & inserted will break quite easily. I’ve been called on several times to replace zips at the last minute due to the zip breaking at the wrong time. It has even happened on wedding dresses!
The first zip placement I use we call the cheats zip. I always teach this method to beginners as you top stitch the overlap side before the opening gets anywhere near the zip. One of the things I’m always asked about is making the stitching straight. This method solves that problem. I use this zip placement for making toilles as it is quick & easy to do. It just involves three lines of stitching the last one done invisibly from the wrong side.
The second one is for trousers. A trouser zip requires a bit more overlap than a conventional zip. Trousers really do look professional if you can make a proper fly front. Again, the method I use is very simple, three rows of stitching the last one attaching the facing to the inside. I do use another zip placement for making men’s trousers which was taught to me when I was working in the tailoring workrooms. This method is a lot more complicated to put in but is perfect for the wear & tear on men’s trousers.
My favourite Zip Placement is called the Couture Zip placement. This method sews the zip in on the machine for strength & then it is hand finished on the top to give that perfect finish. Two rows of machining followed by hand stitching all around
I use this method for just about everything I make. I’ve used it on simple skirts where, once you get the stages of the method sorted out, you can put an 8″ zip in, in about 10mins. I also use this method in special occasion wear such as wedding dresses & evening dresses. It is a very strong zip & I have never had a zip fail on me when I’ve used this method. We feature this zip placement on our Couture Finishes course. Most people I’ve taught this method to switch immediately to it & never look back. If you have things made in the couture workrooms using this method they charge extra for this zip placement sometimes up to £2,000 extra! As you can see from the photo, when the zip is put in correctly you shouldn’t be able to see it.
A common problem people have when putting in a zip is that the top gapes. Have a look at the photo of the zip. Take note of the way the tape at the top of the zip is open when the zip is done up. The gaping occurs when we put the zip in because we as dressmakers like everything straight & so we straighten up the tape at the top when we put the zip in. This is possible because we open up the zip to insert it. It isn’t until we finish putting the zip in & do the zip up that the problem occurs. The depth of the zip sits at the top of the zip, opening it up causing the gaping. Make sure when you pin your zip in that you have it closed & the problem won’t occur.